The FLOOD of 2008

Descriptions and Photos of the flood are below the
Special Announcements:


The 2008 Killooleet Sing and Alumni Reunion was a great success with wonderful music and fun for all.

Sorry that the flood video DVDs were delayed in transit and didn't make it to the sing. We are happy to mail you one. Just email Kate ( ) with the address you would like the DVD sent to. For faster response, please put: FLOOD DVD as the 'subject' of the email.

We are developing an email list for alumni interested in receiving updates about fundraising. If you would like to be added to the list, please send an email to Elisa Seeger at Also send an email to Elisa if you did not receive the Killooleet Newsletter last month or if you would just like to check that your address is correctly listed in our records.

Special Letter about the flood:

Dear friends,

This year, the Killooleet family has a great deal to celebrate as well as a great need to pull together.

First, sixty years ago as young counselors, John and Ellie were inspired by a vision started 20 years earlier by Margaret Bartlett that they nurtured and adapted over decades of dedication and learning. Kate and Dean continue to nurture and build on this vision, maintaining an environment where people have the freedom, but also the structure, to define themselves and their community. Both generations will quickly admit that their efforts were made possible, and enjoyable, by the friends and inspired individuals they've had the great fortune of meeting along the way.

The world changes around Killooleet, but the stories rarely change. Each of us, as well as the generations before and after us, carries with us the lessons we learned as staff or campers. We can feel confident that, when we run into each other after decades of being apart, we can still laugh at the top 10 biggest inside jokes of our summer. Or that we can stun a room of people into silence as we try to explain (through our own laughter) how commando raids is *absolutely not* just an enormous food fight and that *of course* we had to paint our bodies and throw things at small children. Or that we can confuse our significant others as we try to explain the "marriage" and "divorce" we were involved in during "Barter Day" (each, of course, requiring its own explanation). And I'm sure I'm not alone when I wish that I had a "rest hour" today in which to lie in the grass, stare up at Dunham Hill, and think about all the glorious things I might do during my "choice periods."

For these reasons, please join us on Saturday, November 29, to celebrate this important anniversary, enjoy a sing and buffet dinner together, and to reconnect with lost friends. If you're not able to make it, please tell us what you are doing so that we can share that with those who ask about you. And whether you can make it or not, I hope you continue to tell people about how Killooleet touched you. That is how we continue to grow as a community.

Second, 2008 also marks Killooleet's most devastating physical disaster to date. In early August, a flash flood washed through Hancock, destroying all of camp's bridges, multiple buildings, the basketball court, three docks, and the dam and washing away many items, such as boats, the rafts, bikes, and benches. The latest information and photos are posted on this page: More pictures of the after-camp Summer Reunion and flood damage are available here thanks to Jan Rostov: ->>

The total cost of repairs is still being estimated but we know that preparing camp for the 2009 season will be both challenging and expensive.
There are many ways you can help. Your donations to the Killooleet Flood Recovery Fund and the Seeger Bartlett Scholarship Foundation will ensure that camp has the resources to cover operating costs as well as repairs as described below. Your time and ideas to organize fundraising from others will also help. Your energy helping us plant new trees and uncover buried trees this spring will help prevent future flood damage. Your help to spread the word to others in the Killooleet community will inspire others to donate their time, energy, and resources. More information will be coming your way about fundraising efforts as the final estimates come in.

Thank you for your support, Kate and Dean

THE FLOOD: How to Help

Thank you for the literally hundreds of offers of help!
There are three ways to help camp recover.

1. You may make a contibution to the "Killooleet Flood Recovery Fund".
These contributions are not tax deductible but will help directly with the repair expenses.
If you do not need the tax deduction, you may send your contributions to:
The Killooleet Flood Recovery Fund
P.O. Box 70
Hancock, VT 05748.

