From Birocapedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
The 2009 plaques

Inside Birch Rock's lodge, the vast majority of wall space is covered with handmade wooden plaques. Most of these plaques are lists of names of the campers who attended camp each summer. Every summer a new plaque of this type is made and then revealed with some ceremony at the night of the banquet. Not all plaques in the lodge are dedicated to campers though; there are also plaques commemorating important individuals or events in Birch Rock's History. The cabin Pete's Palace also houses plaques, but these are dedicated to the CITs instead of campers.

Camper Plaques

Every summer Birch Rock has been open since 1926 a new plaque with a list of the names of the campers that summer is nailed up in the lodge. Chief Brewster hand carved the plaques every summer from 1926 to his last full summer which was 1972. He carved the plaques in complete secrecy, no one but him saw them until they were revealed to the whole camp. Chief varied his style from year to year. Some years he divided the names into age groups, others he just arranged the names in one block in reverse alphabetical order. In the summer of 1973 when Chief was gone and no one was around to take over the large and important job of making the plaques, Dave Weeks stepped up and carved the year plaque and then had each camper carve his name into his own piece of wood. Every piece was then nailed up under the year. This idea of each camper carving his own name carried on through 1985. In 1986 Matt Voss carved the plaques himself using a router, a kind of power tool. The router has been used to carve names ever since.

Ryno on the router in 2007

The plaques also include the names of all of the campers who swam their Seal or Whale that year, often along with their times.

Most of the wall space inside the lodge is now covered with plaques. Old plaques have been moved around the walls to be more efficient with space but soon there will be no more space at new plaques. Mike Mattson has said that there is a plan for where to put plaques when there is no more space in the lodge.

A few years ago the Senior Campers recorded all of the names from every year into a computer document.

CIT Plaques

The 2009 CIT Plaque while under construction

Plaques are put up in Pete's Palace every year with the names of the CITs who attended camp that summer, along with the name of that summer's CIT Director. This tradition has carried on since 1982, the year Pete's was built. The responsibility for carving the CIT plaque belongs to the CITs that summer.

Plaque Meisters

Mike Mattson wood burning the elk on the 2005 plaques, Mike has created many detailed burnings for the years he has worked on
The 2005 plaques team and their creation. Left to right: Mike Mattson, Doug Miller, Ryan Massey, & Galen Arnold

There have been a number of people who have helped keep the plaque tradition going since Chief died in 1973. Here's the list:

  • 1926-1972: William "Chief" Brewster
  • 1973: Dave Weeks and Campers
  • 1974: ? and Campers
  • 1975: ? and Campers
  • 1976: ? and Campers
  • 1977: ? and Campers
  • 1978: ? and Campers
  • 1979: ? and Campers
  • 1980: ? and Campers
  • 1981: ? and Campers
  • 1982: ? and Campers
  • 1983: Paul Voss and Campers
  • 1984: Paul Voss and Campers
  • 1985: Paul Voss and Campers
  • 1986: Matt Voss
  • 1987: Bob Van Dyk
  • 1988: Bob Van Dyk
  • 1989: Todd Vincentsen
  • 1990: Terence Pincus
  • 1991: Colin Leonard
  • 1992: Colin Leonard
  • 1993: Jared Levine
  • 1994: Josh Pincus
  • 1995: Jared Levine & Thomas Joyce
  • 1996: Todd Vincentsen
  • 1997: Thomas Joyce
  • 1998: Todd Vincentsen
  • 1999: Thomas Joyce
  • 2000: Thomas Joyce
  • 2001: Galen Arnold
  • 2002: Josh Pincus
  • 2003: Josh Pincus
  • 2004: Allen Lee
  • 2005: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey, Doug Miller & Galen Arnold
  • 2006: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey & Doug Miller
  • 2007: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey & Doug Miller
  • 2008: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey, Doug Miller & Thomas Joyce
  • 2009: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey, Doug Miller & Thomas Joyce
  • 2010: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey & Thomas Joyce
  • 2011: Mike Mattson, Ryan Massey & Josh Church