Special thanks to Jillian Mallis, Lodge ’04, for letting us share her beautiful words about Pinecliffe.
“Where is your home-away-from-away? Maybe its a small log cabin in the woods in Estes Park Colorado, or its lake house in the Berkshires, or maybe its a tent in your own backyard where your Dad taught you how to build a fire and pitch a tent. Mine’s in Harrison, Maine, tucked away in the pines, down a dirt road, on a lake. I never write posts, I never feel the need or feel like I have anything to say, but when it comes to Pinecliffe the words flow freely and effortlessly.
Pinecliffe is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year. I could not be more honored to be a part of a lineage that spans that length of time and includes many strong, resilient, life-loving, friend-loving, kind, courageous, and bold women. Pinecliffe had so much to do with why we are that way.
This year it will have been 20 years since I first stepped foot off the bus from Boston and onto hollowed, sacred ground.
I’d like to say I remember everything about that first day, but 20 years is a long time. I can say that I will never forget the sound of crunching gravel as the older girls walked past your bunk at night after Taps shush-ing each other and giggling. I will never forget the sound of young girls singing their way into, and through, summer. It is not often that we get these moments as adults. Very rarely do we have everyone around us believing, and feeling the same deep sensations that we are. Now more than ever, these memories of camaraderie and togetherness are important, and it’s important for the future women of the world to feel this way at some point in their lives.
We all get older and time goes by. We all have new memories being made every day. But the one place I ALWAYS look back on and cherish, is Pinecliffe. Sitting on the basketball court alone or with a few girls, staring out at Harrison—the colors blending orange and red with green and brown coming to a point at the other end of Crystal Lake. There is no scene more ingrained in my mind. And I often picture it more than the bunks or the Lodge or the silver shed, because I know it will never change and has been that way for the past 100 years and will be that way for the next 100 years. It will never leave my heart and I feel so blessed to be able to have that. See you in August my dearest friend."
Maja Toncic is the Assistant Director at Camp Pinecliffe, working closely with Patty, Marcy, and Casey. She began her Pinecliffe summers as a third generation camper in 1990, and in 2000 returned as a counselor. She has worked with our Cliffes, as a Smallcraft instructor, as the Assistant Director of Swim, a Senior Group Leader, Program Director, and now an Assistant Director.