Ahoy, Sea Flints!

Welcome to the first selection from my collection of documents relating to the Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp days, and the early days of the Flint School.

 

I attended Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp in the summer of 1968 and 1969, both years attending the same “Conquistador” themed period of camp, which was the first 3 weeks of the 9-week summer camp season. Both years the activities of both sets of  3 weeks were so identical that I cannot really be sure what story happened in what year.  All the pictures I took were taken in 1968, and most memories that I can put a date on also occurred in 1968. I did not attend the Flint School at any time.  

 

A note on clothing: People wearing Navy blue shirts with white trim and the camp logo are either Camp Staff, who had the addition of the word “staff” below the logo, or the students at the boarding-school component of Camp, which may or may not have been officially called “The Flint School” at that time. We “Summer Campers” wore the same shirt with the colors reversed, i.e. White, with navy blue trim, and the Logo in green, or our own “civilian” clothing.

 

My sincerest thanks to Palmer for going to the effort to restore 40-year-old Kodak Instamatic prints, and fading promotional literature of the same age.

 

Mark K. Richmond

Seaman 1st Class

Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp

1968 & 1969

 

 

 

PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

 

  1. Flint School Ad - Earliest Found

BOY’S LIFE Magazine, February, 1968

This is the earliest ad for the flint school I have so far discovered. I remember seeing this ad and thinking it sounded pretty “neato-keen”, as we said back in those days. Notice the “journey into sanity” tag-line. I remember in later years seeing this as “Lead your Child into Educational Sanity”.  BOY’S LIFE Magazine was the official monthly journal of the Boy Scouts organization, and came with your membership.

 

Notice that almost all the other ads are for Military Schools? The Flint School was almost unique in the fact that it not “militarized”. This was the height of the Cold War, and the worst year of fighting in Vietnam.  American society and culture recognized that, after 2 world wars, the Korean conflict, a large number of “Police Actions” in the Caribbean and South America, and both aboveground and clandestine combat between America and Russia/China/World Communism, all in (at that time) 51 years, there was a more-than-significant chance the readers of this magazine would do military service in some form, and sought to have them educated accordingly. It also encouraged you to pay attention in class and get good grades, as your parents could easily point out the alternatives to your public-school education when you brought home a bad report card!

 

  1. Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp Letterhead.

As you will see in these pages, George Stoll sent my parents a considerable variety of letters, updates, brochures, etc, with quite a diverse selection of letterheads. Here he makes a distinction between the “the 4Rs school” and the “Flint School”.  Then we have “The Junior Flints”?

 

  

  1. Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp Ad,

     Boys Life, April 1967

This is the earliest example of this ad that I have found so far.     This is the same ad I saw, also in Boy’s Life, sometime in late 1967 or early 1968, and showed to my parents. Notice the Tag Line: “Nothing Builds Character Like Command at Sea”. This, I believe, was the central and primary intellectual concept behind everything GS attempted to do with the Camp and the School, and you will see continuous references to this concept running all through GS’s writings. 

 

If you have a moment, I invite you to read through a selection of the other ads on this page.  It is a fascinating window into the world of the middle-class America of my childhood.  Some of the ads for camps that I know to be non-military schools are quite interesting, such as the “Shaker Village” ad in the upper right corner.

 

    

HOLIDAY HARBOR BROCHURE

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 00 Front Cover

 

This is the cover of the original Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp my parents received from George Stoll in early 1968.

 

The picture shows the camp and surrounding area as I remember it.  There is no copyright or date on this brochure, but since we received it early in 1968, the pictures cannot be any later than the summer session of 1967.  Also, although I can’t put a name to anyone but Doug Thrift and Sam, many of the Councilors and some of the older campers look very familiar.  The buildings/boats/cars/tree heights and numbers/clothing and haircut styles, etc, are exactly (as least as far as 40-year-old memories will permit) as it was in the “Conquistador” period (first 3 weeks of Camp, June and July of 1968 and 1969), so when you look at these pictures you are seeing Holiday Harbor through my 13 year-old eyes!

 

The 4-lane highway in front of the Marina is old U.S. Highway 41(The great Federal Interstate Highway System that is such a basic part of today’s driving was only just beginning construction at that time, and this was what driving in America looked like). In the Bottom-Center of the picture are the Holiday Harbor Marina and Holiday Bayou.  The 3-sided building in the lower-left corner, set at an angle to the highway, is the Holiday Harbor Seafaring Resort, which at this time functioned as Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp in the Summer, and a boarding school the rest of the year, which I will refer to as The Flint School-on-Land.  This area, although within 12 miles of Sarasota, was primarily rural, and the little bit of buildings and housing (except for 1 subdivision and 1 trailer park that are out-of-picture below the highway) was pretty much what you see here, the rest being cow-pasture or swamp.  There actually are more people here than you see, but they are out on the barrier-islands, such as Midnight Key in the upper part of the picture.  At this time the focus of living in Florida, aside from the weather, was, if you could afford it, to have beach-front housing right on the Gulf-Coast or the Atlantic.  Also, the Salt-Marsh mosquitoes tended not to cross that much open water!

 

Behind the Marina Building, on the left side of the turning basin, between the building and the small grove of trees, are the camp docks and fleet.

 

The Camp building is 3-sided:

The long back-building facing Holiday Bayou has the Stoll’s private quarters at the end closest to the camera, with (Boys) cabins 1 – 6 going down the building.  The front building with the peaked roof, with the flat side facing the camera, was split down the middle longways, with the side closest to the camera being the Mess Hall, and the other (poolside) half being the Galley, craft-rooms, and a workbench and work-stands for outboard-motor maintenance-and-teaching.  The smaller building in the back is the Girls (2 small cabins? or 1 big Cabin?)  In the middle the swimming pool is just barely visible, and to the left is a grassy yard with a security-and-privacy fence and tall hedge around it. (See Holiday Harbor Camp Layout Map under Facilities section). 

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 00a Inside Front Cover

 

This page is all pictures, so I will talk about each picture separately.

