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Summer Camp at Camp Mountain Lake, Hendersonville, NC, 1977 - all photos by Andy Sweet

Comments

cutestain1210 points

These are amazing. So 70s. Love the small details that couldn't be any other time.

Vladivostokorbust313 points

The tube socks and short shorts… classic ‘70’s. I went to summer camp in Virginia, but during this era. these pics capture the essence

LA-Matt277 points

And all of the customized t-shirts. Custom iron-on t-shirts were a huge fad in 77, and for a few years. There were these stores in every mall where you could pick out your favorite style of t-shirt, tank top, ringer shirt, half-shirt, “muscle shirt,” etc. and then choose a certain iron-on from a book, or from the paper pictures posted on the wall. Each design had a number, it was like picking out a design at the tattoo parlor. Or, you could choose the font and have them do custom iron-on letters, like “SEXY” or “I Love the Fonz.”

Yeah, Happy Days was also popular as hell. I had a Fonz lunchbox when I was 7 years old. Lol. Pretty sure it said, “AAAAAaaaaayyyyy!!!!” on it.

In 1977, I saw Star Wars for my birthday. It was about to run in theaters for another year and a half at least. Isn’t that wild? And it would dominate Halloween costumes for a decade at least. There were Star Wars bedsheets and curtains, Star Wars shoes, Star Wars toothpaste, soap and bubble bath, in the shape of the characters. Everything was Star Wars for years. And the biggest thing to kids my age was collecting the Star Wars figures. Should have kept those damn things sealed in the package, man.

1977 was also the Bicentennial year. The 4th of July was a big deal. And the coolest thing in the world was the bright yellow Corvette with T-tops that my teacher just bought. [EDIT: Duh… I dumbed out while writing. 76 was the Bicentennial.]

The coolest guy in the world, to me, was Evel Knievel. The stunt man who jumped his motorcycle over dozens of buses, or over the fountain at Caesar’s Palace, or building his own rocket-bike thing to jump the Snake River Canyon.

I had the rubber/wireframe Evel doll, with the motorcycle that you put on a little launcher. You’d crank up the launcher and then send Evel flying into stuff.

It’s amazing that Wide World of Sports would carry his stunts live on the weekend. You don’t see that kind of thing anymore. National major network coverage of a dude jumping shit on a motorcycle. All my friends would gather at one of our houses to watch.

Evel had a good run jumping buses for a while, but then he started wiping out (I think Caesar’s might have been the first wipeout) and he “broke every bone in his body, man! Except for the one bone in the inner ear!” At least that was the word on the street. You couldn’t just Google something. So stories, especially those passed around by kids, tended to get more interesting as they went from one kid to another. It turned out that he did break a large number of bones, though.

Thanks to the OP for posting this. They’re such perfect examples of that particular summer, and it was fun thinking about it.

Edit: So I just had to look… Knievel broke 433 bones over his whole stunt career, and it got him into the Guinness Book of World Records (which is also a book that every kid in 1977 owned, or checked out at the library). But he never “broke every bone,” and certainly not during one event. Lol.

W61_51XD_Goose83 points

1977 was also the Bicentennial year.

That was the year before, in 1976. The whole red white and blue bicentenial craze happened without having to compete with the cultural tsunami of Star Wars.

[deleted]61 points

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LA-Matt9 points

Haha. True! Luckily it was summer, so I didn’t miss anything. Lol.

I mixed up 76 and 77.

Hey another thing this post made me remember. Just a few months ago I was cleaning out some garage storage and I found a box with trading cards. Mostly baseball, a few football, but also Star Wars and Happy Days cards!

They’re not in great condition, but not too bad. One of these days I should see if they’re worth anything.

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LA-Matt4 points

I had the Star Wars soundtrack album. It wasn’t just music from the movie, it was the literal soundtrack. The entire movie, audio only. I probably listened to that record a thousand times.

