Family Summer Camp in New Hampshire

August 26, 2013


On the lake in New Hampshire
Donna and I cherish the time we spend with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren
We’ve been very blessed to spend our summers on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire for many years.  It all started back in 1942 when I attended Camp Idlewild on Lake Winnipesaukee.  I was 10 years old and anxious to get out of the hot summer heat. In 1943, a year later, my parents decided to lease a house on the lake, and three years later they bought it. And they bought the adjoining land around it, which is one the smartest things I think they ever did.  So, through the years, we were able to build houses for each of our four children, and my brother, Dick, built houses for each of his four children.  So, it’s now been 71 years since I’ve been going to this marvelous place.

Summer in New Hampshire is a great family time, when my brother and I can bring our two families together.  Although my children all live in D.C., my brother’s children are scattered all over the place.  So when our families come together in New Hampshire, it’s a great “cousin-get-acquainted” time, and a time for them to bond and get reacquainted with each other. There are now over 50 descendants from my parents. Only my last four grandchildren live in Washington. The others live in California, Utah, Massachusetts and Texas.

The biggest family event for us in the summer is Sunday dinner at my house.  My wife, Donna, cooks a beautiful prime rib every Sunday, along with her own special recipe for Yorkshire pudding. Last Sunday, we had 25 children and grandchildren for Sunday dinner. All of us go to church together before this wonderful Sunday meal.

During the week, water sports take over. There’s water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, even old, antique wooden boats, and of course, lots of golf and tennis on some of the most beautiful and picturesque golf courses in the country.  I think if you ask my children and grandchildren what their favorite place in the world is, all would unanimously agree it is New Hampshire, for they all have so many memories of growing up by the lake every summer.

I feel we’re really blessed to spend these bright summer days by beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee surrounded by the White Mountains.

What’s your favorite summertime memory?

I’m Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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hello, I had a momment today and since it is Summer I was think about Camp Idelwild. I too was very blessed with 6 summers at the camp. I started when I was 11 and eventually became the youngest Counselor they ever had. I taught horseback riding and was a Middle Camp Counselor Even I am much younger than you Idelwild and then Norwich University where the Ed Roys attended and their sister camp Tellawook it(sp?) is still opne today as a tennis camp was very much instrumental in my success as career Army Officer and father of three. I loved your story and can only tell you that I wiilalways remenber those nights in the back cove in a row boat like it was yesterday. God Bless!

We sailed past your original home on the Lake and I am pretty sure at least one of your daughters was in one of the boats from Camp Kehonka with us...great memories. You used to pull up in that beautiful Chris Craft at the dock back then, early 1980's...Say hi to Sandy...

I, too, attended Camp Idlewild for three years as a kid sand then as a counselor in the 1970s. I believe I was one of the last counselors in the summer of 1974 when my younger brother also attended. Like you, we grew up in Washington, DC suburbs of Bethesda-Chevy Chase. I must say the coldness of the lake in the hot sun was a great feeling. I learned to canoe, sail and row a boat at Camp Idlewild.

Mr Marriott,
A dear friend works in your corporate office. She has sent me two of your posts, your beautiful remembrance of your Mother and this reflection on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Though I live in Massachusetts we have a home near Newfound Lake. I would like to recommend a book on the history of the White Mountains. You may have read it but if not I am sure you would enjoy it, "This Grand and Magnificent Place: The Wilderness Heritage of the White Mountains".
all the best to you and yours!

Hello Mr. Marriott,

first time ... read about ur blog... and i was fascinated how closely knit u and wife with ur children , grandkids...u maintain a very loving a mother of 3 sons and now all my 3 boys professionals .. as much that im fit to travel , im wishing i can experience ur NH summer place... admiring the beauty of from the Philippines and have stayed in your hotel in Cebu City... warm staffs and nice accomodation...with high hope, one day i can be in NH in ur Nashua Marriott...hopeful...

blessings will come unexpectedly...

More power to u Mr. Marriott with overflowing blessings.

It is so beautiful to spend time with family member once in a while.
These moments are priceless and stay with you for life.
That is the beauty of PTO.
Once you earn them, you could use them anytime
and have memorable time with your loved ones

Dear Bill,

My name is Jaruwon Abel. I used to work for Marriott in UK and Thailand where I reside now. I want to tell you that I always admire "Marriott Way" and I am so proud to be part of the Marriott once.