 

Column 1, top picture.

I believe this is Don Pedro Island, where we camped out for 2 nights at the end of the “Conquistador” period(first 3 weeks of Camp) which was the only part of camp I attended both summers. The second 4 weeks was the “Pirate“ period, and the last 2 weeks was the “Mutineer” period(See Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 10 bottom for explanation).  The curved beach on the middle island in the upper right fits my memory of where we camped. There was a salt-marsh on the left-end of that island with the biggest Damn mosquitoes I have ever encountered!

 

Column 1, middle and bottom pictures.

 

          Neither of these pictures rings a bell, probably just promotional      material.  Both GS and JS were pilots, I assume they took these to fill out the   brochure.

 

Column 2, Upper picture.

Just Filler again.

 

Column 2, Middle picture.

Before we left for the campout, we had a training session in camping and living in the great outdoors.  Here we are learning to sleep in our Jungle-Hammocks. This was your basic sailor’s hammock with the addition of a waterproof “roof” and mosquito-net sides.  The only tents available in those Neanderthal pre-Gore-Tex days were the classic military canvas types that were heavy and never waterproof, so we were required to get these things instead. The councilors drove metal poles into the ground to hold us up.  Those damn poles flexed so much that whenever anybody turned over the whole line bobbed up-and-down like you were riding a bucking-bronco! Nobody got any sleep, and some kids actually got seasick!

 

Column 2, bottom picture.

More practice for the campout.  Everyone had to learn to build a fire well enough to make toast.  This sort of stuff was not a problem for a Louisiana Redneck with years in the Boy Scouts like yours truly, but for the majority of the campers this was amazing, even scary stuff!  The majority of them didn’t seem to have ever “camped out” before.

 

Notice the Clothing and Haircuts?  GS had very definite standards of dress and grooming!  Actually, this was not a burden for us, as the Midwest and Old South middle-class American culture the majority of us were drawn from had basically the same standards.  Indeed, what you see here was essentially our “normal standard of dress and appearance”! 

 

Column 3, top picture.

More filler again.

 

Column 3, middle picture.

The last camp cruise of the summer was during the “mutineer” period.  This was a cruise north across Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg to go aboard HMS BOUNTY.  This was the replica ship built for the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1964?) starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard.  It was an exact copy of the original BOUNTY, and the movie had been a worldwide mega hit that, at that time, had the moneymaking and star-producing power that a Harry Potter or Star Wars film does today.   People still read the great literary classics and history in those far-gone days, so this was a major tourist attraction.  Somehow GS had managed to get permission for Holiday Harbor to board ship by using a Jacobs-Ladder mounted on the water-side of the BOUNTY, instead of the permanently-attached gang-way from the dock-side that everybody else had to use!

 

Column 3, bottom picture.

Here we are in the Swimming-pool.  The girl’s cabin(s) are on the left. The boy’s cabins are on the right with the signal-flags on the rear doors (boy’s cabins faced outward toward the marina). We were not allowed to use these doors, as there was very little room around the pool walkway, and you could knock someone into the pool if you opened a backdoor suddenly.  We had to walk around the end of Cabin 6 and come in that narrow little gap between the girl’s cabin and boy’s cabin 6.  This was quite narrow, even for 13 year-old me, and the adults had to turn sideways. There was a lockable gate and a curtain that could be pulled across the opening for privacy.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 01  

 

Here we have the first example of what GS had in mind as the basic concept/principle of HHSC/FS.  We also have the first mention of “Nothing Builds Character as Much as Command at Sea”.

 

GS states that the program is limited to 125 campers.  This seems an awfully high number to me.  Certainly there was not enough seating in the Mess Hall for this many at one time.  At 8 bunks per 6 boy’s cabins, and possibly 10 per cabin (or one cabin of 20) for the girls, plus 15 – 25 “Day campers” (mostly the youngest children, all locals, who came in just before Breakfast, and went home just before Supper) an upper limit of 90 seems more realistic (it may have been even less. I seem to remember some bunks were vacant).

 

Notice the Camp Mascot at the top of the page.

 

          Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 02

 

Here we find out quite a bit about the Stoll’s “professional” qualifications for running the camp.  I think this office was in the private quarters.

 

This, in appearance, is George and Betty as I remember them, still young and vital, but really beginning to show the effects of running both a camp and a school essentially by themselves, and of trying to impart a strange and obtuse philosophy to unwilling students who would have found that philosophy going against quite a lot of the middle-American middle-class belief-system they had been raised to.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 03

 

Here are some very interesting documents listing GS as President of Holiday Yacht Rentals, Inc. This and other similar references bring to mind a question about the beginnings of Holiday Harbor/The Flint School:  Did GS begin as a marina owner providing boats, marine services, training, and accommodations  to the burgeoning post-World War 2 middle class, and discovered through this that “Nothing Builds Character as Much as Command at Sea”, or did he always have an educational program based on this concept in mind, and found that Holiday Bayou was a good location to Buy/Build the necessary physical plant?

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 04

 

Column 1, top picture.

Here we are water-skiing behind one of the 2 Chrysler “inboard/outboard” boats, or perhaps the 1 Chrysler “inboard” boat (see Chrysler Catalog pages under “Holiday Harbor Fleet” for pictures).      

        

          Column 1, middle picture.

GS updating somebody’s seamanship manual, as JS looks on.  Notice all the patches on the camper’s coats? GS loved to hand out patches for ranks and accomplishments, and you were strongly encouraged to wear them on any and every coat, shirt, shorts, or hat you had.

 

.Column 2, middle picture.

This camper is bare-foot skiing backwards!

 

Column 3, top picture.

Were taught all the fancy “ski-tricks” as used by the “Professional Water Show” performers at places like Cypress Gardens and Weeki-Wachi Springs, Florida, or SeaWorld in San Diego, California, and were held to the same level of professional standards.

 

 

Column 3, bottom picture.

