Brrrrrr... Coldern Heck the last six days--- Canadian trip out in the North Woods and Im worried as can be, but theyre doing fine from latest reports and having a wonderful time. How to program in this weather-- its tough but weve got our boys running, and working on all land sports and theyre in high spirits so I feel better. The only activities that have been limited are swimming and water skiing...Weather report---warm weather on the way and its a little bit warmer today with blue sky starting to peek through the clouds... Weve been real busy though with our all star teams taking on Camp Interlacken on Thursday and Red Arrow on Saturday. We went to Interlakens camp for a softball game, archery meet and staff basketball game, and I waited like an old Mother for the group to return..At 6:00P.M. in came the bus with the horns blaring and I knew we had done well. We had won big in the staff game and had lost a close one in archery. Now came the big softball staff game and it started off as a lark. By the sixth inning we were breezing along with an 8-2 lead, and all hands were jolly and relaxed. In the bottom of the seventh inning they began to move and we began to spring leaks. A ball skittered off the third baseman's glove and was good for a single. Then the avalanche let loose and before we could close ranks the score was 8-7 and they had the bags loaded with two outs and their power man up at the plate. He let the 1st one go, and on the second pitch---whammmmmm---the ball was headed for home run territory. You could see or hear the wind escape from the coaches lips on our team---but from out of no-where came a streaking figure-- all eyes riveted on Doug Heller as he went after the ball----it was dropping fast and the base runners were headed for home plate, but Doug kept going and leapt for the ball, caught it, tumbled to the ground, but he clutched that ball like it was his biggest bonus check in the world---and it was ...Everybody rant out to the field, hugged Doug, and we all were ecstatic...Gee, its nice to win the close ones for a change.
We have been very busy in activities this past week, and Im most excited at the way our tennis program has caught on so big. We purchased a ball boy machine, which I told you about previously, (Some of You) It throws out the balls and the boys practice swinging at it in different positions, They have become so excited with this and our new rebound net that the courts are filled all day, and with new guys as well as old ones. We started a tennis tournament in three divisions, and there will be trophies for the winning boys. Our next tennis tournament will be a handicap tournament so that the weaker players have just as good a chance as the stronger ones. Then itll be doubles tournament time, and theres a lot of interest in it. We sent out a three day canoe trip and it was at a beautiful site--- We had trouble with our tents and it meant that the boys would not have tents the 1st night out. I was very worried the 1st night and had to wait until dawn to get the tents to the boys. I sent out three counselors to get the tents to the boys and when they arrived at the camp site, here all the boys and counselors sleeping under three canoes which were rigged up above them as a wind shelter and type of covering and the boys were snoring mightily within their sleeping bags. They werent even fazed by the lack of the tents, but I didnt sleep a wink the whole night they were out at the site.
We had a great movie, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, and the kids all came to see it. It was such a funny sight---many of our younger boys put on their pajamas and robes and put blankets on the floor, right under in front of the screen and we all kind of huddled together and watched the movie. At the 2nd intermission, I brought out individual paper bags filled with freshly made pop corn and the boys ate it and drank a coke that I provided them with.They loved every minute of the movie, We had blue and white contests in which we played a series of softball games, football games, European handball tennis matches, basketball games and had the whole camp split into different blue and white teams.--- What a beautiful sight to see all the boys out on the field running and playing. My son Jimmy is a part time camper this year and he has entered into the games. I watched him playing football, and when he went into the line, somebody grabbed him by his rear end and shoved him into the runner. He tagged him and then went sprawling--- I could see tears coming into his eyes and then they stopped as he saw me watching him... His teammates patted him on the shoulder, and yelled, nice tags Jimmy. My heart kind of expanded and I already was making plans in my mind on how someday Id be his agent when all the colleges were bidding for his services... But my dreams collapsed on the next play as came came pounding around his end and went right over my little boy and went for a 10 yard gain... I quickly walked away because I felt that maybe I was bad luck for my boy... So, I guess I know what each of you must go through when you watch your boys in action.
Trouble time--- we now have a pet big black crow or raven named Samba and he comes swooping in over the ground every day. The kids feed him and he sits on their shoulder eating bread from their hand. They love him, but that ugly black bird constantly seems to stare at me with his beady eyes and sort of dares me to evict him from my premises Years ago, at Whitefish Bay High School where I teach Math, I allowed a boy to bring in a pigeon to the class while I was teaching. My student explained how he had trained the pigeon to do tricks and proceeded to show us some of the tricks. The pigeon didnt do a thing but coo and coo. Finally, I told him to release the pigeon and it swooped on the top of the fluorescent light fixture and sat staring at me as I continued teaching. Well, I had my beck tot that pigeon, and I was writing on the board demonstrating the math problem. Jason, the pigeon became entrance by my bald glistening pate (at that time) and suddenly I heard a whirring sound and felt talons dig into my cranium. The whole class shrieked with laughter and I shrieked also, (not with laughter) and the student and his pigeon were hustled out of my room, and I continued teaching with a bloody noggin. Maybe that's why I dont like this black crow or raven.
