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Homeletter 1944 18th Season, No. 1

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER           18th SEASON              Week of June 29 - July 5

Salutation.  To the parents of all old campers, this will be a familiar sheet.  It is really extremely pleasant to be writing to you again.  I have thanked you individually for sending your boys back to us.  I appreciate very much indeed also the many recommendations you have made to other parents.  This has resulted in our getting more boys than we could possibly take care of.  It has made it unnecessary for me to do any promotional work at all.  I have merely answered letters of inquiry.

Explanation.  To the parents of boys who are at Hyde Bay for the first time, an explanation is due.  Many years ago, I started writing this weekly letter to parents.  Several times since than, I have tried to get out of the task of writing it, but each time there has been such a flattering chorus of disapproval from the parents, that I fear it has now become one of the traditions of Hyde Bay.  I try to write the sort of informal, haphazard letter that a boy ought to write to his family, but so frequently fails to do.  Copies of this letter are sent to all parents and to any other persons who are placed on our camp mailing list by the request of a boy or a parent.  We also send it to old councillors and boys who used to attend Hyde Bay.  Copies of the letter are posted where the boys may read it.

Bills.  Many of you have sent me all or part of the camp fee without receiving any bills.  Some of you have asked me to send you bills.  The fact is that I am endeavoring to economize in time and postage by enclosing them with the first set of reports.  You will find one enclosed in this letter.  It will bill you for half of the camp fee.  The remainder will appear on a bill sent to you on July 26 or near that date.  At the close of camp, you will receive still another bill covering the purchases made by the boy and the various sums charged to his account at your direction, such as his ticket home.

Reports.  Each councillor fills out every week a form similar to the one which you will find enclosed.  You will understand that this week there is very little to report because boys and councillors are just getting acquainted with each other.  I confess that I myself haven't yet learned to know every boy in camp, even by sight.  This is a deficiency which I am rapidly correcting.  It means that the comments which I frequently add to reports will not have very much significance in many cases this time.  Most of these reports are written by boys in their teens.  Many of them inexperienced in this form of contact with parents.  I know that you will find them interesting and sincere expressions of opinion.

Ration Books.  Most of the parents have been very prompt in sending in ration books.  I believe there are some, however, still due.  These should be sent to us at your earliest convenience.  The proper number of coupons will be removed to cover your son’s stay at camp.

Accident Insurance.  A considerable proportion of the parents have already sent in applications and checks for the accident insurance.  If you have not done so, there is still time for you to receive this coverage.  I receive absolutely no advantage from this.  I believe, however, that it is a rather wise investment.  Accidents do occur in spite of all that we can do to prevent them.  We are tremendously comforted by the immediate presence of the very fine Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.  It adds a bit of comfort subsequently to know that the services rendered there will not be an additional expense to the parent.

Sick and Accident Policies.  This present policy will cover only accidents.  There are companies which put out a policy, which for a slightly higher fee, covers sickness as well.I was not able to complete my investigation of such companies for this year.  I, therefore, continued with the one which has given us complete satisfaction for several years.  THIS IS FOR ACCIDENT ONLY.

Letters Home.  Every boy is required to write a letter home which he hands in as his ticket of admission to our Sunday night supper.  If you do not receive such a letter , please notify us promptly so that we may track down the error.  If the letters youreceive are extremely perfunctory, if you would care to advise us, we will endeavor to stimulate your son to greater efforts on your behalf.  All letters are completely uncensored.  Some of our youngest and therefore least literate campers occasionally employ the services of an amiable councillor, in the writing.

Weight.  Your son will be weighed either on Saturday or on Sunday morning.  He will be weighed wearing bathing trunks only.  Two lines of boys form in front of two scales, where councillors take down the weight of each boy.  Subsequently, these are transferred by another councillor to the reports.  The figures, the councillors and just plain human fallibility allow a considerable chance for error.  If your son, on some report, shows a surprising increase or loss of weight, please don’t get excited about it.  Just let me know, and I will have a recheck made.  In the past, I have always had a number of parents worrying about fluctuations in weight.  Wherever these seem significant, we will attend to them.  As the figures are posted on a large chart, it is possible for us to see at a glimpse, the weight record of a boy from the very beginning of his stay with us.

Weather.  We have enjoyed a succession of extremely fine days ever since the boys came to camp.  We who were at Hyde Bay during the week which preceded the start of camp, appreciate this especially as we suffered under wretched weather.

Trip Up.  By some miracle, every boy who was expected to be in our special car at the Grand Central station, eventually did get in.  With most of the camps in the United States leaving New York on that day for their various sylvan retreats, the Grand Central was a place where miracles were required for such a consummation.

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