the land upon which Camp Sewataro now sits
was purchased by Alba Taylor’s father, Franklin Secatore, in the 1930’s. The land bore little resemblance to the Sewataro we know today with its rolling meadows, ponds and pine groves. Without a clearing or even an access trail, the area was heavily forested, with the lower section consisting of one great mosquito-infested swamp. Immediately, Alba’s father set about realizing the dream he envisioned for the land. Over the next 15 years, after countless arduous projects including roads, buildings, and waterworks, his vision because reality.
In 1960, Camp Sewataro was opened for its first season
by the Secatore sisters, Gloria Walsh, Alba Taylor and Paula Romano, aided by the continual maintenance and development of the land by their father, Mr. Secatore. The name “Sewataro” is an even blend of the first two letters of each of their last names. That first year Sewataro had 25 campers and three counselors, two for swimming and one for sports. Subsequently, Gloria and Paula moved away, and Alba with the help of her three children, Christine, Mark, and Rob, who were once campers, took over the operation of camp.
Each subsequent year
has seen the continuous development of the grounds. A three-acre second pond was constructed, where fishing and canoeing are held today. The central field was cleared for a sports and tent area. In addition, there has been the transforming construction of new facilities. Hard work, vision and determination were the necessary ingredients for camp growth. As with most successful ventures, much of the labor was behind the scenes; all day attentiveness to the thousands of details that build and establish a tradition.
The heart of the camp’s reputation
has been its desire to allow campers to have a fun and enriching summer in a safe environment. This is monitored by careful attention to detail and animated by a desire to make campers happy. We are proud when parents remark appreciatively that we “run a tight ship,” for we believe that structure is a great enabler of freedom. In addition, personal attentiveness to individual needs keeps this structure from becoming excessively rigid.
While improvement is a concern, of equal concern is the upkeep and preservation of all that has come to stand for Sewataro and the fifty years of work that has gone into it. Maintenance of the camp grounds has become an enormous undertaking. In reality, it proves a never-ending battle of continuous labor and perseverance to stem the tide of nature’s reclaim. But it is a battle well worth the effort.
The second immense loss
occurred when Alba Taylor, the camp’s guiding light and driving force, succumbed to a long illness and died in 2010. There will never be an adequate replacement for Alba, but all of the leadership are committed to carrying on her vision. Whenever we are faced with a difficult decision, we inevitably ask, “What would Alba do?” So, in a sense, she continues to work her magic for Sewataro.
The land has been transformed,
and a tradition of camp service has been established. Our job now is to continue and preserve, but because what does not go forward eventually retreats, our job is also to rejuvenate and create. We have dedicated ourselves to a pursuit of excellence, and that dedication has produced great rewards. The lives of thousands of children have been enriched through activities and friendships at Sewataro. You will play a large part in the continuation of the Sewataro tradition this summer.
A new chapter has started
In 2019, the Taylor family sold the camp to the town of Sudbury. Under the guidance and mentorship of Scott Brody, National Board Chair of the American Camp Association, Sewataro will continue to grow. Scott, who is the founder and owner of multiple camps, including Everwood Day Camp, admired the program and leadership at Sewataro so immensely that he even modeled Everwood after Sewataro’s blueprint, claiming that “Sewataro is the gold standard of day camps”. With the current leadership in place, Scott is confident Sewataro will continue to enrich children’s lives for many years to come.