History

Early Beginnings

Established in 1955 by Ken Truscott and David Webster, Camp Netop opened in Casco, Maine as a traditional summer camp for boys. It promoted a unique philosophy based on four spokes of a wagon wheel. With each spoke representing a different area of life – mental, social, physical and spiritual – the camp stressed that a person should grow equally in each area in order to be well-rounded. Netop emphasized the need to achieve balance in life by developing skills and learning values – all within a spirit of fun and friendship.

Netop’s first season was for six weeks in 1956. There were 23 campers living in five tents. By the camp’s 25th anniversary in 1980, Netop had grown to 132 campers in 26 tents over an eight week season. Many campers came from the Boston and Philadelphia areas, where Webster and Truscott resided and taught in the local schools. Camp Netop operated for 32 successful summers until closing in 1987.

Historic Property

The Netop property has had an interesting history, from the time the land was shaped by glaciers some 10,000 years ago, to the rugged days of lumbering and farming, to the days of dancing in the old Pavilion (now the main Lodge) in the 1920s and 30s, and through all the wonderful times at the camp.

Netop is blessed with the most natural camp setting. Birch Pond (originally Dumpling Pond) is a half mile long, covers 32 acres and has a maximum depth of 12 feet. Adjacent to Netop is Rattlesnake Mountain. At a height of 1035 feet above sea level, Rattlesnake Mountain was a natural habitat for rattlesnakes hundreds of years ago. Today, it is home to deer, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, woodchucks and other wildlife.

You’ve got a “Friend” at Netop

Netop was a camp that was always known for the quality and character of its campers and staff. Whether participating in an athletic competition against another camp or venturing out on a canoe or mountain trip, Netop campers were characterized as having strong sportsmanship and a friendly, courteous way toward others. Perhaps the meaning of Netop – and its influence on people – is best reflected in the word itself. “Netop” derives from a Native American term that means “friend”. This meaning is evident throughout the camp’s great history.

A New Era

In 2005, Netop Summer Camp was established under the leadership of alumnus Steve Hallowell and family. With support from Doug Webster, the camp was re-built and re-started with modern facilities improvements, including new bath/shower facilities, kitchen, docks, tennis courts and platform tents. With strong enthusiasm from many Netop alumni and a commitment to a high quality, well-rounded program that reflects the values and essence of the “four spokes” philosophy, the camp has grown rapidly and the future of Netop is very bright.

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  • Why Netop?

    Small community
    Outdoor experience
    Balanced program
    Safety culture
    Four Spokes philosophy