Busy, Busy, Busy---The days are flying by and it seems like only yesterday that your boys arrived at camp. We have truly settled down in terms of becoming solid cabin units, and I no longer hear the word I when the kids speak, but rather the word we and their cabinmates are now a very important part of your sons camp experience. Our tripping program has picked up tremendously and this week we went down the Lac Du Flambeau Rapids and the boys had a fantastic trip. Only one canoe overturned, and the only problem beyond this mishap was that it poured at night and kept the boys under their tents earlier than they had planned. We also sent out a three-day canoe trip to the Sylvania Forest and the boys came back raving about the whole trip, and we plan to take a number of others to this beautiful area. The boys saw a bear at night and it was a good thing thing that they had put their food high up off the ground so that the bear couldnt eat it. We also sent out a two-day trip down the Manitowish Chain of Lakes, and the boys had superb weather and a grand time. Starting today, well be sending out a series of cabin overnight trips, and I know that this will be a lot of fun for all the boys involved.
The past week our weather was very tricky--it would be sunny for a while, and then rain a little. Fortunately most of the rain fell at night, but our ground is so sandy that it drains in just a couple of minutes and we are able to get right out on our athletic fields. On Monday I held a Truth or Consequences series of events, and the boys just loved it. Some of the boys and counselors got their faces covered with soot, and others were asked to blow out a candle when their eyes were blindfolded--at last moment, the candle was substituted with a plate filed with flour (unknown to the contestants) and when they tried to blow out the candle, lo and behold, they got their pusses soused with flour. The whole evening was a delight...On Tuesday it was our traditional campfire night, and the boys are getting so good at singing songs--we also had lots of guitar music, and a spicy story called, The Monkeys Paw, and then we wrapped it up with a marshmallow roast. On Wednesday we had our first Cruiser Day, and the boys visited many many different areas of the countryside, it was a beautiful day weather-wise with sunny skies and a slight breeze to cool us off. Many of the boys visited one of the finest wildlife game refuge areas called Pecks Wildlife, and then they went to Crystal Lake and played in the sun and swam in the clearest lake in Wisconsin. At night we had a hamburger and cheeseburger feast and then many of the boys had a chance to visit the Minocqua-Bat Waterski Team in action. We were all so tired that we slept 45 minutes later the next morning. On Thursday evening we had a fantastic film called Brians Song, (About Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo) and wrapped up the program with a feast of salted peanuts in the shell and Cokes. The boys are required to throw the peanut shells on the floor and it ends up being a riot. Friday, we had our Blue and White competition and the Blues still seem to be dominating the events. They lead 32-18.
Again on Saturday we had two activities in the morning and in the afternoon we changed the pace of our programming. We offered a waterski clinic, ran a doubles tennis tournament, had a a rifle contest, an archery meet, offered boating, canoeing, limited sailing and had swimming available all afternoon. Our sailing members competed in the Kewagsagah Sailing Regatta and placed 9th out of 20 teams. Not too much wind but lots of fun. All groups got back to camp early enough from the canoe and sailing trips in order for all of us to get ready for our first camp social with Chippewa Ranch Camp of Eagle River. Our electronic experts had been busy as bees the past few days and they set up a 24 speaker sound system that had three pro amps, a real driving force behind it, and it was installed in the lodge so that when they played a record there was a throbbing pulsating sound that almost knocked out your ear drums. They also installed colored lights, complete with a lighting board, that regulated the lights; and even put in a strobe light that when turned on and synchronated with a blue or purple light, made the dancers look like they were animated creatures from Mars. Part of our camp traveled to their camp and the rest stayed behind, and the socials were some of the best dances weve ever had. Lots of guys are now in love, and the mails are getting heavy---fortunately, we let the boys have the true address of Camp Chippewa. The boys now want me to set up this fantastic speaker system out on our tennis courts (weather permitting) during our next social; and when we get together with Camp Agawak well try to have an outdoor social.