2. You may make tax-deductible contributions to the "Seeger Bartlett Scholarship Foundation", a non-profit 501c3 foundation.
As you know, the Seeger Bartlett Foundation sponsors full scholarships for several campers every summer. Funds are raised at the Sing and by your donations throughout the year, yet even so there are more campers eligible for these scholarships than money to provide them. You may not know that Killooleet also gives scholarship assistance to many families from it's own budget. Kate and Dean had more camper families needing scholarships in 2008 and expect that trend to continue through 2009. Money in the Killooleet budget that would have gone into scholarships is now needed to repair the flood damage. Kate and Dean are hoping that your contributions to the Seeger Bartlett Foundation will enable it to provide those additional scholarships this coming summer. By making tax-deductible contributions to the Seeger Bartlett Scholarship Foundation, you will be indirectly but very effectively helping camp recover from the flood. Contributions may be sent to:
The Seeger Bartlett Foundation
P.O. Box 1
Hancock, VT 05748

3. You can volunteer for the work weekends when we will be cleaning up the damage and preparing camp for the coming season.
Elisa Seeger will be coordinating the work weekends this Spring. You may contact her at email:

4. You can talk about Killooleet with colleagues and friends. Most new campers find Killooleet through alumni and current families who understand the important role it plays in child development. Kate and Dean are happy to provide brochures and the website: has photos and details about the summer. Remember that first time campers can commit to just the first half camp with the option to stay. If you are an alum not sure if your child is ready for camp, call Kate and talk it over: (617) 666-1484.

For more information, Contact: Kate and Dean or:
Tom Perera.
Chairman of the Board of the Seeger Bartlett Foundation
Tel: (802) 767-3265

THE FLOOD: Details and Photos

The Flood started on Wednesday morning, August 6, 2008 with extremely heavy rain that increased in intensity causing rivers to overflow their banks. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Route 125 was severely damaged and closed for over a week. Camp buildings along the river in the maintenance area of camp as well as cars and trucks were damaged and moved. The bank on the hill side of the Camp Killooleet lake dam was cut away allowing the lake to drain out and the feeder brook dam was damaged preventing water from coming in to fill the lake.

As always, the Entire focus of camp was on having the best summer ever. Camper cabins, softball fields, Main House and Theater were not affected by the high water. Friends helped to repair camp and hosted groups whose overnight trips had been cancelled. Normal activities resumed. Swimming continued in a local river and at another lake. Barterday and the All Star Game were played out under sunny skies. Despite the loss of much of their ammunition, the oldest campers sprung commando raids only four days after the flood (they won).

The temporary cleanup and repairs of the affected areas kept camp running smoothly right up to the last day. After camp engineers, construction workers, Keith, June and alumni volunteers set about the task of cleaning up the destroyed landscape, buildings and vehicles and repairing or rebuilding the camp in preparation for next summer.

There is still so much to be done: the engineering and construction work on the lake dam and intake, stabilizing the feeder brook banks, rebuilding ceramics and visitors' bathroom, still cleaning up flood debris ... it will take thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore camp fully.

Killooleet was created after the 1927 flood wiped out the trout fishing club that had been on the property. We don't intend to let this flood be the end.

The following photos tell the story visually.


The flood hit with incredible intensity as this view from the office porch shows.

All of the campers and counselors were moved to high ground in time to avoid any injuries.

The flood waters quickly overflowed the high banks of the river and swept over the camp road and into camp.

The flood waters and run-off from hillside springs mingled with the puddles created near the cabins every hard rain. Fortunately the water receeded without damaging any of the cabins or other buildings on the main part of the campus.

As the waters receded, it became apparent that the main campus had escaped serious damage.

Unfortunately, the maintenance buildings, the bridges, and the camp lake were not so lucky.

Although many vehicles had been moved up onto the main campus or out to the Hancock Church parking lot, 9 cars were swept downstream and totaled by the flood waters. In addition, several counselors who thought their cars had survived have since had difficulty keeping them running.

As the flood waters started to receed, early explorations down the driveway discovered deep holes where gravel had washed away.

