Retro Stokes Trip

A trip back in time to Stokes State Forrest with the sixth graders of Knollwood in the early 1970s. Photo/Peter Mauger
A trip back in time to Stokes State Forrest with the sixth graders of Knollwood in the early 1970s.
Photo/Peter Mauger

It’s that time of the year when Fair Haven schools tradition takes hold and all good Knollwood sixth graders go on their trip to Stokes State Forrest. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the most wonderful time of the year for those sixth graders. Wow.

The holding of class in the great outdoors from the Tuesday after Memorial Day through Friday has been a mainstay seemingly since the dawn of time.

Students explore and learn, tutored and supervised by parents and teachers. They leave, sleeping bags in tow, on a couple of buses early Tuesday morning. They arrive, after about 100 rounds of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” (in the ’70s, anyway), in a mass dump of untamed spirits into the wilderness.

They bunk in cabins, eat Sloppy Joes and other tasty slop in a mess hall, wake to trumpeting, swim in the lake, canoe, learn a little more, explore a little more, get lost in the woods at the hands of some well-meaning, compass-illiterate parent running the pathfinder class, sing Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley (I know, uplifting) and tell stories about the Jersey Devil — well, at least they used to. And, since kids are, well, kids, they play pranks on one another — ahem … at least they used to.

There was that time when the flag was raised for the morning Pledge of Allegiance and everyone ended up saluting not only the flag, but someone’s underwear.

But, I digress …

So, in ode to times of a lifetime in Fair Haven, the Retro Pic of the Day, courtesy of former Fair Havenite Peter Mauger, is a salute to pre-teen pranksters and the Stokes experience.

Recognize anyone? What do you think they were up to? Favorite Stokes prank? Hang down your head and remember with us!

Send us your old Stokes pics to commemorate the anniversary! Email them to evd@rfhretro.com!

— Elaine Van Develde

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