Established in 1903, this 25-acre camp was located on Unity Pond’s eastern shore. Purported to develop “worthy character” in the boys, as well as making them “sound and vigorous of body and mind”, Camp Winnecook for Boys was under the direction of Herbert L. Rand, Unity native and principal of the Training School, State Normal School of Salem, Massachusetts. (A normal school was a school that trained teachers.) Mr. Rand ran the camp each summer until 1935. His son carried on the tradition for a couple of years. In the mid-1940s, Mrs. Russell Franz bought the camp and opened it to girls. Mrs. Franz ran the facility for four years and sold it to a private party in 1950.
Counselors instructed the city-dwelling ten to sixteen year old boys in swimming, life-saving, tennis, archery, horseback riding, woodcraft and nature. The session was six weeks long and culminated in an “Indian pow-wow.” This gathering featured bareback riders, “war paint,” fire dances and drumming.
Lake Winnecook/Unity Pond is four miles long and about two miles wide and provides recreation and spectacular views for residents in Unity, Burnham and Troy. There is an active Friends association. Unity College students use the lake for research and recreation.
Contributed by: Lori Roming, Unity Historical Society