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July 2005: Fresh Air Camp

Collection 330, Scrapbook VI

Collection 330 in the BGC Archives is the Records of Moody Memorial Church, one of the oldest and largest independent churches of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Part of that collection is Photo Album VI, an old and dilapidated scrapbook that has this introduction pasted onto its inside front cover:

THIS BOOK OF PICTURES REPRESENTING THE FRESH AIR WORK OF THE Moody Sunday School (during the years between 1903 and 1905) is presented to the Moody Sunday School and to be kept where the officers and teachers of the Sunday School may have access.

The pictures were taken by G. P. Rockwell who at that time was Superintendent of the Fresh Air work under the direction of A. F. Gaylord who was Supt. of the Sunday School. The book was made by Mr. Rockwell and after many years of care, become the property of the Moody Sunday School. The book is very dear to his heart and many pleasant memories could be recalled through the pictures and the wonderful fellowship of the School and dear Mr A. F. Gaylord.

Needy boys and girls were selected by Mrs. A. F. Gaylord for the occasion of a vacation out in the country. Groups of about 75 were taken on the NorthWestern RailRoad to Ravinia, Ill. and Glencoe Ill. Each group was kept there under the care of a competent christian workers for about two weks [sic]. Then they were carried back to the city much to their worrow [sic]. Often Another group would take their place and thus the work was carried on during the entire summer,

Physical training were given the boys and girls daily/ Big, hikes were given the groups each week end sometimes daily/ Occasionaly [sic] they were given a taffy pull or hay ride to Fort Sheridan but every day they were taken to the lake where they splashed and ran and were taught to swim. Each child was given some work to do about the home and every one of them looked forward to the night time when they gathered for their evening devotions before going to bed/ Thank God many found the Christ at the Camp for the General Supt. Mr Gaylord insisted that the spiritual work should come first/

The Archives has no other information about the scrapbook and the pictures have no captions. But they nevertheless tell a story.

Click here to see a few more of the dozens of photos in the scrapbook that recall summer trips to the beach and farm of about a century ago.

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Last Revised: 7/1/05
Expiration: indefinite

Wheaton College 2005