A typical day on the water at camp. The engine in the foreground is the type of Chrysler outboard used on the 2 hottest ski-boats.  These were both “CATHERDRAL-V” type hulls with 90 to 125-horse engines.  This was absolutely bleeding-edge technology for that time, really verging over the line into racing-tech.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 05

3 good shots of the Holiday Harbor Physical plant.  The first 2 paragraphs provide some more info on the origins of HHSC/FS. I tend to interpret the wording of Paragraphs 1 & 2 as indicating that the Yacht-rental business was still primary at the time this was originally written.

Paragraph 3 is something of a mystery to me.  While admitting that GS had a rather “original” writing style, I don’t really understand what point he is trying to get across here. What does air-conditioning have to do with individual responsibility?  Is he saying that air-conditioning weakens us as individuals?

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 06

2 things about this page:

1. We are expressly forbidden to bring radios or other personal entertainment gear.

2. GS has, even at this early a date, already instituted an official policy of isolating the campers/students from their families.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 07

A great page of pictures of daily life at camp!

 

Column 1, picture 1.

Doug Thrift giving a class to some of the younger campers.

 

Picture 2.

GS did have extremely high standards of professional knowledge and teaching. We got a thorough grounding in the basic concepts of not only how everything worked, but WHY it worked. Here Councilor_In_Training George Hunter, from Cabin 1(my cabin) demonstrates how and why an anchor works.

 

Picture 3.

The swimming pool seen from the boy’s cabins side, looking to the grassy lawn.  Notice the very high privacy-hedge around the lawn: there was a very serious wooden security fence inside that hedge!

The occupants of the lawn-chairs are GS and Betty. They did this a lot, but I don’t remember them ever actually using the pool or the boats, except on the campout.  Oh yes, notice the cement platform in the background? We too, were “blessed” with our very own version of “The Big Thing” every Sunday night! The quality of entertainment was just about what you would expect from bored and exhausted grade school and junior-high kids.  GS put the responsibility for organizing and running this on us older boys in cabin 1. We saw to it that the skits were as short and simple as possible, so we could get the damn thing over with as soon as possible and get inside before the Mosquitoes drained us dry!  Unfortunately, GS was quite prepared to make use of this saved time to launch into a long, rambling lecture on something-or-other that made no sense at the time, but I now suspect was some version of the “4Rs’ lecture.

 

Picture 4.

Campers at the archery range.

 

Column 2, picture 1.

Doug Thrift giving a lesson in radio usage.

 

Picture 2.

Inside the Girl’s Cabin(s).

The boy’s cabins were just as (dangerously) overcrowded! There was quite literally just barely room to get in and out of bed!

What the girls in the lower bunks are admiring was your reward for attending summer camp: A canoe paddle with the Camp logo painted on it, along with your name, what periods you had been there, and any ranks and awards you had earned.  You were supposed to bring the damn thing back with you for updating every time you attended, but I didn’t bother in 1969(just try explaining something like that to Airport Security!).

 

Picture 3.

Doug Thrift giving a class on ship’s controls.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

 Learning to build a fire and make toast over it.  This was one of the things you had to qualify in to be able to go on a campout.

 

Picture 2.

Putting on lifebelts at the equipment racks inside the Grove of Trees next to the dock.

Most of these really young children would have been “Day-Campers” (at least in 1968) that came in just before breakfast, and went home just before supper, rather than “Sleep-overs” like the rest of us.

 

Picture 3.

“Sam” (Samantha?) the head swimming and water safety instructor giving a class.  I had already learned to swim through the Red Cross, but was very happy to have her classes in Water Survival and Rescue.

An excellent instructor, but, to me, a very “bitchy” personality.  She also seemed to be GS’s favorite, with free run of the private quarters, and was very happy to remind you of that fact at every possible opportunity.  She was back for the 1969 season, but “disappeared” in the middle of the night on the 5th day of camp. The “official” story among the Councilors was that GS had caught her smoking a joint, but I frankly wonder, considering her behavior in 1968, if GS might not have had a completely “different” reason to beach her?

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 08

 

This is one half of a two-page spread showing how to get to Holiday Harbor by land or water. The picture on the left is a good shot of the turning basin, and the row of docks just under the edge of the building.  The cabin cruiser on the right, the S.S. Grand Sport, was the Stoll’s personal yacht, and we were told it had won some racing prizes in its earlier days. Inside the building were storage racks for small-to-medium size boats stacked 3-high.  The left side of the upper deck was supposed to be a lounge, café, marina office, and something referred to a “marina Dorm”.  This building was strictly off-limits, so I can’t confirm or deny this.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 10

 

This was the camp’s daily operating schedule, and they stuck right to it. You can see that GS had an absolute OBSESSION with water skiing! See that little square in the upper right corner? Well, “programmed” is about right! This place was “programmed” to within an inch of your life, and you were on the run from reveille to cabin call trying to make your daily schedule, especially since time on the water or in the pool had absolute priority. My memories suggest to me that as the days went by “craft-time” and “pool-time” was reduced (at least in 1968) and “boat-and-water-time” increased.

 

The bottom part of the page is an explanation of the period concept.  You could attend any or all of the periods, and were supposed to be able to get the full camp “experience” in any single period, but my impression is that GS had set this up in such a way that to get the maximum “satisfaction and reward” from your experience, and especially to have enough time for everything you wanted to do, you really needed to attend all 9 weeks of camp.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 11

 

More explanation of the camp “experience.

Column 1, picture.

Good shot of boat-wake surfing behind the “Grand Sport”.

 

Column 2, left picture.

Lone Star and Sunfish sailboats coming in to dock, with ski-boat crew doing daily cleanup and maintenance.

 

Column 2, right picture.

 

This could be one of the 2 Chrysler I/O boats, or the one Inboard boat.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 12

 

A description of some of the more advanced classes they taught.  I don’t remember any of the more advanced classes advertised in this brochure, such as photography, glass-blowing, etc. I was only there the first 3 week “Conquistador” period both years and I imagine that certain crafts were withheld until a sufficient number of people reached the higher ranks and could be trusted/rewarded with some of the more “hazardous” classes. 

