Remembering Deer Hill Camp for Boys

Deer Hill was established to train boys through wise guidance, to a better understanding of themselves and others, to respect individual differences and promote a sense of responsibility.  In primitive camping a boy turns to fundamentals and so learns what is needed to get along with others.

The roots of Deer Hill Camp for Boys grew out of an older camp on Moultonboro Neck run by Ted Hilton's mother Mary Rose Hilton.  That was in 1948.  In 1949 Ted purchased a farm on Red Hill Road and brought his camp to the shores of Lake Kanasatka. Over the next five decades Deer Hill Camp for Boys and later Deer Hill Camp was a important point of activity on our lake. This page pays tribute to Director Ted Hilton and his camp for boys.

How "Deer Hill" got it's name

Ted Hilton started a camp for boys at his mothers property on Moultonborough Neck in 1948.   At that time his mother owned and directed the Plumfield School in Darien, Connecticut and Plumfield Camp in Center Harbor.  Since Ted did not have a name for his camp he continued with the name calling his camp the Plumfield Camp for Boys.   In 1949 Ted purchased the property on Red Hill Road. He knew he needed a new name for his camp at this new location, but a name did not become clear until one year later.  One night Mrs. Hilton saw a very large buck deer standing on the hill right behind the house.  They both thought, "Deer Hill".... that's what we can name our camp! 

About the Camp

Deer Hill had an eight room modernized farmhouse as the camp headquarters.  There was an office and rooms for boys needing temporary special care.  The "Lodge" attached to the house had a large open beamed room with an ample field stone fireplace.  This was used as a recreation room and contained the camp library, a piano and games.  On Sundays it was used for a nondenominational church service.  A large converted barn accommodated the camp's wood working shop and was the center of indoor games and rainy day activities.

The water front had a fine sandy beach equipped with docks and rafts as well as canoes, sailboats, row boats and a power boat for water skiing.  The trampoline was another popular piece of equipment.  Horses were kept in camp giving the boys an opportunity to help care for them as well as ride them.  There were many miles of trails for riding after the boy had graduated the ring.

Camp activities and test in pioneer camping, outdoor cooking, mountaineering, swimming, sailing, canoeing, carpentry, horseback riding, photography, water skiing, archery, reading good books, banking and journalism as well as a wide range of competitive sports afforded well rounded opportunities for boys of differing abilities to achieve.  Competition was encouraged only to the point where it inspired a boy to do a little better than he thought possible.  The stress was always on being in competition with himself.

The varied programs were indeed a rich experience for the youngest camper who had planned his first camping test as well as for the oldest boy who had participated. An old brochure from 1981 advertising the features of Deer Hill can be downloaded here.

Deer Hill was a camp for boys until 1986 when they caught up with the rest of the world and became co-Ed. The Plumfield Camp for Girls closed at about that same time.

Books of Memories

View the 'Yearbook' photos from the 50's and 60's:

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