Its very early in the morning and I have slipped over to my office in order to try to get out a few words to you to tell you how your boys are doing at camp and what will be going on during the next week. It is my hope that by writing you this letter which will come off of a first typing, you can actually sense the feeling of our camp and in fact almost be a camper here at Timberlane yourself. Its a sizzler this morning in terms of weather and as I visited the cabins last night the boys really fell asleep quite quickly because of the active day they had. Our groups arrived at camp on Saturday and most of the boys got to camp right on schedule with the exception of our bus group from Chicago, Milwaukee and Appleton, Wisconsin. It seems that before the bus picked up the boys it developed motor trouble, so the Greyhound company had to set up another Scenic Cruiser bus and as a result the bus arrived 2 1/2 hrs. Late. But everybody got camp in time to enjoy a big roast beef dinner. We then began to start our unpacking of trunks and footlockers and then we all headed out to our recreation building to watch the entire staff put on the best staff talent night that we ever had. It started with the Timberettes (the gals in our camp) putting on a kick chorusand ended with the entire staff performing for the camp. This is our way of saying hello to the campers and I know that they enjoyed the whole show.
On Sunday morning at 6:00 A.M. I was awakened by 6 boys jumping on the trampolines, and I went roaring out of my bedroom to bawl out the boys. They looked at me blankly and said---H.H.- dont we get up at 6 here at camp. I moved them out to the ball field and started a little ball game and hoped that wed have them tuckered out by the end of the day. (We did cause theyre not at the tramps this morning) After breakfast on Sunday morning, we started out major unpacking and cabin cleanup and during this period of time we began to run our testing program. First, however, each boy had a physical by the nurse and then he went to the swim area to test for the area of water that he would be allowed to swim in---if he was a deep water swimmer he then was checked out for his canoeing ability, and if he was interested in scuba diving and had parent permission he was then tested in this area. Those boys interested in horseback riding were then checked out by our riding man, Mike Cambell. For the rest of the morning we finished our cabin unpacking and then the cabins played ball, tennis or other activities on the athletic field. Following the lunch period, we held a long rest period in order to rest our early risers.During the afternoon, we assembled all the boys at the barbecue area and the counselors began to discuss the activities that they would be offering during the summer. Prior to this, the counselors of the campers went over the activities available for each age group and now the boys were ready to sign up for activities for the next week. After activity discussions, we held a long Free swim and opened up our boating, canoeing and sailing areas and the entire waterfront area was jammed with boys. Following the swim the boys had a short free period and then we had a dinner complete with Southern Fried Chicken and all the trimmings. The boys consumed 60 chickens and really did a fine job in the eating department. After dinner we signed the boys up for their activities and followed this up with an evening program in which each boy participated in a sports activity such as softball, Basketball or football, and we held what is called the Timberleague tryouts. It was a beautiful sight to see the athletic fields (2 of them) filled with running and shouting boys. Meanwhile three gals (our secretarial staff) were working at the top pitch to type up activity schedule and staff assignments and before the boys went to bed, the entire schedule was ready for Mondays first series of activities. This is a comforting thought...
Today we begin all our activities and the program will hum. Its always a relief for the Director because it makes camping much easier. I might add that we only had three teary eyed boys and the tears melted when I gave the 1st sad boy some worms and a rod, the second boy helped give out canteen and the third boy learned how to use the trampoline---funny thing, after the 1st boy caught a walleye, he came back and asked if he could call home---I had a lump in my throat and I asked why he wanted to call home---he said, wee, my mom signed me up for 4 weeks, and I want to stay for 8. (How about that) The evening program is going to be an all camp campfire, and we will sing songs, hear stories, roast marshmallows, and finally read the wills of the campers from the previous year. We have a tradition that just before the campers go home, each boy makes out a will, and we bury the wills over the year, and then dig them up the next year and read them to the campers that are present this year.