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 13

 

Here are some more outstanding pictures of camp life!

 

Column 1, picture 1.

Building Plastic Ship Models was one class that everybody signed up for! There were boys and girls classes. These girls are really having a good time! Look at their faces!

There is much more to this picture than first meets the eye.  At this time and culture, only boys built plastic models, Girls played with DOLLS!!!! For all his faults, at least at this time of his life George was astoundingly socially progressive. To actually give girls the chance to do “boy” things like put together plastic models was so far beyond the limits of society that I can think of any number of parents/educators/ministers/child psychologists who would have taken one look at this picture and very seriously demanded “a formal police investigation of this nest of Anarchists”!

 

picture 2.

Betty teaching the copper-enameling class.  The fireplace behind them suggests that this class is in the Stoll’s private quarters.

 

picture 3.

This is the Ship’s Store, located just outside the craft-area on the pool patio.  You were only allowed $5.00 for the time you were there, everything was ridiculously overpriced, and you really had to watch your spending (I think GS deliberately tried to get us “broke” to teach us about budgeting, as there are several references in the HHSC and FS brochures that parents “are not to subsidize the student’s overspending, as being broke will teach them fiscal responsibility”).

The few candy-bars he stocked were the tiny ones you get in the Halloween season mixed-variety bags, and there was no coke or Pepsi that I can remember, only a locally-produced off-brand called “Cactus Juice”, which was absolutely awful!

 

Column 2, picture 1.

Chow-call in the Galley.   I remember the food as being completely uninteresting, and the portion size totally inadequate for the amount of calories we were expending every day. Remember that sea-chantey “What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor”?  Our answer was “Give Him Our Camp Food and Make Him Eat It” which was absolutely guaranteed to earn us a dirty look from Betty!

 

picture 2.

JS teaching a navigation class.  I didn’t get enough rank in the time I was there to have any training in this sort of thing.

 

Picture 3.

Boy’s ship-model class.  The councilor is George Hunter, my cabin 1 C.I.T.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

THUMBS-UP!  Gs in back on the right, JS on the left.  Really nothing more to say about this one, is there? Behind JS, in the left rear, is the Cabin 1 table I ate at. One good thing about our version: GS didn’t try to monkey with it.  You gained our lost rank strictly by your own merits, and I don’t remember any attempts by GS to introduce anything along the lines of whether or not you were sufficiently “qua” into it.

 

Picture 2.

JS teaching advanced Marlinspike to a camper, with GS scowling down.  It is quite possible she doesn’t know he’s there.  GS had a very annoying habit of coming up behind you very quietly, standing behind you looking over your shoulder until you realized there was a “presence” behind you, than getting in your face about something. It’s hard to tell in this scan, but in the original he “seems” to be so close that he is in physical contact with her.

 

Picture 3.

More advanced marlinspike. Sam is teaching a class in rope-hammock making.  This craft-room is the old hotel-lobby facing Old US Highway 41.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 14

 

Column 1, Top picture.

More water-Skiing.  The second-from-the-Left Skier is about to fall over backwards!

 

Column 1, Middle Picture.

Now here is the picture that really encapsulates my camp experience! When we went out for water-skiing we had to stay fairly close to shore because of heavy traffic in the Intercoastal Waterway, which passes down the middle of Little Sarasota Bay.  We were dumped out of the boats and were supposed to swim for exercise while awaiting our turn at whatever we were doing that period, with a Councilor in one boat looking out for us.  This was very shallow water, and you were up to your waist in the sea-weed, with all the local sea-life swimming between your legs!  We usually spent the time floating on our backs with our knees drawn up to our chins!

 

Column 1, Bottom picture.

Here we have GS and Sam having quite a discussion on the stern of the 33’ Chris Craft cabin-cruiser.  It’s hard to see even in the original, but when I made the scan and zoomed-in as far as the pixel-size would take, I found that Sam is as far over in the corner as she can go, and GS has crowded up against her to the point of being in full knee-to-shoulder contact with her!  He seems to be describing the “size” of something to her, and from her smile and facial expression she seems to quite happy with it!

 

Column 2, picture 1.

I don’t recognize any of these people, and at their apparent ages I would guess that this is one of the adult sessions.

 

Column 2, picture 2.

The sunfish and sailfish sailboats were usually towed in to the docks at the end of a water-period, and we went right to work on clean-up and maintenance.

 

Column 2, picture 3.

Good picture of the swim suits we wore.  GS had very strict standards on acceptable styles of swimsuits, especially for girls. We were water-skiing at a “professional” level of performance and speed, and when we took a spill you had to have a substantial enough suit on to have a reasonable chance of it “staying with you”  For boys, only one style suit was acceptable, the “Hawaiian” shorts the boy is wearing.  These had come out of the surfing and beach-party sub-culture (as in the music the “Beach Boys” group did, and still does).  The other style, the tight “European” look (such as what the Speedo company makes) was only allowed at organized swim-meets where you were competing against the clock. 

 

The girl in the middle is wearing what GS (and society in general, at that time) would consider “proper water-sports wear”. As you can seem it is substantial, well-covering, and secure enough to not “abandon ship” in the event of a high-speed spill.

 

The girl on the left would have gotten a SEVERE lecture on proper dressing from George or Betty or both, and quite possibly a call to her parents to authorize a trip to the store for a new, “proper” suit.

 

Column 2, picture 4.

One of the Female Councilors coming in from the bay.  The boat on the left is our “hottest” ski-boat with the CATHEDRAL-V hull and a 125-hspwr Chrysler outboard.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

Campers going up the Jacob’s-Ladder on HMS Bounty At St. Petersburg during the last trip of the summer, in the “Pirate” period.

 

Column 3, picture 2.

 

More water-skiing.

 

Column 3, picture 3.

More instruction in basic seamanship.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 15

 

Column 1, picture 1.

This is from on of the adult programs, very likely the “Holiday Swingers”. Certainly, we would have not taken an upright piano to sea!

