Bob Raines  (1937-1942, S1947-1948)

Born: 1926

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Current Town: Guilford, Connecticut

Education: The Blake School, Minneapolis, 1944; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1946-1950; Yale Divinity School, 1950-1953 Clare College; University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, 1953-1954

Occupation: Retired Minister and Author

Bob Raines was raised in Minneapolis near Lake of the Isles, where his family had a close connection with Brownie Cote.  “Bob’s Dad was the minister at our church growing up, and he was good friends with my parents because of that,” recalled Sam Cote, Director Emeritus, Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert.  Bob Raines spent eight summers at Camp Lincoln, and later went on to serve in the United States Navy before entering Yale University and becoming an ordained minister.  He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied at the University of Cambridge in England during the 1950s.  Reverend Raines served three congregations in Ohio and Pennsylvania as a minister from 1954 to 1974.  He also served as the Director of Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center in Bangor, Pennsylvania., for 20 years and wrote l3 books along the way. Bob’s story with Camp Lincoln is full of history, and he was not afraid to share some funny stories with us either!  We were excited to receive Bob’s correspondence earlier this month detailing some of his memories from his days at Camp Lincoln. 

Where does your story with camp begin?  How were you first introduced to Camp Lincoln? My parents took me to camp when I was seven-years-old; I was desperately homesick, and wrote them a carefully tear-stained letter begging them to come and take me home.  I put in a couple of biblical passages, hoping to soften them up with my Dad being a minister.  They did not come early; I survived and came to love camp.

What are a few of your favorite memories from your days at Camp Lincoln? I enjoyed the camaraderie of cabin friendships, having Bud Wilkinson (S1936, 1938, 1939, 1951-1957), famous Minnesota football player, who later went on to coach the University of Oklahoma Sooners, as my counselor one or two years, and enjoyed singing the various college football songs in the dining room: “Sooner Born and Sooner Bred, and when I die I’m Sooner Dead, rah Oklahoma…”  I fell off a horse early on, which regrettably soured me on riding.  I broke a waterfront rule one day by diving in when I was not supposed to do so.  Getting disciplined by keeping me from swimming for a period of time helped me learn something about abiding by the rules.  My first girlfriend was Mary Lou (Bradley) Owen (1940-1944, S1945, 1947), from Wichita, Kansas, I think, whom I met at Lake Hubert.  Being in the outdoors, learning camping skills and having fun with other campers mark my memories.  I also remember, warmly, Chuck Everett and Brownie Cote.

Did any of your family members attend or work at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert? Yes.  My brothers Dick Raines (1935-1943, S1949-1951) and John Raines (1942-1950, S1951) attended Camp Lincoln and were counselors.  My sister, Rose (1933, 1935), also attended Lake Hubert.

Do you have any interesting stories about camp canoe trips or about traveling outside of camp? On a canoe trip, I got poison ivy in the crotch and had to spend a few days lying on my back with my legs open.  Lucky Tiger Ointment eased my itching and recovery.

What were some of your favorite activities at Camp Lincoln? I loved sailing, baseball and all kinds of competition.

Wow, you authored 13 books!  What are a few of your favorites and what was the content? My first book was called New Life In The Church, published by Harper and Rowin in l96l, telling the story of how small Bible Study Groups transformed the life of a congregation.  Another, Creative Brooding, published in l966 by MacMilan, matched biblical stories with stories from the newspaper, plays and books that breathed the same spirit, inviting meditation.  My last book, A Time to Live, published in l997 by Putnam, outlines seven steps of creative aging.  All of my books are out of print, and of course I am almost out of print myself!

A mentor you look up to, creed that you live by? The American I admired most in my era was Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., whom I joined on the Selma to Montgomery March in l965.  The Selma March was for voting freedom in Alabama where voting rights were denied to blacks; the Selma March galvanized the American people and the Voting Rights Act was passed in the summer of l965 by Congress, by just a few votes.  One of them being by Minnesota Senator, Hubert Humphrey.

How did you and your amazing wife meet, and what is her name? My wife Cynthia and I met in church, where else?

What do you stay busy with now? My wife and I have six children and ten grandchildren. We are involved in the church and the community here in Guilford, Conn., and are blessed with good health.  See a PDF of Bob’s Achievement Club Checkoff sheet from 1934