On Tuesday morning, we have one more bit of red tape in that we will be taking pictures of our entire camp including an all camp shot, cabin shots, individual portrait shots, and activity pictures during the day. Our movie camera will also be humming as we try to get pictures for you that well be showing over the winter months. The evening program will be an all camp capture-the-flag which is a blast, and if the weather is hot, we will hold a twilight swim to cool the boys off. On Wednesday, our camp will begin the Camp Timberleague, and the boys participate in what we call BLUE AND WHITE contests. Each boy is placed on either a blue or white team, and during the summer we play all sorts of contests worth a number of different points. ON Thursday we will have a counselors back to the recreation building. Friday evening we will hold a beautiful outdoor service in which the campers serve on the choir and either a camper or a staff member will say a few words about anything that they feel will have some meaning to the boys and we try to make the boys realize the beauty around them and what life is all about. Saturday will be a special afternoon for the boys and the camp will compete in many different activities. At night we are going to have an organized free evening with motor boat rides thrown in for the non-deep water swimmers. Its a chance for boys to shoot riflery, play soccer or do many different activities on a relaxed basis.
AND THEN COMES THE FOURTH OF JULY---We have a fantastic day of programming planned for the boys. First, well start off the morning with a full schedule of activities. In the afternoon well have an all camp challenge round in which each cabin will challenge another cabin and it should be a real fun-filled program. Then at night we have ordered a tremendous film called,ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHIN. Its a colored film and were going to show it as an outdoor movie and eat shelled peanuts and I know that the boys will all watch the movie and eat shelled peanuts and I know that the boys will really have a great time. This should be a very late evening, and as a result were going to have a lazy breakfast on Monday morning. That means that the campers will slept late in the morning and the staff will prepare a delicious breakfast for the boys when they get up. Then well all eat up and start activities a little later in the morning. Campers also will help to prepare the breakfast and we all come in to eat in our pajamas and tousled hair. I might add that this Thursday we start our tripping program and well have one canoe trip leave on Thursday, and a second trip leave on Friday. We sent out a fishing trip early this morning, and they brought in a few fish, but really didnt have too much luck.
Today, (Monday) is letter writing day. Each camper will always write you either a letter or a post card on Monday and Thursday, and we will check to see that they do this. If you dont hear from them fairly regularly, please contact us and well try to follow through on the reason for the delay in hearing from the boys. Our staff will be writing each of you a short note today and well include a picture of the cabin group of each of your group which we took yesterday. The note from the staff is intended only to say hello and to introduce some of the staff members of your boys cabin group. In two weeks well be writing you a more detailed letter from the staff and it would be nice if you want to answer the staff to let them know that you appreciate all that they have done in letting you know that the boys are healthy and safe.
This is a fine staff and they have worked hard to get camp ready for the boys. We have an 80% return of staff and this is unheard of. During the orientation week the old-timers really included our new staff members (Which also includes two counselors from England and another counselor from Rhodesia) and the whole group has really become one solid unit. One more note about VISITING WEEKEND...The first weekend for visiting weekend will be held on Friday evening and Saturday all day during July 16th and 17th. We will send out special information about the visiting weekend, but if you cant make it, we will have a special program and a giant pizza a dinner for the boys whose parents dont come up to camp.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS INTERESTED IN HAVING IN HAVING THEIR SONS STAY FOR THE LAST FOUR WEEKS AT CAMP. As you know, many of our boys are staying for eight weeks at camp. Another group is staying for 4 weeks, and I have left six openings for those four weekers who want to stay on at camp for the entire season. The only problem is that many boys have already approached me to let me know that they want to stay for the summer. If you have a boy enrolled for four weeks and want him at camp for the rest of the season. You may call me if you to reach me immediately at 715-356-6022. When our enrollment is filled, I cannot promise you a spot for your son for the remainder of the season, so follow through on this note.
WHEWWWWWWW---------What a lot of words---but thats me---Ive got to put it down like it is and just when its happening.....Were purring right now. We finished breakfast at 9 A.M. cleaned up the cabins and as I look out over the field, the boys are all in activities...What a great feeling...I want each of you to feel just whats going on at camp and to know that your boys are busy and happy. The pulse of the camp today is fantastic and this adjective is meant exactly as it sounds. The tears have dried, the energy is being utilized and when that happens I sleep nights. Again, I love to write this type of letter and I hope it stays that way.