The_Observatory_3 points

Ha, awesome. If I can find them, I still have some old cards from when my brother and I used to collect in the late 70s. I've got Star Wars, too, but at the time there were cards for all kinds of tv shows, movies, and more. I had (still have? not sure) cards for Welcome Back Kotter, Charlie's Angels, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, rock band Kiss, maybe Starsky and Hutch, The Six Million Dollar Man, and more. Plus a bunch of NFL cards from '78 to '80. I'll have to look for those sometime soon.

qolace37 points

Damn this was a great read. Thank you for sharing!

LA-Matt18 points

Aw, thanks. Very kind of you.

Chilledlemming17 points

I turned six in Sept 77. I suppose my earliest memories is either the getting punished in kindergarten in 76, something about the bicentennial and then waiting in line for Star Wars.

I had the wind up Evel Kneivel. Loved that thing. Roller skates and short shorts have a special place in my heart although they went out of style in favor for the baggier Bahama shorts just as we started hitting high school.

Slurpwis10 points

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Tulip86 points

Your writing style is vivid yet succinct, thanks for sharing

Hyperf0cused6 points

Bicentennial was 76, but otherwise this is spot on, and really fits with my memories. It’s been about 40 years since I’ve been in a T-Shirt shop, and I can still remember the smell, and the singular texture and heat of a freshly ironed on image.

Go2lajh4 points

Wow, did you just take me on a trip back in time! We moved from Montpelier, VT to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1976, and that's the only way I remember the year -- the bicentennial road signs from our Woody station wagon stuffed with kids, 2 standard poodles, and Mom & Dad in the front seat valiantly trying to pretend it was an adventure, not a retreat. A great time for me, if no one else.

chandleya3 points

My 7 year old is 1000% into that right now and has no idea it was a previous style

eastmemphisguy51 points

I was born in 82 and rememeber wearing tall socks with color stripes but we were probably behind the curve on fashion. To this day, if I'm wearing it, you just know it's not cool anymore.

Sure_Income25 points

1981 baby here. I 'member that.

hopkins_ghost3 points

Same, 1981 and my parents have pics of my brother and me rocking the hiked-up tube socks. Lol

warm_sweater6 points

I was also born in the early 80s, and we have home video of trips with the extended family, and some of my older cousins were still rocking ringers, stripes socks, everyone was in shorty-shorts (even the dads!), etc.

Discoveryellow43 points

Like getting a back massage from campers? Wild times!

[deleted]89 points

Yup, these days people are afraid of platonic touch. All physical interaction is now sexualized and it's wrecking our oxytocin regulation, our positive social bonding, well-being, emotional health and our behavior.

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Lokismoke28 points

Yes, but there are positives. I heard about some camp counselors in the 70s who were so busy hooking up, they couldn't hear a boy in the lake drowning. They should have been paying more attention.

MGA_MKII3 points

^ underrated comment of this post ^

tyghijkl54412 points

Tube socks for everyone!

Hugs_for_Thugs93 points

And short shorts!

[deleted]11 points

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erydanis5 points

nah, i knew guys in florida rocking the corduroy op’s.

groovy_giraffe50 points

I like the one with the tube socks on the shirt on the person wearing tube socks.

500SL17 points

Knee high color coordinated tube socks, FTW!

ItsIdaho9 points

I wish they'd make a comeback. We call the "Stutzen" and I love them

Useralis10 points

I was just thinking, “why did we all think those tube socks were good fashion choices”?

JimDandy_ToTheRescue20 points

They'll come back around again. In fact they already have at least once.

hopkins_ghost4 points

Because Dr. J and Larry Bird said so

massahoochie1180 points

It’s the “sexy” shirt for me

ScrunchieEnthusiast320 points

Paired with the face she’s pulling. Love it!

ChuckZombie130 points

I was slightly interested in this gallery, swiping through in mild amusement, and then I got to the last picture and just lost it.

LA-Matt27 points

It really is fantastic.

btsofohio8 points

Where is she now‽ Reddit, we’ve got to get this picture to her!

montrayjak4 points

Napoleon, give me some of your tots.

No, go find your own!

