Another lovely morning---the sun is going to creep over the horizon and the entire camp is so still...We had a tremendous Parents Weekend with the weather holding up beautifully again, and we showed the parents our camp when they came in on Friday evening and the boys were as proud as peacocks as they pointed out their camp to their folks. They took lots of time to introduce their fellow campers and staff members to their parents and some of our counselors made it a point to personally introduce themselves to any pretty sister of a camper that had come along. That evening we had a campfire with singing and a few words of wisdom, and I then gave a chat entitled, I Am Third, which really did not come from the Gale Sayers book. I think it registered on every camper who knows that my philosophy has always been that if a boy loves any kind of sport or activity, then someday he must end up by putting back into that activity more than he got out of it. I read an article recently about a number of other people who ascribe to that Philosophy also. At the end of the talk we had some guitar music and finally the beautiful key log ceremony with campers and staff members gathering around the campfire and throwing a piece of wood (called a key log) into the fire and giving thanks for all that they felt had happened to them of importance during the past week. It again was a very gripping ceremony. The next morning we let the parents see their boys in a series of activities. Then we had a wonderful lunch consisting of Southern Fried Chicken, Potato Salad and Cold Slaw, and topped off with home made donuts from our machine. The whole meal was delicious and I know that the parents enjoyed the meal. The weather was starting to get threatening, so we immediately put on our famed Camp Timberlane Timberbat Waterski Show, and the boys were superb. What was particularly nice for me to observe was the fact that the boys themselves ran their own show, and it has truly developed into a camper production. Following the show, parents were allowed to take out not only their own boys, but any other camper that they wanted to invite along after clearing with me. When the group had left---we only had 34 people in camp. I took the whole gang and we made giant quarter-pound hamburgers with raw onions and tomatoes and lettuce, and all the rest and we filled our stomachs up till they were almost bloated-- then I took orders and we picked up malts or sundaes for everyone from Tastee Freez and that topped off the day for the boys that hadnt gone out of camp.
Many boys whose parents had not come to camp had gone a Porcupine Mountains trip to Lake Superior in Upper Michigan and had left on Friday morning. This has to be one of the most beautiful trips in the world because the boys are high up in the mountains and are near a series of bodies of water and the view with the trees and surroundings are breathtaking. I prayed for good weather on this trip and the boys were out for three days. They roamed the countryside of upper Michigan and swam in Lake Superior and ate and slept well, and yesterday afternoon (late) about 4:00 P.M. I heard the tooting of horns and the singing of voices and in came our two carry all vans and our station wagon and the boys burst out of the vehicles shouting, fantastic, the Greatest--Thanks H.H. for letting us go, and they just kept bubbling over with enthusiasm about the wonderful trip that they had just been on. I know that it is a trip that they will long remember.
The past week has been a busy one again, and so many boys have asked me, H.H. whats happened to the time--it seems like only yesterday that we came up to camp. Time does fly by when youre busy doing things...Sunday night was our movie night with the showing of The Music Man, and the boys really seemed to enjoy this type of film. Sometimes Im a little bit leery about having a musical for a movie, but they enjoyed a great deal. On Monday evening we played a series of ball games and Tuesday night was campfire night with lots of marshmallows, songs and I taught them That Good Ol' Mountain Dew, with a lot of yodeling and yelling. We also sang old favorites and then we had two stories-- one of the counselors told a good story, and I wrapped it up with an eerie story called, The Monkeys Paw. All the boys were huddled around the fire as I began to spin the yard and you could see the whites of their eyes and a few incredulous eyeballs as I acted out part of the story, and when it was over, some of the younger boys came up to me, grabbed me by the pants and said, H, was that a true story??? I told them, No, it really isnt. You know, lots of guys call me H, not H.H. I wonder why. Wednesday was a wonderful cruiser day and we visited many wonderful and new places---the boys cooked out at Torpy Park and many other places and at night the rest of our camp that hadnt seen the Minocquabat Ski show had a chance to view it while the other cabins had their own programs. Thursday we had a basketball game against Camp Red Arrow for our intermediate boys and it was quite a game---Steve Lebau of Peoria was our key shooter, but he got great help from all the other boys and we won the game with a rousing finish. That night was our first social, and when the boys came to the flagpole at 6:00P.M. they were all dandied up--- Our younger boys went to Camp Agawak and the older gals came to our camp...The only problem was their youngest girls were supposedly between the ages of 10 to 12 yrs., so I didnt know what I could do with our 9 yr. old boys--- well some of them had been practicing all week and they said that theyd put some grease on their hair, maybe put on some charcoal on their face to imitate a beard and maybe they could pass themselves off as 10 yrs. of age--- so I let them go.... Well they moved right in and when they came back, I heard that they were the hit of the show...I asked the 9 yr. olds how it went...It was fine, they said, But some of those gals were too young for us. The older girls loved our camp, and they jumped on our 8 trampolines, and when it was time to go home, We couldnt dislodge them from our camp--I finally begged their counselors to please take them home. Since then, our mail has increased by 20% and our boys seem to be looking forward to the mail.
