Camp Chickawah Staff to Hold Reunion – 30 Years after Camp Closed

Currently the senior medical director for Ogilvy CommonHealth Medical Education, a WPP Company, Craig Gelband directs and coordinates the development of education programs for pharmaceutical clients. Prior to joining Ogilvy CommonHealth, he worked in a number of capacities for Organon USA. Craig Gelband’s professional achievements can be traced to a strong academic career, culminating in a PhD in pharmacology, but much of his development as a man, a team member, and a team builder can be traced to the summers he spent at Camp Chickawah.

Located on the shores of Island Pond in Harrison, Maine, Camp Chickawah was established in 1920 on the grounds of an old farm about 60 miles northwest of Portland. Its founder, Joseph “Chick” Saltman, was a graduate of the City College of New York who had recently returned from serving his country in World War I. At that time, he and his new bride acquired the property in distant Maine to avoid parental visits every weekend. He named the camp Chickawah after his own nickname.

Chickawah thrived as a boys’ summer camp. As is the case with summer camps, most campers attended for a few summers and then aged out, turning to other activities as their interests changed. Some, though, returned to join the staff and help make younger campers’ summers memorable. Like camp staffs everywhere, they vowed to keep their friendships strong during the off-season.

In 1985, after 65 fun-filled summers, Camp Chickawah closed for good at the end of the season. The property was sold sometime later and, happily, is still used as a summer camp. Near the end of August 2014, the new camp, Fernwood Grove, will host a three-day reunion for the Chickawah alumni, almost 30 years after the last campfire was extinguished. More information about the activities planned by the reunion committee, of which Craig Gelband is an active member, are available on Camp Chickawah’s website at On the home page, click on Alumni.


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