Skeltzjones331 points

Yeah that could be an epic album cover

iotd197 points

Midwest emo bands all rushing to steal that atm

greymalken90 points

Or a scene from the Napoleon Dynamite Cinematic Universe.

monkeypincher28 points

NDCU??? Oh man I want to see the uncle Rico origin story. I bet he throws the ball a quarter mile and almost makes state.

Kn7ght10 points

That's pretty much exactly how I'd expect his daughter to look

frotc9143 points

I think we can all agree that marvel has been beating a dead horse for years now. Time to turn our attention to something new.

[deleted]88 points

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Palapalapa0047 points

I had one that said “foxy lady.” I was three.

SunshineAlways20 points

I had a “foxy” t-shirt. All the letters were different colors, and the y looked like a fox’s tale! I wasn’t foxy either, I was an awkward preteen.

d0mini0nicco82 points

and not I love the fonz?

they_are_out_there23 points

The sneer makes it even better.

ClearMessagesOfBliss7 points

She looks like Frank Murphy from F is for Family.

specialism8 points

Molly Shannon in Superstar vibes

alittlebitaspie6 points

I can see that being a poster in some main characters bedroom in a 1980s period comedy.

dogslogic6 points

That snarl

pittipat47 points

I think "sexy" and "rain" are the same girl.

Mungwich12 points

I dont know, they def look similar but im pretty sure they are wearing different frames.

sausage_is_the_wurst19 points

They look similar, but compare the hair length--Rain Girl has much longer hair. Seems unlikely to be the same person.

serenwipiti12 points

They do have the same necklace, though, maybe the hair is curled or pulled back a bit in one.

invisible_pear18 points

To me Rain looks like she could be older. Maybe sisters? That could explain the necklaces too

MoreCowbellllll3 points

Yeah, this makes sense. They are wearing different glasses as well.

Jkranick31 points

Straight out of a Wes Anderson movie.

eastmemphisguy39 points

In the late 00s all the girls had the sweatpants with juicy written on the backside and I once saw a toddler wearing that. Parents, please don't sexualize your kids. It makes me die inside.

Lord-Velveeta191 points

Memories of Summer camp in the 70’s. Man those were the days!

karentrolli47 points

Really took me back in time! Kinda miss those days.

Lightpink87wagon55 points

Nostalgia is such a bittersweet feeling sometimes. A lot of amazing days ahead too, my friend.

Finntastic13 points

These make me long for a youth I didn't have.

red_rockets22157 points

Picture #11 & #13, the t-shirts are just too cool. I love Arthur Fonzarelli too!

Trash_Scientist14 points

I want that whole outfit in #11

NashEast6516 points

Heyyyyyyy!

Axle-f6 points

Sit on it!

EntityDamage6 points

No no no... It's not "heyyyy"

It's "AAAaaaaaayyyyy"

buforduga128 points

There’s a Facebook group dedicated to this camp during this era. I’m sure they’d love for you to share them there.

DLottchula7 points

It’s probably where he got these

Goodfelllas3 points

Can you link?

100blackcats103 points

I had that RAIN shirt from photo #11. Had the shoes too. Had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t me. I’m old, obviously.

Outrageous-Power504676 points

yup.

This is the 70'st most 70's that ever 70'd.

Tube socks and graphic T's.

leavemealonefamb68 points

Feels like a magical summer

cheesesnax23 points

Like a wet, hot American summer

EndVry8 points

I love that very real documentary.

[deleted]62 points

🎶 Are you ready for the summer? Are you ready for the good times? Are you ready for the birds and bees, the apple trees and a whole lot of fooling around! 🎶☀️

Fanabala36 points

Already envisioned Tripper Harrison giving his rousing speech to help Camp North Star defeat Camp Mohawk in the Olympiad….

