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Home Letter Volume 27,September 3, 1953 No. 8

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VOLUME 27             September 03, 1953                   No. 8

INTERVAL: Since the boys left or Tuesday morning, over a week has elapsed. For some reason your reporter failed to have the energy to tackle the Home Letter, all the personal letters and the final bills for incidentals. I have recovered a bit from the letdown and I am starting the long process this morning of Thursday, September 3rd. In the meantime you have had a much better report from your sons.

APPRECIATION: You have been not only our largest but best group of parents and boys in the history of the Camp. Up to date I have had only one mildly critical letter with many expressions both oral and written of satisfaction with what we have tried to do. The camp was peopled by boys whom you suggested. Your visits to camp have been very pleasant occasions for us. Your cooperation has been just about perfect.

BILLS: You will find enclosed an itemized statement of the personal expenses of your son. These are not extra charges. They are all things for which he might have been expected to pay when the purchase was made. We have  carried this on our books instead. With some hundred items handled by so many different people, there are almost sure to be errors. Please let me know any that you detect and I will do my best to correct them. There was a line before the store twice a day. Groups of fifty or more went on trips where expenses were involved. Councilors were constantly taking boys for excursions such as to town on Sunday night in the Hacker, where charges were made for the ice cream which the boys were allowed to purchase. The volume of all this is considerable. We have tried to hold down the boys in their enthusiasm to purchase. Tennis balls, for instance, had to be purchased with the approval of Mr. Wright. I expect, however, that we have failed to keep all unnecessary purchases from being made. At least we have tried.

SUGGESTIONS: Not everything which has happened at camp has come to my attention. If you have any complaints or suggestions or ideas for nert year, please let me have them. Hyde Bay is just as nearly a cooperative enterprise as we can take it. In the past, many useful ideas have appeared in this way. Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence.

THE LAST WEEK: This period was crammed full of events. We ran off several trips to our mountain top which we call “Nebo.” The Turtle Derby was a feature of Monday the seventeenth. We ran off numerable events in the final series of competitions which we ca11 the “Wind—up.” On Sunday, the Horse Show was the feature of the day. Saturday night brought Bud Spraker, our local magician, who has entertained us for several years on the final Saturday night. It was a grand show.

THE FINAL NIGHT: When we discovered that 220 people would be attending the final banquet, we were obliged to move it outdoors. Bob Pickett, who had run off so successfully the chicken barbecue about a week before, volunteered to do it again. The result was most fortunate. The weather was kind. The chicken was delicious. It seems to me that parents, campers, and the rest of us had a better chance to get acquainted than crowded into the dining room as has boon our custom. After a while the Director climbed on a huge log destined eventually to be the back—log of the traditional beach fire. From that vantage point he talked informally to the group until he introduced Head Councilor Chandlee.

YOUR GIFT: Mr. Chandlee made some pleasant remarks about the cheerful, friendly and efficient service given us in the kitchen and then, on behalf of you and all the rest of us, presented the men with a generous token of our regard. His talk was preceded by a quartet of campers who sang a lyric in his honor which had been composed by Eddie Freeman.

BONFIRE: Bob Pickett, who had built the bonfire with UL assistance, supervised its ignition. Presently the flames were leaping many feet into the night. The pile burned to the very ground without upsetting -- a completely new Hyde Bay record.

PRIZES: Then the Head Councilor and his assistants took over and awarded so many prizes to so many campers that I shall net attempt to give you the list. At the end of this part of the ceremony, an behalf of a mythical Central New York Alumni Association, Mr. Chandlee was presented with a tame duck.

THE DUCK: I only wish this welcome animal had been at camp all summer. He fitted easily into Hyde Thy life. He helped the councilors take down the tower and dock. He even accompanied our working party into the dining room at mealtime; and is now a great source of solace to the Picketts as they linger on in the deserted camp.

AFTERMATH: After the bus had rolled out around six o’clock on Tuesday; the councilors fell upon the helpless camp. Mattresses were taken out; beds were folded up; and presently down came the tents, then the platforms came up and were stored away. The poles were wrapped in bundles and placed in the Lodge and the camp soon looked ready for winter. Meanwhile, a stream of parents had been coming in by car to take away their off-springs. By the next morning even the Hacker had been stored away. The water front had been completely cleared and by noon the councilors had scattered to the traditional four winds. A few stayed on for several days, but now only Messrs Barriskill and Chandlee are comforting the solitude of the rather inert Picketts. Bob and Betty Pickett with their two boys left on Tuesday about five o’clock headed for their home in Westwood.

MIRABILE DICTU: So far only one boy has told us about an article he had left at camp. we have sent off a dozen or so parcels of such articles which escaped the very efficient dragnet of the Chief on Monday. Bob Russell wired us that all children had been delivered safely to their parents. No one has reported the loss of baggage. This has certainly been a remarkable year.

NEXT YEAR: Let me close with two quotations. One mother said, “Don’t let Hyde Bay get any larger.” This is certainly our wish, too. Another, a citizen of Rochester, advanced the prophecy that next year there would be more boys at Hyde Say from Rochester than from Baltimore. I am a man of peace and opposed to strife, but such a competition is not repulsive. It is our hope that next year again Hyde Bay may be peopled entirely by old campers and their friends. Inquiries and requests for reservations have already started to come in.

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