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Home Letter Volume 31, August 7, 1957 Special

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VOLUME 31             August 7, 1957                   Special

ORIGINS: Many years ago boys and campers approached me with the idea of making a gift of money to the people who staff our kitchen. I gave my consent and the practice has been continued since that time with no interruption. I am therefore writing this year to explain the situation.

NO TIP: This gift to the kitchen staff is not regarded by the state of New York as a tip and does not have to be counted in the tax records of the men involved. The reason for this is that they render no personal service to any of us. It is therefore definitely a voluntary gift.

OBJECTION: During the years in which this has been in operation, I have had no more than three parents object in any way to the practice, but there may have been others who suffer in silence as their sons do in some instances. This is purely voluntary and no one need to feel that a contribution must he made.

EFFECT: The generous contributions of the past have meant more to the men involved than any increase in salary. Most of them have been with us several years and their kindliness and courtesy is remarkable. Their interest in every boy is very personal and keen. I sometimes think they know them better than I do. The annual gift has made them feel their services are appreciated more than could be indicated by any other means I know.

BY PRODUCT: One result of this tradition has been to make us unusually popular with the employees of the Slater Cafeteria System from whom we get our men. They are employees of various schools who thus have to get summer employment. The result is that we have some unusually fine men who stay with us year after year. You are thus helping to make this a better camp for your sons.

AMOUNT: The main purpose of this letter is to give parents an opportunity to instruct their sons, especially our younger campers, just what to do. The head councilor calls a meeting of all the boys just before the end of camp and explains this all to them. Your instructions should, if possible, preceed this meeting. In the past the amounts have ranged per camper from $1.00 to an unusually generous and quite unnecessary $25.00. On any scale it adds up to a considerable sum for the men involved.

APOLOGY: This is just another attempt to make you feel that this camp is a highly cooperative organization in which you, in various ways, can take a most important part. Just as an examp1e, any time you suggest to us an unusually fine young man to be a councilor, you have helped your son an every other boy in camp.

H. E. Pickett

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