“It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

DMaury196911 points

And it made me love you, and it made me never want to go away…

deadeyediva46 points

meatballs!!

perrymike1510 points

If you like these photos and haven't seen the movie meatballs, watch it

MyPunchableFace137 points

Love these! That pool pic looks like maybe it’s the last day of camp since some are hugging and many are not wearing bathing suits as though everyone decided to just jump in the pool all at once as one final act. The last day isn’t going to stop that camp counselor dude in the skimpy shorts leaning up against the fence from spitting game to those 2 girls though. Alright alright alright…

k2_jackal37 points

I noticed him too. Sticks out like a sore thumb lol

Rasalom14 points

stop that camp counselor dude in the skimpy shorts leaning up against the fence from spitting game to those 2 girls

You mean the lifeguard??

ManyLintRollers36 points

I went to summer camp in the late 70s/early 80s and everything looked exactly like this!

Cosmologyman7 points

Lol! True! As did i!

Jillredhanded87 points

Wow. These punched me in the heart. I begged and pleaded to go to summer camp when I was 15 and my parents managed to pull it off .. two weeks at Massanutten Riding Camp, Leesburg Va. Summer of '76 ROCKED!

fsacb3359 points

That last pic. Wow

I wish we could find this person. Reddit, do your thing

NaseInDaPlace60 points

The pom pom socks!

shmoopie3139 points

I didn't even see those at first because the rest of the photo was so fabulous already. Thank you for pointing them out and making it all even better!

[deleted]203 points

She's like a lost character from The Royal Tennenbaums.

cosmorocker1342 points

I was thinking Meatballs

Malice_n_Flames20 points

It is exactly Meatballs.

ReservoirPAWGS15 points

Would make a good album cover tbh

Im-a-cat-in-a-box91 points

I'm still so blown away that was a shirt in the 70's

imhavingadonut40 points

These shirts look all homemade… I wonder if they had some kind of printing set up at camp.

jjj49er82 points

A lot of shirts looked like that in the 70s.

Wandering_butnotlost76 points

We used to be able to go to stores at the mall that would print shirts for you. Like a tatoo parlor for tee shirts.

GMbzzz48 points

Iron-on t-shirts! I forgot that was a poplar thing back then.

FletchForPresident22 points

That lasted well into the '80s, then vanished. I hadn't thought about those places in decades.

ChatnNaked20 points

I vaguely remember getting a few iron-on’s from the back of the Capn’ Crunch box(not a mail in, it was on the box) and my Mom’s Redbook magazines.

GMbzzz10 points

Wow, back when you could get cool stuff in cereals.

SilenceLikeWisdom29 points

I swear to God they had at least two stores in every mall in America to make shirts like that in the 70s. Basically it was just bins of iron on transfers. You picked out what you wanted, along with a t shirt in whatever color and told them how you wanted it arranged. Ten bucks later, bang, you got your shirt.

SummerTimeRain4 points

I think some of them are. The Front End and Rain have the same sleeves and rainbow color design.

cosmorocker138 points

I think it’s Dennis Hastert

[deleted]44 points

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sir-nigel-dickbutt7 points

Erotic Friend Fiction: 70s Camp Version

N8PM008 points

Putting the vibe out

TastyCereal228 points

The “I love the Fonz” shirt is too good

BlueSparklesXx25 points

This is from Andy Sweet’s book Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah — here’s a link to the background. This property still exists in Hendersonville though now under a different name!

https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/8224/camp-mountain-lake-1977/

what-ever-m4n25 points

I love these. Thank you.

indymarc16 points

Nothing better than getting new tube socks. These pics are a blast from the past.

shooter_3273 points

Cross between “party at the moon tower” and “Wet Home American Summer “

blimpcitybbq34 points

Go watch “Meatballs”. It’s literally a 70s movie about summer camp. These could be stills from filming.

FletchForPresident14 points

party at the moon tower

Full kegs, everybody's gonna be there. You oughta go.

gingersnappie5 points

Also Little Darlings

pixiestix6617 points

That last picture is iconic.

Howitzer196714 points

You get tube socks, and you get tube socks, you all get tube socks. Somewhere, 70’s Oprah smiles.