Last night, we showed a Walt Disney show called Whiskerface, about a dog and his trials and tribulations, and I offered either peanuts or pop corn (one of the two) and wrapped it up with soda pop. The boys were pooped after the movie so Im letting them sleep until 8:30 A.M. this morning and Im going to try to help them get their strength back again. Even on Sunday morning, when we had LAZY BREAKFAST yesterday, the boys slept to the full limit, so I toned it down on Sunday and we ran 3rd and 4th periods in the morning. Then we had 4 ball games to play---3 against Camp Arrowhead and two basketball games and with the porcupine trip still out we had only about 20 people left available at camp. A number of our boys were also viewing the Badger Open Ski meet in which people from all over the Mid West were competing in all forms of skiing competition. Suddenly, in came the van and Lo and Behold, there was a Camp Red Arrow coming to play us in Jr. softball. I didnt know what to do, so I gathered up 3 boys who were the only boys left of the right age, sent to our other area at Brandy Park where the Jrs. were playing to lend us 2 more boys and there we were stuck. Suddenly the blaring of horns greeted us and in came our porcupine trip boys, and they were really grimy, but happy---so I rousted ever available Jr. and we huddled and I became their coach, confidant, manager, and the boss, and we hustled over to the diamond and proceeded to whip the pants off of the other team 13-4. Our Jr. team against Camp Arrowhead lost this time as we did our Intermediate team, but we beat them in Intermediate basketball, and won in both Senior Softball and senior basketball, so it was a good day, but I was bushed--- never again---- I guess there was a foul up in the scheduling.
The camp council met last night and they are really good this year---Our camp council is made up of a representative from each cabin and they draw up their own agenda at each meeting. They suggested that each cabin have band aides, and certain other items available with the counselors so that they wouldnt have to run down to the infirmary for every little thing that they needed. I thought it was a good idea, but I cautioned them against not coming to doctors. This is a good group, and they have given me some excellent ideas plus plenty of room for thought on certain areas that need improvement. I even got a compliment or two-- and a couple of boys that had been homesick originally were on the council, and I was amazed at how much they have progressed in three short weeks.
Today, the interest mounts--- we are going all out in preparation for U.N. day---United Nations Day... It is a day (Tuesday) designed to force each boy to give his ultimate effort for his team, and to become an integral part of his country. Leaders have been chosen to set their fellow campers up in series of events, and all day Monday we will periodically be having meetings and practices where the boys can prepare for the day on Tuesday. I am going to try to include a listing of the entire events of the day in this newsletters and even though it may not all be clear to you, it will show you just how wonderful a day it will be. Study the point value, and the age group that can compete and you begin to see how rough it is to program the boys in each different event. Our countries this year are Bangladesh, Israel, Nigeria and Russia, and the boys not only compete in a series of events, but they also must compose a series of songs and cheers. We start the day on Tuesday morning and there is so much to do that we will get up earlier than usual. If the competition is close, then it may go all the way to the final event, the wrap it all up with a steak fry our dinner, and then well tone it down with a nice campfire at night.
Wednesday is cruiser day again, and many cabins have again planned some fabulous cabin trips..Other cabins spend the day in camp doing a series of 10 different activities, and it really is a lot of fun for the boys. On Thursday we have our second social with Camp Ohtanogan, and it should be a lot of fun. Friday, we have another basketball game for our senior boys and we will also be having a gymkanah--(Horseback riding contest) against Camp Pinemere and I know that the boys will enjoy the different relay races that are involved against the other camp. Saturday night will be the last evening of camp for many of our boys, but we do not have a farewell program and will have a regular evening program. Awards will be given to the boys on Saturday afternoon and many will have to get up very early on Sunday morning in order to catch their plane home. The new boys will arrive on Sunday, and we will get them into their program so fast that by Monday afternoon we will be on full schedule. Each of you will have information about your sons return home.
If he is coming home on Sunday, July 22nd within the next day or so. Great Great Great so far--- yes the weather has been tremendous, but weve all been so healthily busy--- again, remember my words-- wait until your boys have been home two days-- you will understand what camp has really meant them--- and thanks again for your notes on your liking the newsletters---