Its been three consecutive weeks of fantastic weather and were just basking in the sunlight. A couple of boys came up to me yesterday, and one moaned, H., It just doesnt seems possible that three weeks have gone by for us, and the other boy said, Ive been here seven weeks and it seems like seven days. These are the kind of comments that I like to hear, and it means that the boys are having fun at camp. Its been a very busy week again with our Advanced Scuba Class having a fantastic three day trip at Devils lake near Madison, Wisconsin. The boys came back begging for another trip, and we have one set up today for the beginning scuba class. We sent over 45 boys to the Porcupine Mountains near Lake Superior, and the head tripper calls me each evening, and he has told me that the boys are having a wonderful trip. We have split up the Porcupine trip into four separate areas. One group is backpacking with all their equipment on their back. A second group is composed of members of the photography class, and they are taking pictures of the entire area and will print the pictures when they come back to camp. A third group is from the Nature Appreciation class, and they are studying the trees, the birds,the mountains and the terrain of the area they are camping on, and the fourth group is climbing the mountains, and just swimming and learning everything they can about this beautiful area. This winter, both my wife Sharon, myself, and the rest of the family are going to go skiing at the Porcupine Mountains, and Ill tell you all about it when its over.
It has been a great Parents Weekend, and I know that the 40 Parents who came up to camp had a marvelous time--- the weather as I previously mentioned was ideal--hot sun, slight breeze, and I strutted around like a peacock acting as if this weather was the way it always was up here. I might add that it really has been this way all summer except for a couple of cool days and nights. A group of fathers played the owns in a game of volleyball and it was a riot. The fathers were really good but somewhat out of shape and it looked like a bunch of Hippos trying to chase a herd of antelopes. In fact, one father, John Fried, would constantly shout to his own after each point, Whats the score, Ed?, and I could see Ed getting madder and madder. Mike Levitts Dad kept telling each of the boys how to play, as he stood opposite them on the volleyball court. He kept telling the guys that he had done a lot of coaching during his colorful career, and by the time he got done with the coaching, the boys were totally confused. I kept yelling encouragement to our campers and staff members by yelling out to them, You guys really stink!!! I finally had to call a time out and bring in five pitchers of water filled with ice. I even had to provide paper cups for each of the players. Congratulations to the fathers, as they won, but I would suggest that they give up the game---they cant meet hospital expenses.
You know, Ive been here 15 years and I first found out what a GRUNDY was last summer. If a guy squawks too much he may be grabbed by the shorts and hung up on a hook to cool off. I have constantly cautioned the staff to knock it off as it can cause a lot of hard feelings. Anyways, young Danny Mahmias of Indianapolis came to see his brothers, and his lifelong dream has been to spend a night in one of my cabins and to convince his dad that hell be ready for camp next year. (Hell almost be 8 yrs. old by then) I let him stay in the cabin that night with his brother, but I worried about how hed make out--- anyway in the morning I rushed over to the cabin to find him, but he was gone--- I looked all around and there he was hooked up on the wall--the victim of a giant grundy. (Actually---Im only kidding, but the campers kept telling him to watch out for Grundy time, and he was looking forward to getting hooked up on the wall.
Last Tuesday night was campfire night and we had a beautiful program with stories, singing and marshmallows. Some of our boys had their counselors trying out for the Minocquabat ski team, and they went to see him do his act. On Wednesday we had our 2nd cruiser day of the session and it was a dandy. We finished the evening with a special hamburger fry. Thursday was regular schedule, and at night we had a social with Camp Chippewa for Girls. The younger boys had a great time, and the older girls loved our sound system for music in the lodge--- The only disappointment about the older girls is that I think they liked our trampolines better then they did our boys. During the day we announced our Pow Wow Chiefs, and the Big Medicine Men, and since then the leaders involved have been setting up their tribes for our Pow Wow Day which will be held on Tuesday. August 12th, for the entire day--- its a fantastic day and the whole camp is split into four tribes with each camper putting on war Paint, and then starting off with Indian Leg Wrestling, and throughout the day we have Indian Type events such as wood chopping, fire building, bareback riding, and many different and exciting events. Well finish up the evening with a special steak fry for the boys, and Ill tell you more about the outcome in my last newsletter. Friday was the departure day for the Porcupine Mountain trip and we had an all camp cleanup for the visiting weekend group, and this included scrubbing up our own campers. Ill bet each of you thinks that camp always looks neat---Well, it almost does.