Our boys were rated both yesterday and today in skiing to find out how they are progressing in skiing, and they are working so hard on moving up in this area, Last week our skier of the week was Rob Ely of Dallas who has moved up from two skis to the single slalom ski--- and for Rob this was great improvement. Were sending out a younger group today on a two day canoe trip and they will visit a sand pit slide area and should really enjoy sliding down the slide. Tonight 70 of our boys will visit Camp Ohtanogan and well be viewing their all camp musical, THE KING AND I, and our boys are looking forward to the show. Tomorrow we start our fifth section of new activities., and at night well be showing the movie, Cat Balou. Our Timberbats will be putting on a skiing show, and may be just a little bit rusty from lack of practice. On Tuesday night its counselor Hunt night and the staff is going to hide out and try to escape the clutches of the campers who are hunting them. Wednesday is the 1st cruiser day for the second session and each cabin has been working hard planning out a wonderful day. If the weather is warm, were going to crystal lake and have an all day picnic type of affair complete with bag races, and all the other things that make for a great picnic. At night were slated to have a social with Chippewa Ranch Camp, and our younger boys will be at their camp, and their older girls will visit our camp. The boys are already duding themselves up for the affair, and one guy ordered pomade from town to slick up his hair for the social.
Thursday our senior softball team plays Camp Arrowhead in the rubber match contest, and were working hard to slip in a win. At night its infiltration and the boys will don tons of clothing and hide clues which their opponents will try to steal from them. Its a fun game...Friday, our riding classes will compete against Camp Red Arrow in a Gymkhana (riding meet) and wed like to do well in this contest. At night, well have our relaxed evening program, and well read the wills that were buried in the ground at the end of second session last summer. The staff earlier in the evening will be playing Red Arrow in a basketball game. (Last year they whipped us bad)
I almost forgot to mention that since well be coming home late from the musical, Im declaring that tomorrow morning will be lazy breakfast and for the benefit of some of you new camper parents, its a time when all of us can sleep later in the morning and come in at any time wearing pajamas or other clothing and we have bacon, eggs, toast, milk, coffee(for the older people) jelly, and other sundries. The kids help prepare the breakfast and I have priceless film footage on the whole proceedings. Saturday night will be blue and white night and well be busy busy busy again. Each of you will be receiving a letter from your sons counselor at the beginning of next week, and in the letter hell try to let you know how your son is doing a t camp. It would be nice if you would take a few moments to drop him a line thanking him for the letter. I hope that each of you got a picture of your son and his cabin group. If not, let me know, and Ill see that you get a picture of your son and his cabin group. On Friday afternoon, & Saturday Morning we were visited by the American Camping Association, and they come for one complete day (24 hrs ) and go over every detail of the camp in order to evaluate it and see if you meet ACA standards. Well, the word got out that ACA people were here, and when the people came into the mess hall for dinner with us, our boys were so good and quiet that I got kind of worried. Ed Liefer sent out the word that H.H. was in trouble and thats why these people were here, and some guys heard that they were closing the camp. However, I found that we got a tremendous rating and the woman who headed up the visitation remarked that she had never been in a camp where the feeling of warmth and love was so self evident, and also she was most pleased with our facilities, programming, staff, etc. I was most pleased by their response to our camp. They come once every 5 years for the visitation.
Oh, oh, am I in trouble at camp. Last night my dog Towanda was whining at 3:00 A.M. so I let him out to do his thing. Well, he didnt come back so I went back to bed.. At 5:A.M. my wife Sharon awoke me and said, Towanda is whining, how come hes outside of the house? I grumbled, How should I know? and I shuffled over to the door and let him in. I have a cold right now and a stuffed nose so my senses have been somewhat dulled. Anyway, the dog slipped into our bed room and jumped on top of our bed... My wife got all excited and yelled, That dogs been skunked-Harold, get him out of here right now. And at that moment, the sickening sweet odor of skunk drifted into my clogged nostrils, and I knew the room would stink for a week. I went over to the kitchen, got three #10 cans of tomato juice, and gave Towanda a bath. It did the trick, because, I finished cleaning him up, covered him with talcum powder and that dog smells like a sweet little flower. Meanwhile everybody is now staying away from me because they claim I smell like a skunk.. -- it isnt fair Our Canadian canoe trip returns Wednesday afternoon, and were all waiting for the boys to come home.
Yeah, a big and exciting week again, and in looking over this newsletter, it should raise a lot of chuckles. Remember visiting weekend, Aug. 13th and 14th. Gee- I liked writing this particular newsletter, and I hope you can get the real impact of camp life like you were right here with us. You are you know.