Thursday, July 23, 2020

A History of Tennis

We are continuing to take some time this summer to take a look back at the history of Camp Foley. With 95 years of Camp under our belt, Camp has inevitably changed with the times. We are very proud of how far it has come and all the history we have accumulated. We have recently created an archive of historical pictures and records dating back to the 30s!

Today we are taking a look at Tennis! Tennis doesn't appear at Camp Foley until the 1950s, but even just looking at the last 60 years of Foley Tennis, things have changed A LOT!

Tennis first appears at Camp Foley in a much smaller scale. There is no fencing around the one court that is present and the rackets and balls are much smaller and do not look much at all like the things we would use today. It was still an all boys camp at the time, and the boys can also be seen playing badminton, something we still do today at Foley.

First ever picture of Tennis at Camp Foley
Badminton being played by campers 

Here in the 60s Tennis begins to take on a more familiar look. There is some fencing on each end of the court and the courts have all the normal regulation lines. Tennis begins to develop into a more serious activity and counselors can be seen instructing young campers how to stand and swing their racket properly.
You can see the much smaller fence in the back 
Campers receiving instruction

Like I always say when we get to the 70s, the girls are finally here! Camp Foley becomes a co-ed camp in 1974 and we see young women along with male campers playing tennis now. Two new tennis courts are built in 1975. The counselors start teaching the "Winners Mark" progressive tennis instruction, a teaching style named for Mark Platt, a famous tennis instructor. In 1976, the tennis courts are dedicated to Erwin and Myrtle Schmid, They are the parents of Bob Schmid, who took Camp over from Father Foley in 1949, and they are the Grandparents of  Marie Schmid, one of directors.
A female tennis instructor for the 1st time!
Check out the fence going all the way around
No backboard yet

Not a lot changes with the tennis courts for a while. When we enter the 80s the hair gets bigger, the clothes get righteous and in 1986 the tennis court gets resurfaced. A back board is also added in the 80s and the campers can be seen using it to volley with themselves.
camper using the backboard
kids waiting for thier turn to volley
The court was resurfaced, can you tell?
counselor serving to the kids 

We enter the 90s! Where the pants get baggier but tennis gets a new upgrade! The Tennis courts are repainted, using the same colors but they spruced up the old courts quite nicely. They are actually repainted twice in the 90s, once in 1996, and again in 1998.
Check out that vintage camp shirt!
Rockin out 90s style at tennis

We've hit the 2000s and with this decade come the biggest changes so far for Tennis. The courts are completely changed in 2006 and become the classic green courts we all know and love. In 2008, Higher fences are put up around the perimeter of the two courts as well, helping to stop more balls from escaping. This is also the first time we see painted murals on the back boards. Which will cme in many different designs over the next 20 years.
Tennis Court in 2000, 6 years before the remodel
Check out the different backboards
Which do you like better?
Brand new court color!

Here we are back to the present! Tennis really became what we know it as back in 2006 when the courts were redone, but a few changes still happen in this decade. In 2001 camp purchased the Lobster, an electronic ball lobber that allows people to practice tennis without a partner. In 2016, trainer tennis balls are added. These are balls specifically designed for beginner tenner players. And finally a brand new backboard mural was designed and painted in 2019. 
Waiting for tennis!

Tennis players unite

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