Thank you.

Jaruwon Abel

Your note here among others is an obvious indication of your balanced life. To maintain a proper perspective in these busy times and especially with your busy schedule and heavy demands is an inspiration to all of us.
I am enjoying your new book and have recommended it to others including the leadership of the hospital where I work.
Please accept our sincerely sympathy on the passing of your wonderful son whom we admired. I am sure that, while your faith and determination support you through this trial, he will be sorely missed.

wow - what a great tradition. It sounds beautiful there. Any chance there is a Marriott brand hotel near by to experience Lake Winnepausakee?

Mr. Marriott, My husband and I have also enjoyed vacationing on Lake Winnepausakee for many years and ironically he too was a camper at Idlewild which is the reason we started to vacation here throughout the years. In 2008, we decided to move to NH and ended up in the White Mountains of North Conway, NH. I had the priviledge of being part of the Opening team for the Residence Inn by Marriott in North Conway and 4 years later still loving my job and our community. FYI Camp Idelwild is on facebook and this past summer had their 1st reunion at the old Camp Idlewild it would be nice to see you there next year!!!

Hey, Mr. Marriott.

I was blessed to have a devotional mother. She fueled the house with her opulent meals. It wasn't until 1997 that we immigrated from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Toronto, Canada.

I attended high school, and completed an Honours Bachelor's degree from York University. A few years later, I mimmicked my mother's 'need' to serve, and I volunteered my skills and services to the Emergency Department in a little towne called Milton, ON.

A few years later, my father sensed my existential suffering and said: "Hey, son! I am soon going to complete the project that I have been working on (for the last 6 years); how would you like to roll up your sleeves and join the team back in Saudi Arabia?!"

And, herr I am 3000+ devotional meals, with a devout father managing archetectural projects: working at the Courtyard by Marriott, as a front desk agent. Who says devotion cannot steer the ship?!

-Husam Amer Shubber

I could not agree with you more Mr Marriott. I grew up in Laconia New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. I moved to Washington DC about a year ago to open the new Courtyard Foggy Bottom. New Hampshire is a beautiful part of the country, and a place I enjoy returning to, to visit my parents who still reside in Laconia.

What a great family tradition! Getting ready for our whole (much, much smaller) family to go to Atlanta for our Son's wedding. We will, of course, be staying at a Marriott property!

Now, that's what life is all about! Great photo of the Marriott clan. What a joy to spend time with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Family values are alive a flourishing.

I have the pleasure of knowing New England summers, as I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine. Every summer we would head to the mountains near Rangely Lakes to my grandmothers rustic cabin. By rustic, I mean no running water, we used an outhouse, we did have natural gas to run the fridge and the stove if we wanted to cook inside and the lamps inside the camp.

We would peel off leaches, catch frogs, crawfish, get up first thing in the morning and jump in the pond (by Maine standards), run barefoot through the woods.

My grandmother would have us go pick wild blueberries so she could make us blueberry pancakes.

Even though we no longer have the cabin in the family I still have my memories!


My summer memories are very similar to those of your children and grandchildren. As a child my family would always spend 2 weeks evry summer in the Northwoods of Wisconsin on Plum Lake. My grandparents started taking my Dad and my Aunt there when they were young kids and the tradition continues. My grandparents would have a cottage, Our family would have a cottage, and my Aunt's family would have a cottage. The other cottages at the "resort" would be rented every year by the same families so we all grew up together water skiing, fishing, swimming, catching crayfish, and anything else we could think of. Big family dinners usually revolved around big fish fry's of any trophy Muskie my grandpa or Dad would catch or just stringers full of walleye and perch. Water skiing early in the morning on "glass" was always my favorite thing. Thanks for rekindling the memory for me.

What a lovely family you have and such a nice way to spend the summers. I retired from the Houston Airport Marriott Accounting office after 16 years,five years ago but they keep me on pool status to go in to help when they need me, as they did last week. My new Director of Finance is a go getter and a breath of fresh air in that office which was needed. I have met you twice and had my photo taken with you in the office which I treasure. I remember chatting with you and you told me your son had done his Sabbatical in England which is where I am from. Enjoy the Yorkshire puddings and the Prime Rib yummy!
I wish you and your family continued good health.