 

Column 1, picture 2.

The fleet heading out somewhere in rough water. We had good seas both times, although in 1968 it rained everyday for all three weeks!

 

Column 2, Picture 1.

A good shot of the “Piano Boat” moving at speed.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

Campers waving from the stern of SS Grand Sport.  A good selection of “acceptable” swimsuits.

 

Column 3, picture 2.

Looking southwest from the boy’s cabins across the archery field to the houses along the edge of the bay.

 

Column 3, picture 3.

Adult Scuba-Diving class.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 16 Inside Back Cover

A good selection of the skiing and wake surfing “performance tricks” we were taught.

 

Column 1, picture 1.

Bare-foot water-skiing backwards.

 

Column 1, picture 2.

Pyramid-skiing.

 

Column 1, picture 3.

Two-on-a-board.

 

Column 2, picture 1.

Getting up on the boards.

 

Column 2, picture 2.

Bare-foot skiing.

 

Column 2, picture 3.

Two-on-a-board.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

SS Grand Sport at St. Petersburg for HMS Bounty trip.

 

Column 3, picture 2.

JS and a camper doing two-on-a-board.

 

Column 4, picture 1.

Lone Star sailboat coming into St. Petersburg harbor during HMS Bounty trip.

 

Column 4, picture 2.

Waist-deep in the weeds waiting your turn to water-ski.  The boat in the background is the “Hottest” ski-boat.

 

Column 4, picture 3.

JS in black shorts on left, “Lyle”, cabin 2 counselor in middle, George Hunter, Cabin 1 C.I.T. on right.

 

Holiday Harbor Brochure Page 17 Back Cover

 

Column 1, picture1.

Going aboard HMS Bounty during the end-of-summer “Pirate” cruise.

 

Column 1, picture 2.

Js looking at the Chris-Craft cabin cruiser in St. Petersburg Harbor.

 

Column 1, picture 3.

Campers onboard HMS Bounty.

 

Column 2, picture 1.

Lone Star sailboat approaching HMS Bounty.

 

Column 2, picture 2.

Campers.  In the forum we have talked about the type of camper GS was looking for.  Here is a classic portrait: WASP, handsome/beautiful, Physically fit children of the “aristocracy” of the middle class of the Mid-West and Old South, not a minority face in sight, in a controlled, organized “minimum-clothing” environment that would have instantly revealed gross physical or mental defects, in a challenging environment expressly designed to develop the next generation of Society’s ruling class.

 

Column 2, picture 3.

Sunfish and Lone Star sailboats arriving at HMS Bounty.  I don’t recognize the big one with the curved mast; It wasn’t at camp when I was there.

 

Column 3, picture 1.

Campers on board the Bounty.

 

Column 3, picture 2.

3 of the camp outboard boats at St. Petersburg.

 

Column 3, picture 3.

Campers on board the Bounty.  Notice the blue shirt with all the camp award patches.

 

Holiday Harbor Google Aerial Map.

 

My, how things have changed in 38 years.  Look for the cross-within-a-square that marks Holiday Harbor. Directly across the highway, OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 41 is an older-looking rectangular sub-division that slants toward the upper-right.  To its left is a smaller sub-division about half the size, shaped like a boat’s hull with white houses.  Both of these were there in 1968.  The housing on the long barrier-island, Midnight Key. Was there, although not so heavily built-up.  Almost everything else you see in the picture was swamp or cow-pasture!

 

Holiday Harbor Google Photo – Today

If you look in the lower left corner where the street comes in at an angle to HWY 41 you can see the remains of the old Holiday Harbor Seafaring Resort hotel that served as the camp residence.  I can still see the foundation for the Mess Hall/Craft Area, the Stoll’s quarters, the line of boy’s cabins, and the old hotel lobby that was the craft room for the model-ship building.  Someone has built a rectangular white building directly on top of the Girl’s cabins! (See the Holiday Harbor Camp Layout map under Holiday Harbor Facilities). The marina is still basically the same, although the gas station in front is gone, 3 storage sheds have been built. The Grove of Trees we used for equipment storage is still there, with (it looks like) one dock remaining.  All the rest of the docks we used are gone. Compare this picture with the Cover of the Holiday Harbor Brochure!

 

Holiday Harbor Fleet

AMF-VOIT “Sailfish” Catamaran

This was an early attempt at a mass-production fiberglass boat for the amateur/weekend sailor. Fiberglass molding technology had reached the point were it was cheap enough to start replacing traditional wood boats at the lower end of the market.  This was a sister-design to the “Sunfish” sailboat.  Amf-Voit was a giant sporting-goods conglomerate that would sell you everything from boats to complete ready-to-go bowling alleys.  This boat was supposed to be tricky to handle and (I was told) was reserved for Mates and above, so I never got to use it.  I spent all my sailboat time in the Lone Stars.

 

Boat Basin In The Sun

I shot this picture on the day that I arrived at camp.  On the extreme left you can see the “Hottest” of the 2 “Cathedral-V” hull Ski-Boats with a 125-horse Chrysler outboard.  Next are two traditional “V-Hull” ski-boats that used 90-horse Chryslers.  The Ski-boat in the foreground is the other “Cathedral-V” hull with a 90-horse Chrysler.  The blue cabin-cruiser across the Bayou is the 33’ Chris-Craft.  Talk about Sunny Florida!  It started raining that night and rained every single day of camp while I was there! By the second week of camp we wore only swimsuits everywhere except in bed, as the laundry service took at least a week, and usually 10 days, so we had nothing to wear that was dry! (just varying degrees of wet!).  My Mother sent me a letter saying that the National Weather Service was reporting that Florida was having its wettest summer in 40 years!