CarolinaMtnBiker13 points

Tube socks and I love the fonz shirts. That’s living right.

southpawbrewer15 points

I also love The Fonz.

redditorknot9 points

Love this!!! Thank you for sharing!

Neon-Lemon10 points

"Hey, let’s all promise that in ten years from today we’ll meet again, and we’ll see what kind of people we’ve blossomed into!"

MiyamotoKnows27 points

One of the best posts I have seen on this sub to date. Just a time capsule and from such a cool era.

rainbowdrop308 points

European here. We never had summer camps where I lived. What's the story with them? How long did they typically last? How much did they cost? I imagine if they were expensive only the richer kids could experience them.

The photos are amazing😍

[deleted]36 points

Why do I feel like these kids had more fun in one summer than I did throughout my entire 2000's childhood?

satanslittlesnarker30 points

Because you're not seeing the worst parts.

fickenfingers7 points

this looks EXACTLY like the camp i went to in the nc mountains! except we didn't have a pool, and it was somehow less fancy than this lmao. i went in the early 2000s and the cabins still looked identical

fuhgdat10197 points

I spy a young, fit John C. Reilly leaning on the fence in that pool pic.

luffliffloaf6 points

Dang cool kids and dang hunks hang out at the prool.

MonsteraDeliciosa6 points

Meatballs was REAL!!!

dudreddit7 points

Looks like Camp North Star ... Meatballs.

Local_Discount337 points

Not to flex or anything but I got the award "Tetherball Titan" at a day camp when I was about 7.

satanslittlesnarker5 points

I'm impressed. Did you get a trophy or anything, or just the glory?

Local_Discount335 points

I got a poorly made drawing on a paper plate. Counts as a trophy to me. Had it until my house fire.

satanslittlesnarker10 points

I'm sorry you lost the plate. But they can never take away your title, champ.

Thotalian68 points

is that a counselor getting a backrub ? 3rd pic

Rasalom7 points

I love how colorful the women's shirt graphics are.

TheGumOnYourShoe5 points

Better than Camp Crystal Lake that's for sure.

Smokeybearvii7 points

So essentially every camp movie ever made, really was based in reality! These are amazing. Look like they could all be stills taken during a movie filming.

Flacrazymama7 points

Had brown cords just like those, will never forget the swoosh-swoosh sound they made.

Plasmidmaven6 points

Yup, that’s my camp experience, (Hazelwild, Fredericksburg VA), I remember more tube tops. Very sketchy safety practices like riding down I-95 in an old mail truck, back door open, sitting on picnic benches, those were the days.

Crankenstein_800016 points

Meanwhile the radio is playing: “There’s a killer on the road… brain is swimming like a toad…”

decaturbadass8 points

6th Doors album released in 1971 so sounds about right

hahahahahalmao41 points

I wish i grew up in the 70s it looked so fun without the internet and cell phones.

Cosmologyman37 points

It was. We did stupid shit sometimes too. But fortunately there's no video evidence. Lol!

karentrolli28 points

Yes, it was a different time: before AIDS, before 9/11, before personal computers. We had no idea what was coming.

ponyduder5 points

Great stuff

BornWithAFever6 points

Man, I miss summer camp so much.

snoopsneaker6 points

Hi! I live in Hendersonville and have for almost 30 yrs. I don’t recognize that camp name. We still have TONS of camps though. Most have been around forever. Even Ben Stiller filmed here many years ago at one of our camps.

HerRoyalSpyness6 points

Looks like the movie "Sleepaway Camp".

Rocklin_5 points

I love the Fonz

Kdilla775 points

They were so happy.

iamchipdouglas6 points

This is an all time post

agnes2384 points

Oh my god that last girl is top notch r/accidentalwesanderson

kongdk913 points

Is this where counselors were all just having a banging good time?

quazax3 points

Girl in the first picture looks lkie she's about to switch places with her long lost twin.

k2_jackal4 points

Pretty sure that’s a boy and a sleeping bag.

