Family Summer Camp in New Hampshire

August 25, 2014

 (I'm currently on vacation at the lake.  Enjoy this blog from last year.)

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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why don't we have any Marriott summer camps?

why don't we have a marriott summer camp for families?

Hi Mr Marriott! Hope you are enjoying your time in New Hampshire. We are close to your camp. Would love to enjoy seeing your smiling face!
Take care my friend
Larry Hahn
General Manager
TownePlace Suites Gilford

I am 67yrs. old and I too spent many summers growing up on "My Lake" were I learned to swim. My Dad would take me by train from Boston to what he called, "God's Country".

My Children also learned to swim at, "God's Country" and that is where most of our family memories lie.

Yes this is were my heart now lies for there truly is no other place. I dream of coming home!

Thank you,
Beverly Spagnuolo
Live and work at present in Naples.
"Lake Winnipesaukee" Amen!!!!!

What a beautiful and inspiring example for many families to follow! Thanks for sharing!

Dear Mr Marriott, I am fortunate to 'live' on Lake Winnipesaukee in the town of Meredith. Although my days at home are far and dew between- I'm an airline pilot based in LA and flying the South Pacific on our new 'Dreamliner'. To come come home to the lake, no matter what time of year, is like living in the 'best place in the world'! I have stayed at Marriott hotels and resorts around the world(Shanghai most recently) and they are all like 'second homes' to me!
So thank you for creating and maintaining my 'home away home' world and glad to hear we share the 'loons of Winnipesaukee' in the summer!
John Peterson

Mr Marriott , you are an extraordinary person and a genuine American success story. My wife and I are Platinum members and Premium Plus MVC owners, and couldn't be happier about that. We've traveled to almost 70 countries, and Marriott is usually a key piece in our intineraries. We leave on Sep 16 for 3 weeks in Scandinavia, and will have stays at the Copenhagen Marriott and the Stockholm Courtyard. We've never met you, but certainly feel like we know you!

Mr. Marriott,
I hope this letter finds you well and you are enjoying your vacation. I also hope you don’t mind if I take this chance to share with you my recent experience at the Marriott Residence Inn in West Chester, Ohio.
On December 23rd, 2013 there was a terrible fire at my condo. The neighbor I shared a wall with was killed and I and my two dogs were lucky to survive. It was a terrible night and since then, I regret to say, things have continued to be a nightmare with the insurance companies, the property manager etc.
But I am reaching out to you today to tell you that the Residence Inn was the sole bright spot during an otherwise horrible first half of the year. I stayed there for almost 5 months and I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the staff at the hotel.
I was given a first floor room, right by the emergency exit; because the people* at the West Chester Residence Inn understand the mentality of someone who has just been through a fire.
The hotel manager was so personable and caring. He even went out of his way to work directly with my insurance company when they were making it very difficult to get my bill paid. Later, he allowed me to store my stuff for a short period of time when my stay was over because I was in between homes.
My dogs (both 11 years old) were terribly stressed during this time. They got sick 3 times during my stay and everyone was understanding and sympathetic. (I myself was mortified!)
The entire staff knew my name, greeted me every day when I left for and came home from work. They went out of their way to make me feel welcome.
It was actually very hard to leave!
Please do me a favor and recognize the staff at the West Chester Residence Inn because they made a stressed out girl who just lost her condo feel like she had a safe, clean and warm place to temporarily call home.
They have made me a loyal Marriott customer for life.
*Please know that while I did not mention specific names, I did so only because I am afraid I might leave someone out. I remember every person who helped me while I was there and I am extremely grateful to them all! THANK YOU!

My favourite sport. Heaven on earth. I wish Marriott has a spot there. It'll make my life easier as others. Thank you for sharing.

Mr. Marriott. Today was to be very special. Suprise my mom-in-law on her 87th birthday. I know this site is about happy memories but unfortunately a visit at one of your prpoerties soured the day. The stree of something so simple has cast a cloud. I will still suprise her, she will have no idea what a stressfuk yime I've had. I will remember the joy on Joy's face long after todays rough start. Thanks for your inspirational posts. In the big scheme of life, love and joy trump moments like the ones I've had the past three days. I'm off to mom's assisted living facility to return the joy she's given me for 32 years!

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!