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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER Volume XX 1946 No. 10
TIME AND PLACE: It is Friday afternoon in my office down at school. I have just brought in a load of things to be transferred from camp to school. There are only five of us left now -- the Evans brothers, Micky Stephenson, Mrs. Pickett and the Director. Jimmy and. Theodore were taken over to Fort Plain this morning by the Director. For a day Mrs. Pickett is chief cook. It has been, a perfectly lovely day, starting early with a temperature of forty—two, but rapidly warming up under a bright sun.
DEPARTURES: Just after the cooks left, Mr. and Mrs. Little set off with on Binks, nephew Jack Scaff, and Bobby Russell, who will ride with them as far as New York. Thursday afternoon Mrs. Thomson, accompanied by Mrs. Scofield, came In to get Ollie and Mike. The bulk of the councilors had left at various times on Wednesday. “Chiefy” and Mrs. Chandlee with their Cat, Butch, left Thursday morning. Other campers and councilors drizzled slowly out of camp after the bus pulled out on Tuesday morning. As not a single telephone call or telegram has come in, it must be that Marshall delivered his charges to their waiting parents.
BILLS: You will find enclosed an itemized account of your sons’ personal expenses while at camp. I hope those are accurate. If you detect any inaccuracies, please let us know. It is more or less difficult the hurly burly of camp life to maintain an accurate report of literally hundreds of small purchases.
RECONVERSATION: Under the skillful management of “Chiefy” the camp fell apart in record time. There is not a tent to be seen other than the one where Bobby and Betty lived, and the small one near our lean-to. The waterfront is clear except for the Hacker, the White Comet, an abbreviated dock to which are attached the S. T. and two row boats. The lodge is boarded up tight, as are most of the other buildings with the exception of the dining room. The chairs of the lodge are now grouped around the fireplace in the end of the dining room, where they have been extremely useful on the last two nippy nights.
THE BANQUET: Over thirty parents were present at the final ceremonies. Jimmy and his staff prepared a splendid dinner of fried chicken, sweet potatoes, corn from our garden, and our own peach ice cream. After the clatter of dishes had subsided, the clatter of tongues ensued. The Director arose and expressed his satisfaction with the season in far more words than these. “Chiefy” called on the kitchen staff, who appeared beaming at the door. He then, with a few appropriate words, presented them with a gift from the boys, councilors and teachers.
BONFIRE: We then adjourned to the waterfront where our youngest camper, Pat Mundy applied the match to the waiting bonfire. Presently the flames were curling skyward in graceful spirals while a column of sparks went far up into the still and lovely night. Conditions were perfect for the fire, which hardly dropped a stick before it burned away to glowing coals. Parents and boys stood about with heads thrown back watching the flames with that dreamy expression which a crackling fire seems to evoke. Presently goodbyes were said and many boys went away with their parents. Others went dutifully to bed while the councilors and a few guests gathered in the green chairs about the dying embers of the huge fire. Camp was officially over.
PRIZES: In the light of the fire the head councilor, assisted by Bobby Pickett and Al Kerr, awarded our numerous simple prizes for the tournaments and various achievements around camp. In tennis, Geiger, Farrar and Hoblitzell were champions in their respective classes. In horseshoes, Newell, Walsh and Little emerged victors. Ping—pong brought to prominence Harrison, Walsh and Hoblitzell. In both horseshoes and tennis there was a “professional” contest for councilors and others. Marshall Diggs won the horseshoes. In the tennis doubles, “Chiefy” Chandlee and Bob Pickett defeated Mr. and Mrs. Kiphuth for the pennant. The tennis singles apparently were never finished. Kirkpatrick won the prize for the highest inspection mark for the whole year. Then a large number of prizes were given out to boys who placed. in the wrestling tournament, the horse show and the so—called “windup”, which consists of all sorts of swimming races, canoe contests, and rowboat races. The recipients of those covered just about the entire camp list in one event or another, which is as it should be. Swimming councilor Kiphuth awarded the coveted Junior Life Saving certificates. The emblems arrived just after most of the boys had left, (They will be enclosed herewith, for those who have earned them.) Kip called special attention to Cub Forman, who having failed the test the first time showed fine spirit in going after it and winning the emblem in the second half of camp.
AN HONEST OPINION: I don’t believe camp. has ever been better than this year. The spirit was excellent throughout. Every boy seemed to be enjoying himself and every councilor did his best to make the season a success. Teachers labored faithfully in the college on the hill. In short, everyone seemed to take a genuine plea sure in making the season a success.
SOUR NOTE: It was such a fine camp season that the following lament stands out with unnatural prominence. It would round out a splendid season if the mistaken individuals who took the school bell and the sign which has adorned the study hall for so many years would return them. Such a thing has occurred only once before in the history of the camp. Then as now, I ponder over the motives governing such an act. Both the bell and the sign had become a sort of camp tradition. It would be a graceful if belated act of courtesy if these might be returned.
VARIOUS EVENTS: During the week the boys went out a number of times en horseback to have supper on some distant hill. For the most port, the weather was cold, windy and somewhat rainy. Saturday and Sunday were given over to the events of the wind—up. Evenings saw many bouts in the wrestling tournament, climaxed by burlesque professional bout between Frank Kunkowski and Bob Pickett. The grunts and groans were truly astonishing. The horse show was held on Sunday. The last of the plays occurred on Saturday night after the wrestling. Tent 3 was given a box of Hershey bars as having produced the best play of the whole year.
HUMBLE REQUEST: As always at the, end of the season, the Director would be rejoiced to have your criticism. To me it seemed one of the finest seasons we have had in many years. I hope you all feel the same way. Many visiting parents were very kind in their expressions. I am particularly anxious to get any constructive criticism. There are things which escape the eyes of camp directors, head councilors, and others in authority. Nothing is trivial if it might contribute to the betterment of the camp.
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