When I was a camper, I was unaware of any compass directions, or how the camp fit into its surroundings. I did know that the camp was located among a set of basically north-south running glacial ridges. "Lover's Leap", a rocky outcropping overlooking the swimming lake, is located on the ridge just to the west of the camp, and when we were feeling particularly energetic, we used to hike to the west, over seven ridges, to an old lead mine.
The campís lakes are fed by a stream running from south to north. You can follow its path on the satellite view, which appears to show four lakes. South to north, start with the lowest lake on the image, a small lake that looks somewhat rectangular. That "lake" is actually the field containing the old ballfields, or perhaps a bit to the south of the ballfields. The area is now flooded due to the excavation of gravel. Its rectangular shape can be better seen on the satellite view than it can be seen today standing alongside it. I donít know if thatís just because itís easier to spot the shape on the overhead view, or if the Google view is a bit older, and erosion in this area has rounded it over time.
The stream then flows north (up, on the map) into the "Boating Lake". The satellite view clearly shows the flat shape of the northern (top) edge of the boating lake. That shape is characteristic of aerial views of a lake formed by an artificial dam. The stream then flows over the dam into the "Swimming Lake" to the north.
Then, about another 1,000 feet beyond the end of the Swimming Lake, it flows into the crescent-shaped Primitive Lake. Because the outflow from that lake is over what was formerly an emergency overflow, the Primitive Lake is quite a bit higher, and hence larger, than it used to be. However, it has also silted in somewhat, and the small island that used to be in it has gotten larger (although the entering stream still flows around it on both sides, so it is still technically an island). Finally, the stream flows off camp property into the Quinebaug River just to the north (not visible on the above view).
(The map above is from July, 2006.)
1. Click this link to create a map of the camp land in a separate window (scroll down a bit to see the map).
2. Then click the "Aerial Map" button on the upper-right corner of the map, to overlay a satellite view. You can see the camp's lakes on the left side of the map.
3. You can click the "X" in the upper-right corner of the white "balloon" to cause it to go away.
4. You can now drag the slider on the left side of the map up to zoom in, or drag it up and down to choose any desired scale. You can also left-click anywhere on the map, hold the mouse button down, and drag the map around.
Note: clicking on the link above is equivalent to going to http://maps.google.com, and doing a search on "1 River Road, Sturbridge, MA".