JUNE 16, 1941
HYDE PARK, Sunday—After leaving the charming young ladies modeling, the various uniforms for women defense workers on Friday morning, I went up to the International House to attend a conference on voluntary work camps. The morning was spent in hearing from representatives of NYA and CCC about the programs and work done in camps under government supervision.
In the afternoon, the session was opened by a talk by Mr. Kenneth Holland, who went to Europe in the early 30's to evaluate the work being done in these camps in various countries over there. He showed a picture of one of these student work camps in Switzerland, which was extremely interesting.
Afterwards, a number of other people spoke of the value of the voluntary work camp. I think what emerged from the whole day was a realization that this type of camp, where some useful form of work for the community is performed, and where young people of various backgrounds and education meet, work and play together for a stated period, is distinctly educational. Purely academic education cannot achieve the same result.
I was sorry to have to leave a little before 4:00 o'clock, but I had to go to the dentist and then attend an hours' meeting of the committee for "The Open Road." This organization performs for people of the older age group much the same function that the work camp performs for people in the student group. Afterwards, I had a few friends to dine with me and went to see Gertrude Lawrence in "Lady In The Dark."
It closed last night for the summer, but I imagine it will reopen in the autumn, for the house was packed and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The music and the lyrics are very catchy. The haunting tune, which runs through the whole play and disturbs the "Lady In The Dark" so much, will repeat itself in your mind after you have heard it.
Gertrude Lawrence is extremely good in this part. The play itself is entertaining and light enough, so what moral there is, is sugar-coated and only presses itself home in the quiet hours after the play. What a lot of bother she went through just to discover that she had fallen out of love with one man and in love with another.
Yesterday morning we rose early enough to start for the country a few minutes after eight. In spite of gray weather, some twenty-five of us had an imitation picnic on my cottage porch. Then the weather cleared sufficiently for everyone who wanted to swim and play games to do so. We visited the library and found the collections were beginning to take on some semblance of order in preparation for the opening on the first of July.