Camden is another fictional place in the SLT universe - it's a larger town that is south of Spearfish Lake. It's where residents go if you cannot find something locally (i.e. in Spearfish Lake). Depending on traffic and weather the journey by car takes about an hour. The town of Decatur appears to be the only rival for title of nearby big town. The town of Spearfish Lake historically is one of those locations for summer homes of the Camden wealthy is times gone by, but that isn't the only link. At least one Spearfish Lake resident resident, James D. Moore, an attorney, commuted daily to Camden.
While Spearfish Lake has an airport, it's basically a single short runway and a couple of hangars (but it's long enough for Learjet Jenn). The big town of Camden has a real airport with scheduled airline service. Spearfish Lake residents will often drive down to Camden for flights or to pick up visitors. They also have a charter company; Blake Walworth says we occasionally charter a bizjet from an outfit in Camden.SQ28
The town is large enough to have a freeway bypass and appears to be the first location when driving from Spearfish Lake to anyplace else. There are several drive-through fast food places on the ring road around Camden.HP31
Camden is one end of the Camden and Spearfish Railroad, which is how its location is significant in the book Snowplow Extra. There is a river through Camden which has a railroad bridge that was not repaired for years. Otherwise, Camden is on the Decatur and Overland Railroad.
Camden St. Dismas is a high school in Camden that had a girl's softball team that was the state runner up in 1983, losing to Spearfish Lake High and Brandy Evachevski.AF27 St. Dismas might have been considered one of the "sandbagging Catholic schools from Camden that could, and did, recruit and give scholarships to promising athletes from all over",AF8 although the quote was talking about football. One such Camden Catholic high school football team beat the Spearfish Lake Marlins in the state quarter-finals in 1975.
Riverside Community College was a two year college which offered many courses which were requirements at four year colleges but much cheaper. Riverside had a dual enrollment contract with Spearfish Lake High School which saw the school paying for up to 6 hours of tuition a week for classes which were not available at the high school.SU6 Susan Langenderfer-McMahon took advantage of this to part pay her first year of college instead of wasting her senior year at high school not learning anything. Cody Archer and Janice Archer took a semester of classes at Riverside also paid for by the Spearfish Lake High School under a court order not dual enrollment.SK38
Camden is the location of Camden General hospital with better facilities than in Spearfish Lake. More than one cardiac patient,DW58 including Ed Sloat,BAR742 in Spearfish Lake was transported there for better care. Randy and Nicole Clark's first child was born there.HC21 The hospital has a helipad.HC7
"Once upon a time Spearfish Lake had a hospital – not a large one, but adequate for emergency needs. However ... rising health care costs and decreasing payouts from insurance companies had driven it into bankruptcy; there was nothing that could be done but close it. That made a lot of people uncomfortable, since the closest hospital was now Camden General, over sixty miles off."SK2 So Janice Lufkin had to be rushed to Camden General by ambulance with paramedics Randy Clark and Rod Turpin. The Spearfish Lake Hospital re-opens as a clinic at the end of the book Hiding Patty.
Jennifer Evachevski travels to a Camden hospital for neonatal checkups. Carole Carter has her practice, Works Psychology Consultants, in Camden.AC1 Camden is also the location of a state mental hospital where Walt Archer's first wife spent the last years of her life.
Camden has shopping malls, especially North Towne Mall which appears to be a favorite shopping place for Brenda Hodunk and Wendy and Carole Carter. There's also the Briarwood Mall on the north side of town.HP24 Brenda was also of the opinion that she had to drive to Camden for a halfway decent bookstore or oriental restaurant that could do Japanese.AC1 Camden has a multiplex cinemaBITH7 with ten screens.BITH8 It was to the movie theater in Camden that Steve Augsberg took Binky for their first date.AF22
Clark Construction has lost out on bids to a rival, Solkow-Warner, from Camden.BB6 Larry Warner is one of the principals of the company. HC11 At one time there was a Jim Warner on the Camden city council, it's unknown if there is a relationship.HS6
B&M Dog Food is a regional producer located in Camden that is one of the sponsors of Run-8 Kennels and their dog sled racing.
The town's newspaper is the Camden Press which is a bigger newspaper than the Spearfish Lake Record-Herald, but does not compare well in the stories. It too often seems to employ Airhead State Barbies, but does hire Record-Herald alumni as they move on to bigger and better things. When news occurs in Spearfish Lake, Mike McMahon is known to sell photos to the Camden Press, although sometimes Mike is said to have sold his photos to the Camden Herald.BAR730
There is a Camden Dogsled Association based in the town that was unknown to Mike McMahon and Mark Gravengood when they first got into the sport. The principals were surprised, but good natured when eclipsed by the growing prowess of Josh Archer and Tiffany Langenderfer-McMahon.
Real Life Note
There is a Camden in New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia.