Glorious weather the past week---so good that we have been going at a tremendous pace. My boys are tired this morning, so Im going to let them sleep later and well be having our traditional lazy breakfast--- more on this later. The past week got over in a hurry-- the boys arrived at camp on schedule, and then we started moving to get over the red tape. Tuesday was testing day and then we signed the boys up for activities--- they were so excited about getting started---then we had our Timber league tryouts and the athletic fields (both of them) were filled with boys playing different athletic contests on a cabin basis. The next morning we were now on full schedule and it seemed as if we had been doing things for six weeks or more-- Many new things have been introduced to our activities and I am constantly amazed at the growth of our gymnastics program in particular... We purchased two safety belts and the boys were very busy doing flips and other exercises.
Wednesday evening was an All-Camp Capture The Flag program and the boys were split up into two groups, the blues and the whites--the battle raged on and on and it looked like it would end in a tie, but the blues planned a special strategy -- each on took off his shirt and yelled, Hey, Ive got the flag-- the opposing whites were flabbergasted as they didnt know who really had the flag-- one of the blues slipped into the goal are of the whites, stole the flag and was quickly absorbed by his teammates--- then he ran to his goal and the blues had won capture the flag...Thursday morning was picture day, (our last bit of red tape) and we worked hard trying to get our pictures taken--the boys did a good job and we were able to get all the pictures done...This year were going to try to get more of the face in our portrait shots, and I know that those of you who ordered the memory book will really enjoy it. The weather continued to hold good and that night we kicked off our Timber league contests. We were now ready to get some of our canoe trips out and we had two contingents start off on some of the trips that they had been looking forward to so much. As the boys begin to trip more and more, well begin cabin overnights as well, and then head up to the porcupine mountains for backpacking trips where the boys carry their tents and equipment on their beaks. Finally, well have two large contingents of campers visit Canada for our Canadian Canoe Trip.
We have two dogs at camp this year--Towanda, who is named after our lake, and is 10 years old, and my new puppy, Timber who is a beautiful white Russian Samoyed husky, and who the kids love to pet. His belly is always covered with sand because the kids love to roll him over after hes gone swimming. Timber used to be a good eater, but I think the kids are feeding him, its got to figure this way, because when I try to feed him dog food, he turns his nose up at it. Recently, he cut his paw fairly deeply, but he is walking on three legs and still tries to catch chipmunks, skunks, and anything that moves--including me...Friday night was our first campfire in our new campfire site---it was just beautiful and the boys listened to a talk, stories, songs, music and then we wrapped it up with a big marshmallow roast. Saturday, the weather was cloudy, and it looked like rain. We moved into our 1st activity and then got about half of our second period going, when we were hit by a big cloud-burst of rain. Everyone headed for their cabins and the rain lasted only a short time. Then the blue sky moved in again and we were ready for our afternoon program.
The plan was to open up many different areas and heres a list of the special activities that were run on Saturday afternoon. All former TImberbat Waterski members were given a two hour clinic on the acts that they would be doing for the coming season. We offered two basketball games for campers, opened up the tennis courts, ran indoor ping pong, sent out a fishing trip, ran a tennis archery shoot type contest in which boys shot for score. We offered a softball game, held an all afternoon class for any boys that wanted to learn how to operate our radio station and to become disc jockeys. We also opened up our arts and crafts department during the afternoon, and held boating, canoeing and sailing on a relaxed basis. The swimming area was open all afternoon, also. It was a very pleasant day and we also had our trampolines operating. After dinner, we were really hit with a heavy rain, and we went into a progressive game party in which the camp was split up into ten groups, and we would have each group play a game for three minutes---then they would move to the next game and this went on for the whole series of ten games. It was a lot of fun and the boys yelled during the whole evening program.
8:30A.M. and its time now for lazy breakfast---I just came from the lodge and we have a whole group of campers making tons of eggs, bacon, toast, cereal and all the trimmings that make for such a fun filled breakfast...After the boys are done, well run our third and fourth period classes. Following this, well have a very special baked chicken dinner, and two more groups will be leaving on a three day canoe trip with a little bit more rapid type of water to paddle their canoes in. The afternoon will be marked by CHALLENGE ROUNDS and various cabins will be challenging other cabins to a series of inter-cabin ball games, or other types of activities, and since the sun is so nice, well finish off the afternoon on the waterfront with a giant general swim and some boating, canoeing and fishing. Speaking of fishing, we are pleased to announce that Greg Shahun, of Memphis, Tennessee was fishing with his class and suddenly he got a tremendous tug on the line-- he worked for quite a while and finally pulled out a 25 inch MUSKEE, (thats a real game fish in this area.) We were very excited about it, but since it was slightly smaller than the required size, we threw the fish back into the water. Tonight is movie night, and were showing the picture, BEDKNOBS and BROOMSTICKS, as previously announced---well also be serving salted peanuts in the shell and cokes, and all shells must be thrown on the floor. Tomorrow, well be back on full schedule and well be having a counselor hunt for the evening program. --That means that each camper has to hunt for the staff members and it is really a lot of fun. Upcoming events will be Round Three of blue and White competition, a treasure hunt, in which the camp is split up into different groups and the boys are given a clue to start out with, and during the entire evening well be running all over the camp looking for the hidden last clue which entitles the winners to a special treasure.
Well be visiting the famed Minocquabat ski show, and I know that the boys will love to see this great ski team in action. On Wednesday, well be holding our first Cruiser Day and many boys will be visiting Pecks Wild Life Game Refuge Area, while others will visit Bon Falls, and other areas...It is an all cabin day and the boys hold this day very dear to their hearts...Our One on One Basketball tournament has just started out, and it promises to be a real series of contests this year. Later in the week, well be having our second campfire, and our Sailing Team will be competing in a big Sailing Regatta. Our scuba class has gone on their first dive at another lake, and the boys tell me that the water was just great. These past five days have been so nice that the water is perfect now in terms of temperature. Were going to have 16 boys golf today at the Plum Lake Golf Course and I hope that they dont lose too many balls. Its so difficult to type this newsletter right now, as every minute or two, a camper comes in and asks if the boys can jump on the tramps---theyre a little bit wet, yet, so Ive had to keep the boys off of them. Weve got lots of upcoming events this next week, and the riding classes already have gone on two breakfast trail rides and are going on a twilight ride tomorrow. Next Sunday they travel to Conover, Wisconsin to view a horse show in which some of our boys will be competing in it. Our athletic teams will be playing Camp Arrowhead in a series of ball games, and we dont know what to expect. Were not as strong a team this year as last, but you never know.
At the end of this week, our counselors are going to write you a more detailed letter about your boy, and Id appreciate it if youd take the time to read the letter carefully, and to maybe drop the staff members a return note. Some parents ask me what they can do for the staff. My answer is for each of you to take the time to let the staff members appreciate the type of job they are doing with your son, by writing them a note. We accept no tips and I consider this in very bad taste- so dont send them any money--(the staff members)...Morale is so very high right now-- weve never had such good weather for such a long time, and it has helped us get started right. At first we had two homesick young boys, but thats over with after the end of the third day. We had three cabins make pop corn at night and got some root beer, and it helped dry the tears-- now the two guys are running and yelling like all the other boys, and I havent seen a tear in three days. Camp health is good, but weve had a couple of colds amongst the staff members--the week before camp started was lousy, and they worked hard out of doors, which didnt help matters. Staff morale is great, through-out and a couple of them are getting served breakfast in bed, but one counselor came running up to me dripping with egg yoke, and syrup--seems his camper brought him a meal, and when he served the counselor, the staff member got up too fast--(He thought I was running a bed check????) and knocked the tray right into himself. Was he howling and he smells pretty awful of sticky gooey eggs.
Again, a reminder, only a couple of openings left for your son to stay on at camp, as I received a few requests after my last news-letter. As previously mentioned, we dont want to push you, so if your son wants to stay on at camp and you notify me in a week, we always leave a couple of spots open for stayovers....Gosh camp is moving along so swiftly---its been lots of fun and I know that your head must just swim with the countless things I mentioned in this newsletter---I just dont want you to believe your son if he says there isnt much going on at camp this week. We are gradually fusing into one solid unit, and I see boys who never knew one another, walking around the camp grounds doing things together, and making new friends---thats good and this is an important part of the camp life. I am no longer hearing such words as the Louisville, or Houston, or St. Louis or Memphis, etc. groups but rather the word Camp Timberlane, or us---I love this sound.......
Again, Parents Weekend is Friday evening, and Saturday July 12th and 13th, but we expect very few parents here during that weekend, so your boys will be very busy in their own program. I have just loved camp this year and I hope that you enjoy reading this newsletter and that it makes you really understand what goes on at Timberlane---Again, you are my best recruiters and I hope that each of you really feels that youre here at camp with us today.