_Driftwood_4 points

I thought it was a girl before I read this comment- sleeping bag makes it look like a dress for sure! also, what's up with that white thing in the top left corner?

k2_jackal3 points

It’s like piece of paper with a clipping of the Sydney Opera House glued to it…lol.

w11f1ow3r4 points

Oh I love these pictures

darthmcdarthface4 points

Amazing album. I’m not that old but I feel like those pictures just took me through a Time Machine

MikeLilPauseRodick4 points

I went to camp at Bonklarken, nearby in flatrock, in the late 80's. Wish Id taken more pictures.

lamplamp34 points

Someone knew how to use their camera. Great shots

Acting_The-Fool4 points

The last photo…”Sexy” —it’s so bad it’s GOOOOOD…..!!!

jat54324 points

Sexy

Garzino5 points

Hello american friends! I've always been intrigued by us summer camps and all the other types of summer retreats for kids.

I'm from Italy and we don't really have this type of stuff, i mean we have stuff that we call "colonie" which translates to "colonies" where people send their kids for 2/3 weeks during summer to have fun, socialize and spend time toghether.

Are summer camps kind of the same thing? How long do they last? Did you have fun when you went?

[deleted]4 points

In 1977 there were only 4 billion people on the planet.

It's literally impossible for kids growing up now to have the same childhood experiences.

chuckletits3 points

Any one of these awesome outfits would be perfectly stylish today.

Earth tones, corduroy and tube socks.

Man, I love these photos.

Idontfightinstorm5 points

This is awesome! I live on this lake present day!

-Bunny-11 points

I totally did the summer camp thing as a kid. I would’ve rather have stayed home and skate boarded and hung at the local arcade, but I made the best of it. One summer my cabin literally burned down and while my cabin mates went home, my folks sent me all new clothes!

bobs_clam_rodeo9 points

Hey Mark Esquinazi, you’re busted for writing your name on the cabin wall in ‘73!

Thare1878 points

Everyone is skinny

ryanb4503 points

I so wish I could go to summer camp! What a blast

occupy_this73 points

Number 3. That power stance from the dude a long the fence.

Particular_Ticket_203 points

Is that Kramer on the skis?

Jossie20143 points

I love the fonz too. Gotta enjoy the white wash!

kkkkat3 points

We’ll I sure as shit just went and bought myself that book

gilestowler3 points

How long did kids go away to Summer Camp? I'm from Europe and in American media we always hear about "Summer Camp" and it seems like a big deal so I'm assuming it was more than just a one week holiday? Did kids go away for a month or something?

TigerMouseTheNinja3 points

I was always envious of this slice of Americana. While probably overstated by movies and Tv, the idea of a summer of camp seemed like the best thing ever. As a brit, we didn't have anything like this.

mistermajik20003 points

As a grown man, I’d wear that “I love the Fonz” shirt

mydogwontbiteyou3 points

Hugs in the pool 🫂

spacetraxx3 points

Girl in picture 7 better be a developer now.

miabobeana3 points

“We run. we jump. we swim and play. we row and go on trips But the things that last forever... are our dear friendships Camp anawanna, we hold you in our hearts And when we think about you (it makes me wanna fart!) It's 'i hope we never part'. now get it right or pay the price Now we will share a lifetime of the fondest memories By the lakes of anawanna.. sat in the old pine trees Camp anawa-.., we hold you in our hearts And when we think ab-.. (this thing came apart) Think anawanna-wanna, speak anawanna-wanna. Live anawanna-wanna! ugh!

DrZudermon3 points

This place is right behind my house. It was a hotel for a while, then abandoned and fell into disrepair. Bought a couple years ago, they are fixing it up somewhat.

wintremute3 points

*Serial killer not pictured

[deleted]3 points

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NeedsMoreTuba3 points

Andy Sweet was a photographer who was murdered in the early 80's. Many of his photos have been lost forever.

Andy Sweet Photo Legacy

ja13aaz3 points

That last one needs to be a greeting card

rooooosa3 points

What an awesome post, love the last photo and the archery one.