Sunday was our famed Lazy Breakfast, and the counselors surprised me with a gigantic omelet replete with onions, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, all kinds of goodies, and when I computed the bill, I think I ate a $30 omelet. Oh well, its only money??? There was an auction recently, and I picked up two little boats for our sailing program, and may also get a special log for our boys to roll on in the water. Ill let you know if I win in the bidding. I also got some beautiful yellow chairs for our lodge that dont break too easily. On Sunday afternoon our Timberbats had a long practice, the scuba men went on a three hour dive, we had three All Star softball games against Camp Algonquin and a basketball game. We won the three baseball games but lost the basketball game, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed the day. At night we had a picnic outdoor dinner with hot dogs and wrapped it up with lots of brownies. I might add that the lunch meal was Southern Fried Chicken and all you could eat. At night we had a double-header with a large general swim (the weather had turned very hot) and wrapped it up with a big campfire and a Key Log Ceremony in which the boys have a chance to give thanks to anyone who has helped them out during the past week. We have almost 20 former staff members visiting camp (this is a tradition over the 4th of July weekend) and Bob Pearlstein played his banjo for us, and we did a lot of singing, and the whole program was just a beautiful one. Today were starting out on our cabin overnights, and well also be on our full activity schedule. At night we will be having a triple-header---first its the Counselor Hunt, all the staff (except me) will be hiding all over the camp, and the boys have to try and find them and its set up on a Blue and White basis. Then well have a special swim because it will be a hot night again. Then, well sit outside in the twilight and watch a giant outdoor movie, called The Absent-Minded Professor, its a Walt Disney production. Well be serving popcorn and Cokes and I know that the boys will love the program. Well sleep a little bit later in the morning and then well be on our way again in our regular-type program.
One morning it rained a little, ad one of our youngest campers, Andy Schiller comes sidling up to me and announces, H., I touched the trampolines and theyre not too wet to jump on. I looked around and lurking in the background was his older brother Robbie. I quickly got the drift--Robbie wanted to jump on the tramps after the rain, so he got out his little mouthpiece to see if he could win me over. Speak for yourself Robbie Schiller, I blared out. No trampolines--its toooooooo wet.....Yesterday morning I went to the area where coffee is available for older staff. Up pops camper Reed Sexter of Louisville, and hes about 4 feet tall. Hey H, he announces, how about me getting some of that coffee. But, Reed, I say, youre only 10 years-old. Dont you know that the reason youre kind of short now may be from the coffee stunting your growth? He looked at me kind of puzzled and said, You really think so, H. I assured him that I was only kidding, but he looked so cute standing there in the line waiting for coffee.
Tomorrow well be signing up for new activity schedule, and well also have our staff together to start choosing captains for our upcoming U.N. Day program coming up a week from Tuesday. (more on that in my next newsletter) We have our 2nd Cruiser Day on Wednesday and another cookout at night. More cabins will be going on overnight trips and on Thursday well be getting more and more into U.N. preparation and will be sending another group down the Flambeau Rapids. On Friday well be getting ready for our Parents Weekend...Parents and any other members of your families are invited to come to camp on Friday, July 8th at 7:00 P.M. (no earlier) and spend time with your son seeing our camp and meeting his cabinmates and staff members. The next day you are invited back to camp at 10:00 A.M. and will have an opportunity to see your son in three activities. You will then be my guest for lunch, and in the afternoon our Timberbats will be putting on their fine ski show. Well also give you a chance to see some of our other boys in action, and then you will be allowed to take your son out for dinner. Then the visiting weekend will be over, and please dont plan to visit camp on Sunday, --well be in regular program. For those of you who wont be visiting, dont worry---in the past few years we find that many parents dont come to visit because of the long distance involved. We are offering a gigantic Porcupine Mountains trip--and it will be broken up into three sections. Theyll be a young group, an older group, and a backpack section going along. Itll be about 40 boys and theyll be gone for three days (Friday through Sunday). If youre planning to visit your son, dont try to surprise him or he may be away on the Porkie trip if he doesnt know youre coming to visit him. Let us know your plans.
Today, well be sending out a staff letter to you about your sons activities and his progress at camp. We hope that it fills you in on how your son is progressing at camp. Once again, send no tips if you want to thank your sons counselors, but rather a nice note might be appreciated. The same thing for those parents coming to visit camp. Again, as I mentioned in my last note, I must hear from you shortly if you want your son to stay on at camp. Only a couple of spots are still open, and if you want your son to stay on at camp--let me know as soon as possible. If an opening is still there, wed love to have your boy at camp for a longer period of time. Im looking out of my window, and as I gaze at the lake I feel so serene. This is such a beautiful area, and I recall how, over 17 years ago, I drove into this camp site, and took one look at the lake, the grounds and couple of cabins that were here, and I said, This is where Im going to start Timberlane. I guess I was a pioneer, and I am so wrapped up in this place. As you know, we built a home near the end of the Senior Village, we carved out a spot in the wooded area overlooking the lake; and each morning I look out on the porch and see the sunrise, and the lake glistening, and I say to myself there are no problems big enough to overshadow this feeling of delight and contentment. I guess each of us needs this type of outlet. For those boys going home, instructions for the trip home will be sent to you at the beginning of next week, and the date of departure is Sunday, July 17th. Again, this has been a delightful week and the boys are loving every minute of their camp stay. I hope the newsletter has been informative to you. This has been a fun letter to write, even with the bad typing.