Robin Hood on the Road – An Alumni Surprise in New York City

Alex Hauspurg, Ginna Levine, Hillary Porter, Nick Hoagland, Morgan Hurley, Nina Rubel, Brenton Arnaboldi, Morgan Miller, Peter Ferguson, Jon Viener, David Barlow, Scott Caputo, Alex Beck, Jon Aghravi, Will Bradley,  Charlton Field

Alex Hauspurg, Ginna Levine, Hillary Porter, Nick Hoagland, Morgan Hurley, Nina Rubel, Brenton Arnaboldi, Morgan Miller, Peter Ferguson, Jon Viener, David Barlow, Scott Caputo, Alex Beck, Jon Aghravi, Will Bradley, Charlton Field

For those who still possess an idealized childhood vision of Robin Hood, you are not alone. Even I, who literally live and breathe camp year-round, was drawn back into some of my sweetest memories at Oct. 19 alumni party in Manhattan, surrounded by some of my favorite campers of all time. I am still so very touched by the grownup Robin Hooders who turned out to reminisce and – I kid you not – sing camp songs, it has kept a smile on my face for weeks.

The day didn’t start out promising. My high expectations for our Sunday afternoon cocktail party at the Waldorf Astoria diminished when I awoke with a remarkable case of laryngitis that forced me to hand-write notes to the staff, to be even vaguely understood. Moreover, I was presiding over a bowling party for our current campers in the early afternoon. Perhaps I had over-reached.

My reservations didn’t last long. Five p.m. rolled around with my co-hosts Scotty Caputo and Tanya Littlefield and me toasting Tattinger champagne (in honor of the Robin Hood Tattinger family) in the Waldorf suite, when a steady stream of alums started to appear in droves, beginning with long-time loyalist Peter Ferguson (camper from the 1950s to 1961) and his wife Rose Ann. No one has been a more consistent, loyal alumnus than Peter. I love it when he makes the pilgrimage to Maine every few years to check up on us!

Gathering Group

The enthusiastic, thoughtful and appreciative David “Barls” Barlow appeared next, to my surprise and delight. David is a talented actor and I very much enjoyed sharing stories and memories with him. Next to arrive was our “man of the world,” Alex Beck (London childhood, Dutch/American), who is currently a professional photographer. Jon Viener, who starred in many Nottingham Fair Show productions is currently a writer, story editor and voice artist for TV’s “Family Guy,” also graced us with his presence. Jon’s irreverent sense of humor as a camper apparently has translated into a lucrative career.

Brenton Arnaboldi arrived to represent two generations of Arnaboldi family members. Brenton’s father Leo, uncle Clinton, brothers Peter, Andrew, and Adrian, and cousins Isabella and Sophia Tarbell-Arnaboldi, Caitlin, Cameron, and Emmeline Kelley all are alum or current campers. Brenton was a long-time camper, counselor and program director for many years, perhaps most famously known as the current record holder of our Around the Lake 8.2 mile road race. Brenton recently graduated from Amherst College and now works in the New York world of finance. I was pleased to see that even though he has a successful grown-up job of commercial real estate, Jonathan “Gravy” Aghravi, has not lost the same wicked sense of humor he had at 14. (I mean this lovingly.)

Nick Hoagland, a member of our 10-years-plus club, appeared. Nick spent years in Guinea, West Africa as a Peace Corp worker. We are glad to have him home — New York banking may be safer these days. Will Bradley and cousin Charlton Field shocked me when they showed up at the door. It took 15 minutes to figure out who they were. Last I knew they were both living in London. The longer I spoke with them the more they were recognizable as the irreverently funny younger boys they were back in the day.

The exceptionally sweet and kind Morgan Miller arrived with her ever-present winning smile along with her Robin Hood bestie Nina Rubel, who with her vibrant hair color added life to our party. The tallest alum at the event may have been Justin Kingson, although Jon Viener is close. Remember Justin as a Riflery counselor? My guess of his age was off by about 15 years. Alex Hauspurg also delighted us with her beautiful appearance, self-confidence and charm. Actress Ginna Levine came toward the end of the evening. She is about to start filming a movie and it was wonderful to catch up with her. She is more beautiful than ever.  Morgan Hurley stopped by to say hello and I wish we had spent more time catching up with what is going on in her life. Last to be mentioned, but far from least, my cousin Hillary Porter, an incredibly fit and enthusiastic fitness trainer, Zumba instructor, dancer, and actress. Congratulations on being recently selected a cast member of the Elf The Muscial travelling company.

We reminisced for hours and toward the end belted out the “Archery” song, “Hail Sherwood Forest” and “Robin Hood (On the Lake and By the Sea).” I owe a big debt to Scotty and Tanya, who deserve a lot of credit for helping pull all these alumni together by getting the word out. Tanya flew in from Boston to coordinate the logistics.

Rick Littlefield with Charlton Field and Will Bradley

Rick Littlefield with Charlton Field and Will Bradley

This day was a reminder of how much Robin Hood remains special and unique in our hearts. I encourage others to make an appearance at future reunions in New York and around the world, or even better, make a pilgrimage to our Sherwood Forest in Brooksville, Maine. Even just following us on Facebook will encourage you to remember the Robin Hood still in your heart and to feel the warmth of your Robin Hood childhood memories again.

The sound of our grown up campers singing the stanzas of the Robin Hood song are still ringing in my ears: “and when our last campfire has burned we’ll not forget what we have learned. From him who strong for honor stood Robin Hood dear Robin Hood.”

Rick Littlefield


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