David Weeks represents the core energy and values of Birch Rock. Head Counselor, Camp Director, President of the Board, Trustee, Proud Father of Will, Sebastian, Robert David and Senior Counselor Extraordinaire. David Weeks brings a hurricane of spirit each season he entrenches his heart and soul at the Rock.
1971-1979: Trip Leader, Head Counselor
Dave found out about Birch Rock at age 20 from his cousin Nat, who wanted to take Dave on as a Trip Leader to help with the floundering trip program. Nat Weeks was a student of Milton Academy and young protegee of Mike Deneault '30-70s, already a BRC legend and Milton's Assistant Director of Athletics. Hired under the recommendation of Jim Marrion from Cardigan Mtn. School, and having served three summers at another boys' camp in Western Maine, David arrived to BRC in 1971.
David arrived to East Waterford eager to please. He was a masterful athlete, fluent in three languages (English, French, and Spanish), master performer who could sing, tell a story and create magic with campers and his fellow staff members. A graduate of Belmont Hill Academy and Harvard College, Dave hailed from Belmont, Ma, having been the middle of seven siblings. Little did he know that one of the strongest connections of his life was about to unfold.
David was initially hired to lead the canoe program and trip component of BRC. He loved the water and took to the canvas war canoes of BRC with a vengeance. Mastering the art of the J stroke, David attracted all kinds of campers to brave the waters of McWain Pond and evolved the fledgling trip program with cousin Nat. They honed their outdoor skills under the masterful hand of Mike Deneault, who himself had trained under Buck Hard, and whom Dave calls his mentor.
After two years on the trip staff, and the retirement of BRC of veteran Head Counselor Jim Marion, in 1973 Dave move into the role of the camp's official master of ceremonies—Head Counselor, a role he would keep through 1978. David was a natural. With an flair for detail and the dramatic, David's natural alchemy was able to forge a community spirit and a respect for community out of the rich history and set of resources that is Birch Rock. Some of Dave's fondest memories at the Rock are watching the sunset at the Birch Rock as the camp talked about their values and morals.
1973 was a year of endings and new beginnings. Chief Brewster, co-founder and soul of the Camp, died during the first week of the season, peacefully slipping away in his sleep. The whole Camp community pulled together. David's zestfulness and joy of life was a central part of the Community's healing process. Dave brought music into our daily lives—singing the Camp songs again and encouraging crazy, wonderful, wild Campfires that made us all laugh and zing. This passion would be grown into the very heart of the Community over the years.
Dave moved up and began his directorship in 1980 and served in this position for another two years until 1983. Dave could handle the mothers (and the fathers): seeing natural leaders and encouraging everyone's participation in the Family of Camp. Dave worked and lived in Maryland and that became one of the main sources of new campers. Dave knew the Mendelsons in Baltimore. Knew the Herzigs in New York. Knew the Deerings in Maine. Dave was gifted in his ability to lend love and passion and a sense of vision to the things and people he believed in. And Dave has love and believed in Camp and our Community for decades these many years now.
Dave was a great recruiter. He did it well because he believed; believed in Camp and why Birch Rock is so special. In 1980 and 1981, Onie Brewster, co-founder and soul of Camp, was very frail and living in Florida—missing Maine where she had spent over sixty summer at Birch Rock. Dave knew her well and knew how she missed it. So, ever the deft and joyful, Dave embarked on a two year effort of recording and sending Onie oral history snapshots and impressions of Camp using the old cassette tapes. Onie just loved the thoughtfulness and recorded tapes back. She loved especially the crazy laughing whole Camp singing of songs rocking the Lodge.
Dave enjoys the richness of life. Years ago I remember him playing the bass saxophone--it's rich breathy sounds like some jazzy shine--during first rest periods, drifting down the Hill from Chief's. Dave gave us a sense of style. Learned it to us, taught us what an eye for excellence is and to appreciate the same. Dave excelled in the "enchanting" of the Banquet. Dave brought to the Community a deep lesson in and passion for loving and living life. Dave has shared that feeling to us as a Community. And we grow from it.
Camp Director David Weeks was at the helm for three seasons: 1980-82. With the inexorable support of a dedicated, multi-tasking spirited staff, Dave launched the next generation of Birch Rock stewards and leaders: Rich Deering, Ryck Birch, Harry Cleaves, Toby Brewster, Scott MacGregor, Seth Brewster, Jerry Curry, Peter Herzig, Chris Cogswell, David Needle, Seth & Cameron Greene, Mike Arndt, Cort Morgan, Bob Duncanson…supported by his very close colleague and BRC legend, Lt. Pete Haas and the eldest Brewester brother, Ben Brewster.
Dave brought a whole new level of synergy and spirit. And passed it on.
In 1983, Dave co-directed with Ben Brewster. Together they laid the foundation for Ben to take over running Camp for the next two years.
After enrolling in his first of two masters of education programs at the University of Michigan, Dave followed his personal passion of traveling the globe. Dave spent time in East Asia, Europe and networked with his beloved Birch Rock Family all over the globe. Friends like Franke Cooke, Xavier Thuriolt and Tom Amidshalt were just a few in Dave's rolodex.
After visiting his best friend in Canada, Dave met his future bride, Marie Despres. A talented lawyer and native of Quebec, Dave found the love of his life, and married her in June of 1985.
Dave continued his involvement in BRC by succeeding Whizzer Wheeler of Waterford, Me as the camp's new Board President. Dave renewed our energy working with the Brewster Family in defining the camp's future and strategic planning process. For the last twenty-five years to this day, Dave Weeks has been helping lead the camp community.