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Sharon Country Day Camp Continues Straddling Two Worlds

Summer camp on Sharon-Walpole line began Monday.

Although the Sharon Country Day Camp began during the early 1960s, some new visitors were unsure where they were this spring.

“When parents come down here that are coming down for the first time, one of their first reactions when they see all these cabins and so forth (is), ‘Is this an overnight camp? Is this a residential camp?’” Camp Director Charlie Hershman said during a recent interview.

“We have to explain to them that physically, we’re very much like an overnight, residential camp. Except our day starts at 8:30 a.m. and winds up at 4 p.m.”

Camp opened Monday at Sharon Country Day, at 691 Common St., Walpole, off Route 1 on the Sharon line.

More than 200 kids ages 4 to 14 are expected to participate over the eight-week season, which runs June 27 to Aug. 19, said Hershman, whose family founded, owns and operates the camp.

That Sharon Country Day offers a wide variety of activities surprises some people.

“We put on two musicals over the course of the summer. We are a sports-oriented camp,” Hershman said.

“Sometimes, people will be, ‘Gee, I didn’t know you did musical theater.’ We do it, and we do it very well.”

Native American culture, music and environment lessons have “become very, very popular, especially among our younger children,” he said. The camp also has a teepee.

“I don’t know of many camps that have a Native American program,” Hershman said.

Arts and crafts, gymnastics and dance are among the camp’s other popular activities, he said.

Sports are popular as well.

The camp offers tennis and archery, among others, and holds basketball and soccer clinics, Hershman said. The camp’s waterfront hosts activities, too.

And the camp has had a ropes course since the late 1980s, Hershman said.

Karl Rohnke, a founder of Project Adventure, designed the course, he said. The camp had only low elements back then.

“He came down and convinced me,” Hershman said.

“He said, ‘Charlie, we have something for your children that’s going to make a big difference in their lives.’ And it was a very simple thing. (With) a zip line, you climb a tree, 70 feet up, hook up and come down and you land in the pond.”

“Children look at it: ‘I’ve got to climb this tree. I can’t do it. That’s one of the first things.’ What do they find out? They can.”

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