Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Three Generations at Woodcraft

For many families, Woodcraft is a tradition passed along from generation to generation. This summer we have two staff members whose Woodcraft connection goes all the way back to the mid 1940's. Around the end of World War II, a Syracuse University art student named Drew Mills came to work at Woodcraft. Through the late 40's and early 50's, Drew and his wife Ginnie were in charge of the Stockade, a former Woodcraft division for kindergarten-aged boys.
Drew Mills is standing in the center of the back row.
In addition to being dedicated Woodcrafters, Drew and Ginnie were also accomplished artists. Both taught art at various levels across Upstate New York. Drew's career path eventually took him to the position of Chief of the Bureau of Arts, Music, and Humanities Education for the New York State Education Department. All the while, both were creating their own original works and exhibiting paintings in galleries and museums.

Kan-Ac-To by Ginnie Mills. Photo courtesy of Dan Mills at This painting looks across Kan-Ac-To from the southwest corner of the beach, looking back towards the office. Anyone familiar with Woodcraft will recognize the large, leaning pine tree on the left. It still stands today right by the paddle shack. A photo of the tree from the other side of the lake can be seen here.
Drew and Ginnie's sons continued their parents tradition of leadership at Woodcraft. After several years as campers, Peter and Dan Mills worked as counselors in the Outpost, Iroquois Village, and Trail Camp. Woodcraft was all-boys at the time so their sister, Martha, attended Echo Camp on Raquette Lake. Martha's sons, Dan, Steve, and Pat, began at Woodcraft in the late 90's. Dan and Pat are currently on staff and Steve has been a counselor in the past. All three were campers for several years.

Steve, Pat, and Dan Burns in 2008.
To see more artwork by Ginnie and Drew, visit the galleries hyperlinked in their names.

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