One counselor went searching for her car. When she reached the place where she had parked it, she found that it was gone and it was later discovered out in middle of the camp lake where it had been swept hundreds of feet down the feeder brook.

The counselor's brand new Subaru in the empty camp lake testifies to the power of the flood.

Ropes helped counselors get around camp after the flood waters began to subside.

Mud was a problem until the campus gradually dried out.

The Flood as an Educational Experience !

Kate Seeger holds a meeting after breakfast to talk about the flood and reassure campers that the summer will be better than ever in every way.

In true Killooleet tradition, the flood has been made into a learning experience for everyone.

This is a view of the meeting looking down toward the EMPTY lake.

The bumper sticker on this counselor's car which was parked off the main campus and near the river tells the whole story !

The flood was indeed Nature's Classroom for everyone at camp.

The bumper sticker on this counselor's car tells the whole story !

Nature's Classroom.

A new role for the cargo net is helping to dry out all the trunks and suitcases:

The fun of swimming in a local river makes up for an empty lake:

Some "Overnighters" took place in local farm houses.

In one case the campers slept in a barn with a two hour old calf.

The last campfire took place on a beautiful moonlit night.

A hollow had been scooped out in the bottom of the lake and it filled with enough water to allow the candle boat ceremony to take place.


Walking down the camp road from the office.

The building housing the maintenance shop, ceramics studio, parent's bathroom and bicycle repair shed has been moved 65 feet over into the middle of the camp road:

The original location of the maintenance shop, ceramics studio, parent's bathroom, and bicycle repair shed is shown in the foreground.

The badly damaged ceramics studio and parent's bathroom have been demolished and you can now see how far the entire building was moved by the flood waters:

A ceramics project was washed out of the ceramics studio and deposited neatly on this tree stump:

Tony and Judy Seeger's Car trying to get into the Parents Bathroom:
(Attempt at humor !)

The bumper sticker on Tony and Judy Seeger's Car could not be more appropriate!:

A Counselor's brand New Volvo swept into the woods and immersed in mud and water:

A Counselor's brand New Volvo swept into the woods and immersed in mud and water:

The Remains of Scotty's Bridge after being hit by the water and the 2008 Subaru that was swept and rolled down the feeder brook by the flood:

This is the view from Scotty's Bridge looking down the feeder brook toward the lake.

The rear bumper of the 2008 Subaru that was swept down the feeder brook by the flood waters lies on a leaning tree.

The height of the bumper from the ground gives a good idea of the hight of the flood waters:

The Place by the Advanced Dock where the Dam was carved away by the water:

The Empty Camp Lake: Photo taken from the First Intermediate Dock.

You can see the Second Intermediate dock and the Boating dock which were swept over to Ellie's Island by the flood waters.

The Empty Camp Lake:

The Brand New 2008 Subaru that was rolled down the feeder brook and out into the lake by the flood:

Canoes and Kayaks were swept from the lakeside docks and down the river and wrapped around trees by the flood:

Repairs to the lake were underway three days after the flood:

Two days after the flood, repairs to the camp road are well underway. Watching the heavy equipment at work becomes a new activity at camp:


The Hancock Town Bridge. A large piece of pavement has been swept along the road and onto the bridge:

4-wheel drive vehicles were used to check on resident's welfare before the State Rescue Teams arrived:

The Colchester Vermont Technical Rescue team set up headquarters in Hancock across from the General Store:

A bridge along Route 125 has been completely cut off by the waters:

Rescue Teams helped residents evacuate the area behind the damaged bridge.

Route 125 toward Middlebury is heavily damaged:

Dale and Jill White's house on Route 125 barely survived the flood:

Meet "Lucky" a TV Star and the most famous cow in Hancock.

Lucky has been on TV, in all the newspapers, and on CNN.

Lucky was swept 3 miles down the raging river during the height of the flood and deposited UNINJURED in a pasture behind the Hancock Town Hall !

Tom Perera
Chairman: Seeger Bartlett Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees
P.O. Box 1, Hancock, VT 05748
Email Address: