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Homeletter 1944 18th Season, No. 3

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER           18th SEASON           Week of July 11 - July 18

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, PLEASE NOTE.  A considerable number of boys were entered for half of the season only.  Some of these boys, or their parents, have suggested a change in these plans to embrace a further stay at camp.  On the assumption that there would be vacancies in August, I have already enrolled a considerable number of boys for the second half.  We have filled every bed we can secure and have taxed our tent and dining room capacity to its ultimate limit.  It is, therefore, necessary for me to know definitely as soon as possible what boys are leaving on July 26th.

CARD ENCLOSED.  As a matter of definite checking, will you please send back to me the card which will be enclosed in the envelopes of those boys about whose plans there seems to be any uncertainty.  An addressed card is enclosed for your convenience.

WEATHER.  We must have nothing but praise for our good fortune in weather.  Most days have been warm enough to make the lake seem a desirable refuge.  That constitutes almost perfect Hyde Bay weather.  We have had lots of sun and just about the right amount of rain.  The nights have been very cool and quite ideal for sleeping.

CINEMA.  The offering this week was to have been “Charlie’s Aunt” featuring Jack Benny.  The company which supplies us with the films was unable to send the scheduled picture and substituted “Christmas in July”, which seemed to please the boys immensely.  Some trouble with the generator supplying us with alternating current for our theater caused us to delay showing the picture for one night.

SUNKEN ISLANDS.  About a mile from camp in the middle of the lake there is a shoal which is known as the “Sunken Islands”.  In the Cooper novel, “Deerslayer”, this was the location of Thomas Hutter’s castle.  We frequently go out and explore this interesting formation.  Two trips have been out so far this week.

ACITIVITES.  In handicraft, while a number of boys have done some weaving, the present interest seems to be in clay modeling.  After a great deal of search, the boys discovered a very fine quality of clay in Shadow Brook.  Mr. Williams is supervising a large number of pottery projects.  Driftwood is also being carved into the form of animals.  One exhibition has already been held of the completed work.  At the moment an increased number of boys are starting various projects in shop.  Much of the time so far has been spent in maintenance work which is now essentially completed.  Some worthwhile things will presently be well under way which should accompany a lot of boys to their homes at the end of the season.

REPLACEMENT.  The mast for the red Comet has arrived and has been installed on that craft which should return to full activity today.  People not acquainted with the situation may not understand how difficult it was to secure such an article under present conditions.  We were just plain lucky.

TRIPS.  Several trips around the lake have occurred this week.  Our system is to send one councilor who has been on the trip and one who has not been.  We thus have a veteran with each expedition.  They all report great enjoyment from this tour of the lake.

ATHLETICS.  Baseball continues to be very popular.  The councilors succeeded in trouncing the older boys to the tune of 12 to 4.  The league is developing some excellent contests.  The volley ball court has been completed and informal games are frequently in session here.  A basketball league has recently begun its activities.  The tennis court is in constant operation.  Matches with Pathfinder Lodge are in prospect.

DRAMA.  Two plays were produced last Saturday night.  The first was a representation of the trials and tribulations of amateur dramatists.  It was called “It Will be All Right on the Night”.  Garry Ellis took the lead, well supported by a number of other actors all of whom gained considerable distinction.  The fluent French of Jimmy Gorter was an obvious sensation.  This was followed by the well known play “If Men Played Cards as Women Do.”  This satire was a mean advantage to take of all the absent mothers.  Charlie Garland, Jack Steigerwald, Bill Conningsby and Frank Sommers were the fore-some involved.  They turned in a very fine performance to an appreciative audience.  Even the ladies present laughed from time to time.

MOTERBOATING.  Mr.McGown and Bob Marshall have gotten the Hacker and the S. T. into better working order.  A group of boys, who have been distinguished for their helpfulness around camp, are allowed to run the S. T.  The Hacker is used for rescue purposes and for acquaplaning.  If you need a glossary for these terms, you are referred to the previous homeletter.

RESCUE.  On one of our rougher days, a valiant crew were washed ashore in the dinghy.  Captain Marbury required the assistance of the Hacker and a rescue party of older boys and councilors before his battered craft was finally towed into port once more.  The pieces have all been put back together again and the craft is now bouncing about the waters as gaily as ever.

SHADOW BROOK.  The little stream which winds its way for about half a mile at the end of the lake, is coming into its old time popularity.  Expeditions are constantly exploring this stream, searching for turtles, clay and obstacles to be removed from the course of the stream.  There is a rumor that a group even penetrated beyond the second bridge.  This is getting up into rather small water.

SINGING.  The hyms at our evening service on Sunday are noticeably improved by the efforts of Mr. Williams and the newly organized choir.  We meet at eight in front of the lodge.  It has happened that as we arise to sing our closing hymn, “Now the Day is Over”, the sun has been disappearing behind the range of mountains wiich flank the lake across from Hyde Bay.  The effect has been unusually impressive.

IMPROVEMENT.  “Rochester” Benham and some young men have planted ferns about their tent and have done a remarkable job of landscaping.  Initiative like this is evidence that our camp system is having its effect.

a consummation.

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