 

Chrysler 105HP Motor Used On The Hot Ski Boat - Brochure

This is from the 1967 Chrysler Marine Division catalog showing the boats and types of engines they made that we used.  The white outboard on the left was absolute bleeding edge technology for it’s time.  There were several models. We used the 125-horse version. The upper left corner shows the “I/O” (inboard/outboard) engine that had just come along, and was beginning to replace the “inboard” motor concept (the big V-8 engine) in the lower left.  In the center is the Lone Star-class 16 ft. sailboat.  Holiday Harbor had 2 of these, and they were absolutely wonderful sailing-fun, and the only part of camp that I really enjoyed.  Right-center is the mid-range outboard, of which we used several 90-horse models.

 

Chrysler Lone Star Class 16Foot Sailboat

On the left and in the center are the 2 Chrysler LS 16 sailboats we used.  This is what I really went to camp for, to learn to handle a sailboat.  These were wonderful boats, easy to handle, totally reliable, and no bad habits, although you wanted at least 6 campers or 2 big councilors aboard for ballast, as these were fast racing hulls, with a large amount of sail-area for their size.  The times I spent on the water in these were some of the happiest moments of my life, and I will admit to being very resentful of the fact that I had to waste time on things like water-skiing instead of spending all my time in these beautiful girls!

 

Chrysler Lone Star Class 16Foot Sailboat Brochure

A true delight to sail, and one of the first mass-produced fiberglass hulls affordable by the general public.

 

Chrysler Lone Star Class Sailboat Docking

LS 16 coming to the docks.  A good shot of the boat-docks under the front of the marina, and the rainy weather!  Notice the missing letters from the sign!

 

Equipment Storage In Grove Next To Dock

This Small grove of trees was right next to the docks that the camp fleet used, and was where we kept all the gear that we needed on the water.

 

Old Schooner Being Restored By Jim Stoll

I was very interested in this old boat and obtained JS's permission to go aboard and take pictures.

 

There is a main cabin and a Foc'sle, both of which were prefab
fiberglass drop-ins. The main cabin had a bench running completely
around the interior barely wide enough to sit on and put your legs
down, but the majority of the interior was occupied by an enormous
housing for a huge retractable keel board. The foc'sle contained the head and several storage lockers, and had enough room in between on the deck for an adult couple to lie down and stretch out comfortably. The deck was covered with a thick layer of yellow carpet. The yellow carpet was covered with a thick layer of used condoms....

The walls and deck of the head had what looked like ground-in shoe
prints that looked to me like what you would expect from the
classic "She sits in His Lap Facing Him" and "She sits in His Lap
with Her Back to Him" positions.

 

The Cabin Cruisers Used For Wake Surfing

In the front is the SS Grand Sport, the Stoll’s Personal Yacht. The blue one next to it is the Chris-Craft.  Note the Surf-Boards on the roof-rack of the Grand Sport.  The Cruiser across the Bayou also belonged to Holiday Harbor, and we used it on the campouts.  I don’t remember using it for wake-surfing.

 

Camp People

 

Doug Coming In From Little Sarasota Bay

The staff had there own water-skiing period before we did, and were encouraged to use the boats whenever they had spare time to increase their own proficiency.  Notice the size of the outboard: a Chrysler of at least 90 horses. GS really did have a “need for speed”!

 

Doug Thrift.

Doug was the Councilor for cabin 1(my Cabin both years). A word about his clothing: Staff was supposed to wear the Camp-issued Blue-shirt-with-white-trim-and-logo at all times, but in 1968, after 3 weeks of daily rain, we were down to whatever was the least wet (not dry, mind you, just “least wet”). I took this on my second-to-last day there, and laundry had been gone for 9 days, so this would have been all that was still bearable to wear.

 

Jim Stoll And Counselors Having A Meeting

Js and the staff would have a meeting at the end of the day before we went to supper.  They are standing next to the marina pass-through where the storage racks for boats were.  The Phillips 66 sign was for a gas station that was in front of the marina, and the building in the distance is on the other side of US Hwy 41.

 

Lyle Cabin 2 Councilor Or George Hunter Cabin 1 C - I - T TI

 

When I first looked at this, I couldn’t decide if it was George Hunter, the cabin 1 CIT, or Lyle, the cabin 2 councilor.  I now believe this picture is Lyle, as the person in the HHSC brochure fits my mental picture of George Hunter better. I took this picture at the same time that I took the one of Doug Thrift.

 

This is a great picture of what both GS, and Middle-American Middle-Class Society and Culture in general, considered proper casual wear.  Yes, Sir, we were “preppie” long before the Ivy League ever heard of the word! (especially since, at this time in 1968, “Ivy League” students were busy protesting the Vietnam War by rioting and burning down all those great East-Coast Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, etc, and they certainly weren’t dressing like this!)

 

Holiday Harbor Facilities

Holiday Harbor Camp Layout

This is a map I have done from memory, the pictures I took, and the pictures in all the  promotional material GS sent.  This should help make my memories and reminisces more understandable.

 

The Marina Building

This is looking from the front door of cabin 1 northeast. This the view we saw every morning before Breakfast, and several more time per day as we trudged down to the boats (if you could see this far through the driving rain, that is).

 

Flint School - Original Brochure

     When I first returned to my parent’s home after joining the Flint School site on Yahoo, I dug out the envelope that I remembered putting the Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp Brochure in so I could check my memory files against the brochure and the pictures I had taken.  I was totally surprised to find all the rest of the material scanned here, especially the Flint School Brochure.  All this stuff had been addressed to my Mother, and she had put it all away for me without, at the time,  telling me about it.  It has been quite a  revelation for me, and ,I hope, you too will find it so.

Here we have a unique window into George Stoll’s mind as we watch him put down his thoughts on paper concerning what he felt was wrong with the raising and educating of American youth, and his solutions to the problems as he understood them.

What fascinates me the most is that here, as I read through the Flint School Brochure, and it’s associated document, The “Adults Only” Insert,  I seem to see him beginning to realize that Holiday Harbor Seafaring Camp is inadequate to enable him to take his concept of “Nothing Builds Character Like Command At Sea” and that only at sea can this concept be turned into a life-changing educational system.