On Friday evening at our program---(we held it at our forest campfire area in which we sit around the campfire and its a little bit more intimate for the groups rather than the barbecue area where everyone is sitting on one side)--- I asked Stu Turnansky to say a few words. If you remember, Stu is now a Doctor, and was with me for over twelve years as a camper, kind of a foster son, or you name it. His words were very eloquent, and I guess he summed up the special feeling of all the campers, staff members and everyone associated with Timberlane, and when he got done, I had a lump in my throat. With all the aggravation that so often goes into a job of this nature, its moments like this when you hear the love and respect given by the people who have worked and learned under you that one realizes that its worth all the heartache and work that goes into the job. Speaking of Stu, I cant convince him that hes as tough and in as good shape as I am. He decided to take on any campers in the Track and Field program in a big running event. I told him that now that he was a practicing Doctor and worth a lot of money, he should stay away from running on an open field---but NO--- Dr. Turnansky raced Jeff Mossler, and it was a close race for a while but with about 100 yards to go, Stu pulled up short and started skipping instead of running and sure enough--- he had pulled hamstring muscle. Here Ive been bragging about having a Doctor at our camp, but as I looked at him hobbling on the athletics field, I find that I really have inherited a decrepit old man who cant even straighten up when he walks and should really use a cane. I greet him with the standard statement, hows it going Dr. Stu? and he bravely chirps in a pain wracked voice, Just Great, H., and then pleads Do you know where I can get two aspirins, H.???
We sent our 2nd edition of the Timberlife Magazine and I hope that you have received it by the time you get this newsletter. Please let me know if you dont get one, and again, I am absolutely amazed at the versatility and creativity exhibited by all the boys and staff members associated with the publication of Timberlife, and special thanks again go to to Fred Bierman of St. Louis, who has made the entire news magazine possible. The cost of this 14 page magazine with 600 copies printed amounted to only 60 dollars and thats a real bargain. On Saturday afternoon those boys in riflery who stayed at camp and whos parents werent here, had an opportunity to go to the Minocqua Rifle Club and shoot shotgun shells at clay pigeons. They loved it and plan to do it again next year. Special thanks to our Riflery Counselor, Scott Geffen for a job well done. The Timberbat waterski team was one of the 8 teams that competed on Friday at the Kawaga open invitational ski meet and took second place losing only to the host team...This was great for the boys and next year they hope to take all the marbles. The Timberbat waterski team put on another great show on Saturday afternoon, and they were just outstanding again.
This morning is a lazy breakfast, and we need it---following this we will go into 3rd and 4th periods followed by a big Southern Fried Chicken meal. Our Porcupine trip will be back by then. Meanwhile, our younger scuba divers will be spending the next two days at Crystal Lake for a two day overnight scuba trip. Tonight, well be having a return match against Anastasia. Following the lunch meal, well be having a return match against Camp Algonquin for our Junior and Intermediate all star softball teams and then our Seniors will play them next Thursday in softball and basketball. Monday is regular schedule, Tuesday is Pow Wow Day, and Wednesday is Cruiser Day. Thursday is Track and Field day and our boys will be running in 9 different events in each of three divisions with ribbons available to the winners. Thursday evening will be our last blue and white series of games, and Friday will be our last full day of camp. The boys will be packing for the trip home, and well still get all our activities in during the day.l That night is a very special evening program, and well be having songs, stories, a big key log ceremony, and finally well wrap the whole thing up with each boy lighting a candle that is set on a paper plate, and theyll walk with it down to the swim area, make a wish, and finally put it in the lake and watch it sail out over Lake Towanda. Its always a stirring moment, and I know that the boys have special feelings about this moment. Well also be presenting our Camper of the Year Award, and well let you know about it in our next newsletter.
Your boys will be returning home on SATURDAY, AUGUST 16th---Please put this date down on your calender. It is not Sunday as some people think, but Saturday, August 16th. We are sending you an itinerary sheet that lists the time of arrivals in your airport or the buss arrival of some of the boys. Please make it a point to see that you are at the airport to meet your son. Well try to get all the luggage aboard the plane and will send out the footlocker almost a day in advance to insure its arrival home on time. The air lines are getting tighter on weight of baggage that can be loaded aboard a plane, so well try to get some of the luggage out on earlier flights.
Again, to all of you, this had been a fantastic year thus far--- the weather had made it easier for us, but the staff has held up well--- I have a system of fines for those staff members who miss our 1:00A.M. curfew during the week, and all money collected goes for a big steak fry for the staff---itll be this Thursday evening, and weve got 72 T-bone steaks for the whole staff. Unfortunately, its going to cost me over $120 out of my own pocket because I didnt get much in fine money. Thank goodness.