Thank you again for another beautiful glimpse into your family and your love for Lake Winnipesaukee. As we We too have had a family camp on the Lake since 1895. My husband's grandmother, like your father, had the inspiration to dedicate the property she inherited from her Aunt to a gathering place for her posterity. We too understand that love for summers in NH on Lake Winnie.

My favorite Summer memories were also on Lake Winnepesaukee! I spent 10 summers of my childhood on the Winneper at Camp Belknap in the town of Wolfeboro, NH. The glorious, towering pines, and the crisp New England mornings will always bring me back to a very special time in my life. A time that shaped me into the person I am today, and I am forever grateful. Timi Hi!

Thanks for sharing this special family time. Wow, purchasing the land and building your homes there keeps memories growing for generations to come.

We too look forward to our summer time together.

Thanks for sharing!

For me it is the magnificent treasure called the Chesapeake Bay. Having grown up in MD my father had an old fishing boat he kept off the South river and we used to go out and fish for hours on end. As young boy about 10 years old I recall one trip where we went out to Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse just off the South River. The fish were plentiful that day -- in fact if I recall correctly we caught over 150 spot fish in about 3-4 hours. Dad had an old alcohol stove on board and we cleaned the fish and fried them up right there -- just off the bow of the boat was the lighthouse and at that time it was manned by the USCG and they would wave to us and I thought life couldn't get any better.

Over the years we would go back to Thomas Point but the fishing was never the same. Just about seven years ago I found out that the lighthouse was added to the National Historic landmark list and that tours of the inside would begin. I found out all about this and immediately volunteered to be a docent to take guest out and share my story with everyone.

When my father learned I would be giving tours of course he wanted to go. by now he was 85 years old and his legs were weak -- this is a little rigorous and Dad never got the opportunity to see the inside of his favorite lighthouse.

Dad passed away in July of 2008 -- just a few weeks before I shared my story about "How One Person Can Impact an Entire Team" with Mr. Marriott, which is the focus of the February 4, 2009 Marriott on the Move blog post.

In September of 2008 I was able to make a special trip to the lighthouse with about 20 friends and family to take Dad on the trip he had always wanted to go on. Now every time I go out to Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse I get to spend a little time with my Dad and remember the wonderful times I had as a child on the Chesapeake Bay. In fact we took about 20 folks out last weekend and I had a little time with my Dad.

I love you Dad, and thank you for adopting me -- I am so grateful.

Dear Mr. Marriott, I've often read your blog and thought of the simialrities in family values and culture. Really, it's one of the reasons for my 17+ year tenure with your company. Until today, I haven't been compelled to comment on your post but reading about Lake Winnipesaukee hits too close to home!

Along with my sisters and brother, I spent summers at Camp Brookwoods & Deer Run, on Alton Bay. This year my sister and I had the chance to send our daughters, Ally and Erin. The trip up the mountain this past July, like your blog, brought back great memories of waterskiing past Snake Island, picking fresh blueberries for the Dinning Hall and sharing campfire stories with friends new and old.

Best of all, it reminded me of the connections that are most impotant in our lives. We stay in touch via email, phone calls, texting, facebook, etc. but it just doesn't compare to sitting around the dinner table (or a campfire) sharing stories, jokes, laughter - really connecting. Those are the times that we cherish; the memories that my kids and your grandkids will remember and be grateful for.

Lake Winnipesaukee holds something dear to my heart; it's so nice to know that we have that in common.

Mr. Marriott you are blessed with a beautiful family, its so nice to see that you are able to spend precious time with them each year. My favorite summertime memory is going to the biggest event on the island....our County Farm Bureau Fair!!

Last year, my husband Phillip, stepdaughter Abby, and I started a summer tradition of spending Memorial Day weekend and the last weekend of August at the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes. It holds a special place in our hearts because we were married there in April 2012. We probably visit there at least every three months. While it may not be the fanciest Marriott property we've stayed at, it is our favorite because of the staff and the beach. We know everyone there--the valets, the spa staff, the Cove bartenders, and the Oceans on 82nd servers--and they make it home to us.

We now have a new tradition, spending 4th of July at the Marco Island Marriott Resort. That is our second home as well. We've been twice since the end of April and plan on visiting again in one month. The staff there is amazing, the resort feels like paradise, and it provides us with a much-needed getaway.

Our family thanks you for all of the happy memories we create at these and other properties.

Great post