After my experience at Holiday Harbor I asked every education professional I came across about Holiday Harbor/The Flint School/George Stoll.  Nobody had ever heard of any of this, and many internet searches have only revealed the sites we are already familiar with.  Unless Jim or Betty has any remaining memories or paperwork, this is likely to be the best look we will ever have into those days.  Considering the latest reports on George’s state of health, this may be our final view of the beginnings of that Great, Fascinating, Troubling, Amazing, (and yes, strange) voyage we all set out upon so many years ago.

 

 

One last thought on this brochure and the insert:

There is an old Russian Saying:  “The amazing thing about the Dancing Bear is not the fact that it dances so beautifully, but the fact that it can dance at all.”  That can also be said about these documents; not that they tell us so much about GS and his beliefs and ideas, but that he would actually commit them to paper that was going to be read by the Parents of the children he hoped to recruit.

In 1968 America was still reeling from the Assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War was at its bloodiest, the Cold War was heating up, Students were rioting and burning, minorities were rioting and burning, and society in general seemed to on the point of a total breakdown and collapse of everything that people, especially the middle-class, held to be good, proper, and beneficial to “Life, Liberty. And the Pursuit of Happiness”.  Society had watched as its traditional icons of belief had been ripped apart by radical elements of society, university professors, and the court system.  People clinging to strange belief-systems such as the Moonies, Hare Krishna’s, Scientologists, and any number of others were becoming visible even in Small-town America, and Charlie Manson and his “Family” had been arrested for a number of horrific murders.   Middle-class America looked around and suddenly realized that there were all sorts of strange “philosophies” running loose that had the power to easily take over a child’s mind, very often for the worse.  Society became VERY SUSPICIOUS of anyone claiming to have any sort of “answer or solution” to America’s youth problems.  The fact that GS would come right out and put his philosophy out in the open is simply astounding.  Especially since he makes perfectly clear (in the “Adults Only” insert) that a great part of the problem was the very success that the parents had made in reaching the middle-class in the first place!

Remember, the audience GS was addressing had been children and teen-agers in the worst years of the Great Depression, when it took every possible effort of the “best and brightest” children just to physically survive, and who had become young adults just in time to bleed and die in World War 2 and/or The Korean War.  To “get in the face” of this generation and tell them that everything they fought for, bled

 For, DIED FOR to reach a point where their own children would never have to do so themselves utterly astounds me.

Flint School Brochure Page 00 Cover  

This brochure was printed on the same size paper at the Camp brochure, but the cover was green with only the Flint School Insignia on it, so that is what has been reproduced here.  The back cover has not been included, as there are no words or pictures.  The printer seems to have printed the whole cover in the Gold you see in the FS insignia, and then overprinted the front cover in green, using a stencil to allow the Gold to show through.

 

Flint School Brochure Page 00 Intro

George gets right down to it in the introduction, even to bringing up the “4th R”. 

 

Flint School Brochure Page 01

This is the same picture from the Holiday Harbor brochure, so I’m not going to discuss. It.  All the color pictures, and most of the Black-and White ones are re-used form the HHSC brochure.  I will discuss the few black-and-white pictures that are new to this brochure.

 

Flint School Brochure Page 02

Same as Above.

Flint School Brochure Page 03

Here we have a significantly younger GS than even I remember.  The close-fitting suit he is wearing, with the narrow black tie, was called the “European” look. It came over from England in the Late 1950’s and had faded out around 1964 in favor of the classic man’s suit that we have today.  From that, and from the “general look and feel” of this picture I will speculate that this picture was taken in the early 1960’s, say, 1961-1963?

Flint School Brochure Page 04

Since I didn’t attend the Flint School, and we didn’t get the “philosophy” as “philosophy” at HHSC, I can’t really speak on the concepts presented here, and will be looking forward to the comments of the “sea flints” as to the interpretation and meaning of the content here.

This is a really young and dark-haired GS in the picture.  I don’t know where the classroom is for sure: might be part of the Mess Hall, or might be in the “private quarters” area.

 

Flint School Brochure Page 05

Left Picture Column, picture 1.

This is one of the Boy’s Cabins, possibly cabin 1. “School” cabins had 6 boys, 1 councilor, “Camp” had 8 boys, 1 Councilor, possibly 1 CIT.

Picture 2.

A much younger Betty and students in the Galley.  The curtain on the right opened into the mess hall.  At camp this was where we came to pick up our trays. 

Picture 3.

Re-used.

Picture 4.

Betty teaching in the same classroom.

Picture 5.

Student at work in the classroom?

 The clothing, hair-styles, and ages of GS and Betty “suggest” to me that these pictures could be around 1960-1962?

Right side of page, picture.

Re-used.

Flint School Brochure Page 06

Left side of page, paragraphs 5 and 7.

Yea, They ran our butts off, all right.  Camp was bad enough, can’t imagine going through that all year long!

Right side of page, paragraph 2, “this is to be a total….”

This is where the isolation of the students begins. Parents are commanded not to make any phone calls or visits to students, and the only phone in the place is by the bed of the Director.  How did he get away with this in this day and time?

Flint School Brochure Page 07

Left side, picture 1.

Jim and students cleaning rifles.

Check out the list of physical health and safety subjects! Knife-throwing, pistols, Bullwhip!?.

Picture 2.

Definitely in the Stoll’s private quarters.

Right side, picture 1.

Gs and Student at radio.

Picture 2.

Re-used.

Picture 3-left.

Re-used.

Picture 3-right.

Very much younger GS and Betty.  Door in left-back leads into main craft-room behind Galley.

Flint School Brochure Page 08

Notice that on visitor’s day only Parents are allowed (no siblings)? Guess they don’t want to scare off any future victims!

It seems expensive for 1968, but with all those overpowered  boats drinking gas, it probably wasn’t that big a profit margin.

Flint School Brochure Page 10 Inside Back Cover

Just a pointer to the re-used back cover of the HHSC brochure.

The Seamanship Program

Patch - Conquistador - First Three Weeks Of Summer

This was the patch I got for attending the “Conquistador” period, which was the first 3 weeks of summer camp. The next 4 weeks was the “pirate” period, and the last 2 weeks was the “mutineer” period.

