BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION: Parents of old campers are very familiar with this weekly publication. Parents of new campers have been exposed to at least one copy. It is designed to give you information which your son would, gladly give you if his busy life allowed him the necessary time.
MODUS OPERANDI: (Jack Webb calls it ambiguously M.O.) The Home Latter is dictated each Monday morning, corrected, mimeographed and mailed at a fixed point in time which we try to observe religiously. With the cooperation of the various local post offices, you should receive this latter with unfailing regularity.
REPORTS: Enclosed as a weekly feature is the report laboriously made out for you by the councilor who has the privilege of having your boy in his tent. After he has wracked his brain for the proper thing to say and has affixed his signature, the reports go to head councilor, George Chandlee and nurse, Betty Pickett. They affix whatever supplement their various departments indicate. Eventually these documents come before the Director, who, may add a comment.
UNUSUAL FEATURE: This particular envelope will also contain the bill for the camp fee. While many camps discretely bill the parent for the entire fee before the boys arrive, we have always sent out bills with the first reports. You are given an opportunity to pay for the first four weeks or for the entire season as the whim strikes you. Some parents have already paid me a part or all of the fee. Such considerate “Ravens” (see Scriptures) are much appreciated.
EDITORIAL POLICY: This publication tries to include nothing but the unvarnished truth. We rejoice or moan as circumstances dictate. Every year since the present somewhat dubious peace was declared, we have modestly announced that the camp was full and that many boys had been denied places. This year, with equal frankness, we must say that the camp is not full. This prompts an understandable eagerness on our part to accomodate belated campers. It also gives us a chance, denied us for several years, to allow boys who are entered for one half to continue on for the rest of the season if they so desire. We have 98 boys, or will have when those delayed for various reasons, but duly entered, finally do reach us. This is nine boys less than the unusually large number with which we were compelled to open last year.
TUESDAY, JUNE TWENTY_FOURTH: This fair and warm opening day was gratefully accepted. The honor of being the first boy at Hyde Bay Camp l958 went to Danny Goodwin, whose councilor received one of the Director’s dollars. The first tent to report a complete enrollment also received one of these rare bits of currency. The fortunate councilor was Charlie McManus. There were five boys unable, for one reason or another, to arrive on the opening day. One, due to exposure to a
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contagious disease, who has since arrived. Your annual cooperation in this precaution is once more appreciated. Twenty—seven came with Bob by train. The rest arrived by parental auto.
OUR FIRST WEDNESDAY: Fair and less warm with showers in the afternoon. Swimming tests went ahead. Our four Comets sailed the lake. Our horses arrived. They are by far the best group of such quadrupeds we have ever had and they are under veteran councilor, Bob Rockwell. Councilor Ronny Johnston, imported from Harvard University for the purpose, held his first baseball practice. Fred Allen sauntered down to the lake and returned nonchalantly with an 18½ ” pickerel. Izak Walton at once was joined in his piscatorial passion by most of the camp.
JUNE’S TWENTY-SIXTH DAY: The morning rain yielded to afternoon sun which made a most artistic departure as night drew on. Hyde Bay’s famous artist R. Jack Garver opened his studio to his local pupils. Softball prevailed for the younger boys in the afternoon. Eddie Brown and new councilor Pete Stanley, with followers, hiked to Clark’s Point and back, crossing Shadowbrook in some mysterious fashion. Mr. and Mrs. Mercer this day left their sons with us. For twenty years, they were members of our camp family.
FRIDAY: One of those Otsego winds started up on this clear day, but our Junior Life Saving course started its introductory period, terrestrially. The day was ideal for riding, behind the protecting screen of our woods. Six canoes, under councilors Garver, Carlton and Stanley made a new type of round-the—lake trip in which their canoes wore carried to the foot of the lake and returned by paddle-power. Bob Pickett exercised his ancient joints by taking a huge group high on the mountain back of camp to a spot called the “Lockout”. The announced purpose of the expedition was a search for the famous Wooly Ants. Unfortunately, none wore found. Sundry older boys went off to town on the movie trip.
WEEK’S END: A clear and warm 26th found councilor Classen bringing his car on the second and final stage of his trip to camp. There was good sailing. The afternoon was given over to Hyde Bay’s traditional first mass event, the so—called “Hot Rock’ contest. Numbered stones were retrieved from various curious hiding places. Tent #4 proved to be the most skillful. Ricky Reese won the dollar for finding the most stones. As night drew on, we gathered in the theater to witness “The Spirit of St. Louis”.
AND SUNDAY: This clear and warm day saw cur Catholic members drive off to town, while the Director conducted our local services. There was the usual rigid Sunday inspection and hot showers for all. The climate favored swimming and sailing. We had a softball game. A hot dog outdoor supper at night gave our kitchen staff a needed respite. Old councilor Heb Evans strolled in for a few days. The evening ushered in some movies dealing with Corning Glass and prospecting for oil. A fire was built on the beach. Ten o’clock milk and crackers
were consumed by those deemed old enough for such an orgy. The Home Letter’s week was ended.