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Homeletter 1944 18th Season, No. 7

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HYDE BAY HOME LETTER           18th SEASON         Week of August 8 - August 15

   RETURN HOME.  Already a number of inquiries have come in regard to the specific details of the return home.  For several weeks I have been trying to make definite arrangements.  This morning I have put off the composition of this letter as long as possible because the railroad promised to call me.  So far they have not done so.  It is, therefore, necessary to continue to be somewhat vague in regard to the plans for the return.  When the matter is definitely settled, you will receive some sort of notification to that effect.  It is definitely settled that the supervised group will take the 8:56 A. M. train out of Fort Plain on the morning of Thursday, August 24th.   It the railroad gives us a car to ourselves, it will be attached either to train #22, the Lakeshore Ltd., which arrives in New York at 2:40, or the 1:05, out of Albany, train #54. Which arrives in New York at 4:40.  In the event that the railroad refuses us a special car, we will change at Albany and take one of these two trains to New York.  Even if the 2:40 is on time, it is safer for us to plan to take the 4:30 on the Penna.  This train arrives in Baltimore at 7:23, at Washington at 8:05.  The 4:40 would be a safe connection only for the 6:30 on the Penna., which arrives in Baltimore at 9:41, in Washington at 10:25.

BAGGAGE.  All baggage, except a very small amount of hand baggage, must be sent by express.  Any special directions in regard to such shipment should be sent to us as promptly as possible.  It is not possible to have baggage checked on the railroad ticket on account of the difficulty of transporting the trunks to Fort Plain.

WEATHER.  Never in the history of this locality have we had such a long continued dry and warm spell.  There has even been a certain degree of humidity which is almost unknown in these altitudes.  However, Monday brought a hard shower which lasted into the night and did no end of good to the countryside.  It has been splendid camp weather but a source of some worry to our neighbors, the farmers.

HEALTH.  We have been very fortunate this week in this respect.  The Infirmary has had only one or two occupants and those have, none of them, stayed for more than a day.  The health reports from the surrounding territory, which we receive from the State Department each week, continue to be favorable.

TREASURE HUNT.  The outstanding feature of the week has been our annual Treasure Hunt.  Almost all the boys were members of the various teams.  The Hunt started on Saturday morning and lasted well into Sunday night.  As a matter of fact, no team found all of the clues.  The prize will be awarded to the team which came nearest to the goal.  This is an unusual situation as always in the past the Hunt has been finished.  Perhaps it was the weather.

COOPERSTOWN TRIP.  The swimming and baseball teams played return engagements with their Cooperstown rivals.  The results were as disastrous as the first encounter had been successful.  The baseball team this time played hard ball on Doubleday Field, where that game was invented.  The team was composed largely of councilors and they played boys of their approximate age.  The result was a heavy score against the visitors.  After the ball game, the swimming team met defeat 31 to 21 in Alfred Corning Clark pool.

NEBO.  This is the name we gave to the fifty acre mountain top which the camp owns about six miles over the hills.  On account of war conditions, this has been unvisited up until this week.  The arrival of Herbie Pickett, who is a veteran over-night camper, enabled us to send some twenty boys to spend a beautiful night on this lofty peak.  The boys and councilers hiked over while Herbie took the provisions and the packs in the station wagon and joined them at the top of the mountain.  They returned on Friday in time to have some of the hikers take part in the expedition to Cooperstown.

CINEMA.  Our motion picture offering this last week was the well known file, “How Green was My Valley”.  The projector and the generater cooperated to give us an excellent performance.  Those of us who had seen the film before were once more impressed with its beauty.  On Friday night we also showed a short travel entitled “Wheels Across India”.

TENT PLAYS AGAIN.  Saturday found the camp gathered in the theatre to see the final tent plays.  They proved to be an extremely interesting group.  The popular vote went to tent 11.  The program was varied.  Once more the radio programs came in for a parody.  Many local celebrities were subjected to publicity with their weaknesses and foibles held up to public view.  The learned doctor who gave out the advice looked much like Peter Cameron.  Heb Evans’ tent presented a medieval mystery in three acts.  Several of the cast survived.  Walter Hower and his tent surpassed all others in scenic effects.  Nat Elliott,as the telephone servace man, removed almost everything, including one of our kittens, and a cloud of sulphurous smoke from the venerable wall telephone which has provided electrical communications for countless Hyde Bay plays.  In his play councilor Fischer humbly took the part of a beautiful scrub-woman; his tent-mates revolved about him in a brilliant drama.

VISITOR.  It was almost like old times to have the father of Jimmy and Scotty Turner visit camp over the weekend.  His sons sent him home on Monday appropriately lame, sore and tired.  In the old days, before the war, laming up parents was one of our favorite sports.

FINAL REPORTS.  The councilors will send you just one more report which will reach you just about the time the boys are returning to give you a vocal and eye witness version of the final week.  The reports are compiled on Friday and after much inspection, revision and comment, are mailed to you on Tuesday.  The final homeletter will accompany these reports.

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