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Memories of a Maine Camp:
The Cry of the Loon,
The Static of Red Sox Games
By Marilyn Weymouth Seguin

I spend my summers at our camp
on Little Sebago Lake in Maine. My husband, from Massachusetts, calls it “the
cabin.”  Our children, born and raised in the Midwest, call it “the cottage.”  Our
neighbors who live in Ohio and visit us here in summer sometimes call it our
“vacation home.”

But I call it camp -- not
the camp -- just camp.

When I was a child, my parents had a camp in mid-Maine. The cry of the loon is
almost the first sound I can remember.  The other sound I remember from those
years is the voice of Ken Coleman calling the Red Sox games against a static
background broadcast from our ancient Motorola radio.

My parents and my sister and I spent all summer in that camp, from early June
to Labor Day.  By the time I was a teenager, I came to hate the camp ritual for a
while because going there meant a separation from my friends.  And of course,
there was no television nor phone, and the toilet wasn’t the flush kind.  Then
when my father died suddenly, we lost that place.  It would be many years
before I would again experience camp.

Life is a rambling thing.  I married and moved to Ohio and we took our
vacations at Southern beaches in the Carolinas and Florida, or sometimes the
Caribbean.  But after we had the children, a longing for the Maine camp
experience manifested itself in me so strongly that I sometimes dreamed about

So when my sister, a true native Mainer, bought herself a Maine camp and
offered to let my family use it for a couple of weeks every July, we were thrilled.

It was at my sister’s camp where my children learned to swim and dive with
their cousin and catch frogs in the bog.  It was there that they learned to love the
cry of the loon.  

Some years ago, my husband and I finally bought our own camp -- the one in
which I now spend my summers.  It’s not exactly like the camp of my childhood,
but it’s close.  There are lots of loons, and their eerie, haunting music calls me
back closer to my childhood than anything else I know.

Though I was born and educated in Maine, my camp neighbors don’t consider
me a native.  Now I’m “from away.”  When our children were in college, they
would drive to Maine as though camp was in the next county, rather than six
states away.  But now they have jobs of their own and can only carve out a few
days each summer to spend at camp. Sometimes they can’t come at all.

Soon, I suppose, I will have grandchildren, and maybe their parents will be
called more strongly back to the camp experience, as I was when I became a

Or maybe I will be the one who teaches my grandchildren how to swim and dive
and catch frogs in the bog -- and to love the cry of the loon.  

I think I’d like that.

About the author: Marilyn Weymouth Seguin is the author of thirteen books (both fiction
and nonfiction) and dozens of newspaper and feature articles.  She holds degrees in English
and Communication from the University of Maine and the University of Akron.  She
teaches in the English Department at Kent State University.  Marilyn lives with her
husband Rollie and the family dog, Oliver, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and Gray, Maine.  
They have two grown children.
View from a Maine camp.  Photo by Jodi Monaco
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