Pirate Period Newsletter - Page 1 Alumni Names

This was received after I had arrived home in 1968. Most of these would have started the first week with me, and many names do seem familiar. GS was addicted to “non-standard” sizes of stationary, which is about 25% to long for my standard letter-size scanner, so I had to scan several items in 2 sections. GS says we had 103 apprentice seamen in the first 3 weeks while I was there. This seems awfully high for the amount of beds available, but could be  if there were 35 – 40 “day-campers” who were local kids that came in just before Breakfast, and went home just before supper.  This letter would have been mailed sometime between the end of the 4th week and the end of the 7th week. Notice the Green ink? Most of the paperwork having to so with HHSC uses this.

Pirate Period Newsletter - Page 2 Alumni Names

The rest of the letter.

Seamanship Manual - Page 1

Well, we all know what this is, don’t we?  Mine is just enough different from yours that it’s worth reading through.

Seamanship Schedule Point Card

This one is a bit different from yours.  I must have been a bad boy, I got a -2 on Grounds and Galley Duty. Can’t remember now what it was for, but I do remember being so totally disgusted by the whole situation that I never bothered to turn the damn thing in again for updating.

Fist 10 Days Newsletter 2

This is part 2 of another non-standard size newsletter GS sent in 1968 about the first 10 days of camp. This is a very interesting piece of disinformation concerning why there won’t be any letters  from us.  As you can see,  we are having SO MUCH FUN that GS just can’t think of forcing to take time to write, so HE will do the entire letter writing for us!!!!!

Flint School Application - Page 1 – 1969

I don’t know if this is any different from yours or not.  Here you are enrolling in either the Jr. Flint School, or the 4Rs school of Holiday Harbor Seafaring College!  This suggests to me that the final form of the Flint School as you guys experienced it took all the time from my day to your day to evolve, and perhaps went through a number of concept-changes to arrive at the Flint-School-at-Sea.

Flint School Application - Page 2 – 1969

The questions to parents on this side of the application are very interesting. I personally find the Personal Bank Funds paragraph to be very revealing.  I have always felt that the prices in the Ship’s Canteen Store were deliberately inflated  for the purpose of getting us “broke” so GS could teach fiscal policy. Question: Do you think this sort of thing might have served as a sneaky way to introduce us to the “Hard Money” Philosophy?

HHSC Room Reservation Receipt

In those long-ago Neanderthalic pre-internet days when you made a hotel reservation over the phone, or by letter the hotel sent you one of these to prove that your reservation had been received, and you had a room waiting for you.  I, of course, am signed up for the seafaring camp, but there is also a seafaring resort for teen-agers! Under “weekends and Specials” we have the “Holiday Swingers”!!!!!

Introduction Card - Mark Richmond

In those pre-computer and terrorist-free days a child traveling alone by Airline was given one of these for emergencies and to identify  him or her to the airline personnel.  You would show this to the ticket-counter people when you checked-in. They would have a gate attendant from the correct gate come and collect you, so that you were certain to get to the correct gate.  At boarding time the gate attendant would take you out to the plane before the adult passengers were allowed out of the gate, and introduce you to the  head Stewardess for the flight. She would then see that you got to your seat, and assign one of the staff to be your personal “minder” for the flight.  Often this meant that you were seated right next to the onboard kitchen, so that it would be easy for your minder to keep an eye on you!  It was a great way to get all kinds of extra candy and soft drinks.  Also, not as many people flew in those days, as it was still fairly expensive for the average person, the railroads still ran lots of passenger trains, and Greyhound and Trailways bus-routes still went to every street-corner and rural crossroads in the country. Jets were just beginning to move into civilian service, and most airlines still operated piston-engined aircraft. All of this made for a longer, less hectic flight, with usually  less than a full load of passengers, and the flight crew had time to talk!  It was the custom for the Captain to leave the cockpit, come out and introduce himself to the passengers in flight, and inquire if we were enjoying it! (My, how the world has changed!)  Once you got to your destination, your minder would wait with you until all other passengers had gotten off, then take you to the gate. The gate attendant, who had been informed by radio that you were coming, would then escort you to the main terminal and remain with you until you were met by the right person (and that person had better have a letter with him or her from your parents to prove he/she was actually authorized to take you (since a copy of that letter would have been included by your parents in your ticket packet when they bought it, and they would have paid extra for “special service”). (and, YES, I did say Stewardesses! There were no Flight attendants in those non-PC days, just “Stews”, who were young, beautiful, and, on domestic flights, ALL FEMALE!)

Monkey Letter - Page 1 and 2

This is perhaps the most amazing of all the correspondence we received from GS.  The fact that anybody in the “Outdoor Living and Recreation” industry would send a letter like this to prospective customers is astounding!  The last paragraph of page 2 is, even for GS, absolutely extraordinary!

Flint School Brochure- “Adults Only” Insert

Here ,at last, we come to what I believe to be the most meaningful document in the collection: The “ADULTS ONLY” insert to the Flint School Brochure. As you will see on the first page, this was NOT meant to be seen by the potential student.

Here we are granted a remarkable opportunity to look into the mind and thought processes of George Stoll at perhaps the most unique moment of all: when he came to first set down in writing the thoughts and beliefs that turned a truly remarkable “adventure Camp” concept into a wonderfully advanced and potentially world-altering educational concept: The Flint School.  It is the greatest of tragedies that what began as the light of a beautiful dream should end up as the darkness of nightmares!

Since I did not attend the Flint School, I have no real exposure to the Flint School Concepts, especially the “4RS”.  Therefore, I will not try to comment on that aspect of these pages. Only those who were there can do this. Because of this, I will wait until everybody has had a chance to read this, and the discussion has begun, before I start selecting certain paragraphs to comment on.

 I have published transcriptions of selected excerpts from the Adults Only Insert in the forum from time to time.  Most of those are taken from the first 7 pages of the insert.