HERE BEGINNETH the 30th year of Hyde Bay Camp. In 1927 there were 15 boys; 1956 started with 103, augmented to 104 on Friday by the arrival of Frank Gleason, unavoidably detained. Last year we had 105. This year our council has been increased from 24 to 25. When the staff was complete, we discovered we had no tennis councilor. We were fortunate to get Pete Thomas, captain of the Gilman tennis team, to fill This important position. Now we have an extra councilor who usurps a bed and place at table normally, devoted to a camper. We are at capacity.
THE HOME LETTER: The publication I hope you are reading was started in 1931. No has ever been missed since. The editor and publisher is the Director. The reporters are the day men and head councilor, George Chandlee. The Home Letter is supposed to give parents information which their sons are far too busy to impart. All parents get a copy. We are delighted to send copies regularly to grandparents, aunts, uncles or other interested parties.
REPORTS: The first reports from the tent councilors are enclosed. Commetns are occasionally added by George, Betty (Betty Pickett is the camp nurse) and by the Director. All boys tutoring will get separate academic reports next week.
BILLS: Enclosed is a statement of the camp tuition. As 24 boys are here for 4 weeks only, all parents are charged for the first 4 weeks at the short time rate of $280.00. The second half bill for boys will be $145.00. If you prefer to free your mind of such detail, the entire camp fee may be paid at this time. Errors have been made in camp bills in past years, please do not hesitate to question your bill.
ENROLLMENT: You did it again. Our camp group is made up of old campers and their friends, so warmly commended to us by you. Other than tutoring boys, at the request of Gilman, Governor Dummer and Millbrook, all campers have come through such friendly suggestion. We are indeed grateful to the parents for lifting the burden of promotion from our shoulders.
STAFF: Teachers Barriskill, Dresser, Mercer and Russell are with us once more. Mr. Barriskill again permeates the tutoring school. The Dressers live in “Sevens Heaven”, their hone high on the mountain across the lake. The Mercers with Carolyn are in their traditional cottage. The Russells, after a summer of gadding about Europe, are installed once more in “Yankee Stadium” Of the council - nextweek.
OTHER LADIES: The Chandlee and Kerr cabins were dragged from their former locations to newly created land along the lakeshore. Here Mary Chandlee and Rae Kerr are in charge. The Kerr cabin contains the very new camper, Stuart Kerr, who in three short months will be
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a year old. Shirley Garver and daughter, Kristen, are to be found in the cabin they have occupied for several years. Mrs. Pickett with her husband, the Director, and betty Pickett with her spouse, the assistant director, flank the infirmary on either side.
KITCHEN: Henry and Grover are back, aided by new men, Jimmy Hill and Charlie Clark. They perform their culinary magic in a greatly enlarged and completely redecorated kitchen.
MOUNTAIN MOVING: A giant excavation, back of the kitchen and dining room, yielded material to create a lovely expanse along the lake shore beyond the councilor’s lodge where bullfrogs and other reptiles once monopolized the swamp.
ARRIVALS: The first camper-bearing-auto drove in at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a supremely lovely day. The maximum cars parked on the campus at any one time was 13. The last car-borne-camper was deposited shortly before the bus came in with 35 campers.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 27th: This rainy and cloudy morning gave place to better weather in the afternoon. We got settled in our tents and passed innumerable swimming tests. Alter supper, “Capture the Flag”.
THURSDAY: Cool, clear and windy followed by clouds, strong winds and brief showers. A huge expedition, under the guidance of veteran scout Al Kerr searched for the grave of the Indian Chief. Soft ball games followed each other in rapid succession on the ball field. There was but one horse of the usual five in action, (one couldn’t be caught and two were still to be shod by our last remaining blacksmith who, well over 90 years of age, has to ration his work a bit). And one is still to come. There was sailing but limited to only two boats as a mast snapped as it was being stepped. The tennis court was busy all day. The fire in the lodge fireplace was grateful.
THE FOURTH DAY: Cloudy, then clear, windy and cool. One sailboat upset. A11 the horses swung into action. Likewise Jack Garver began his handicraft instruction. A softball game arose. A hare and hound chase consummed the entire afternoon. The hares were led by Heb, Sandy and George Ruestow. The latter and campers, Griepenkerl and Carl Malm were caught. George Barker and his tent were rewarded with pop for the exploit. Older boys went off to town to view a movie.
FIRST SATURDAY: Calm, cool and cloudy becoming sunny and warm with a light breeze. It was our first really good day for swimming. We took full advantage of this opportunity to the exclusion of all else. At night we saw some excellent Disney cartoons.
THE SABBETH: It was clear and warm. The 17 campers of the Catholic faith went to Cooperstown to church in the camp cars. The Director conducted the usual brief camp services in the theater. There was an unusual rigid inspection followed by hot showers for all. The hot afternoon found the councilors playing the older boys at softball. Sixteen 12-year-olds started a Junior Life Saving class under Pete Macky. We aquaplaned and water skied. Then came an outdoor supper followed by movies depicting the life of the Navajo and advanced forestry practices. At 11 o’clock, after all but councilors were in bed, a rushing, mighty wind extinguished our lights for an hour but failed to wash ashore any of our boats.
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