Pow Wow Day, Gold Rush & "The High Behind"



I had forgotten a lot of the particulars about the final event of the summer. Steve Buckingham has provided the following:

One correction about the High-Behind. It was kept in the craft shop on the rafters above the workbench until Pow-Wow Day. You may remember the window panels and looms up there as well. Pow-Wow Day was part of the last week activities which, and I'm getting a little fuzzy, included waterfront games in the morning and Indian games on the hill in the afternoon. I believe the High-Behind hunt occurred just after rest period. The last event of the day was the "Scalping Game" which used blue and green strips of cloth as "flags" and was confined to the baseball infield. Dinner on the hill was followed by the final Indian council. Dinner on the hill was usually Thursday and Sunday, but an adjustment had to occur to allow for the banquet and awards ceremony on Thursday. I think Pow-Wow day was held on Tuesday. A field trip to Morton Salt Works or Century Boats was fit into this week (Wednesday?). Thursday was a free day activity wise -- used to finish up work honors or bar requirements or just to do your favorite activity. Friday was used for gathering up loose items and packing, a shower, and movie after dinner.

I was in charge of hiding the High-Behind a couple of years. Coach thoroughly enjoyed his description of the "animal" with its need for a muzzle etc, and also thought it was funny that it was in such a unhidden location throughout the rest of the summer, going unnoticed by the craftsmen on the workbench below.

I had always thought that Hal Tonkins brought "Gold Rush" to Tosebo from the camp he had previously directed in Arizona. I am certainly thankful to Jerry Hudson for adding this wonderful event to the schedule. The laundry was probably not happy with the gold paint that ended up on the fronts of T-shirts and on pillowcases, but then what's a gold miner expected to do in his quest for riches?

Anyone have more to add?
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Neil Suits

At the end of the season there were tournaments. I assume that the competition was between the different tribes. Some of the contests that I recall were the softball toss, a football toss, shaving a balloon, push-ups and pull-ups. The softball toss was for distance, the football toss was for accuracy: you had to toss the ball through a swinging tire. Since this was very difficult, almost no one was able to do it. I remember that at least one year Hal Tonkins’ son, Mark, won the pull up contest with 12 pull-ups. Odd how one remembers these details, but forgets so much else. Shaving a balloon involved trying to remove shaving cream from a balloon with a straight razor without popping the balloon. I also remember a ‘greased pig’ contest in the water. The greased pig was actually a watermelon. The teams were the members of the two tribes and the object of the game was to get the watermelon into your team’s rowboat, which were anchored at opposite ends of the swimming area. It was an exciting contest, but a bit hazardous because if you did get a hold of the watermelon you would immediately be tackled by twenty boys and nearly drown. It could be difficult to get out from under the pile and was not a sport for the smaller campers. I remember one time that one of the older and stronger campers, Greg Balkema, got a hold of the watermelon and heaved it over his shoulder in an attempt to win the contest. The watermelon must have gone about fifteen feet in the air. Fortunately, it didn’t make it into the boat, because if it had it would have become watermelon mush. I know that my team won the greased pig contest because I never liked watermelon and I was always winning them. After the tournament I think that we went up the hill and had our usual picnic with ‘bug juice’ and hamburgers.

Neil Suits 1964-6

Neil Suits

Field Trips

I didn't remember that field trips were connected to the final tournament, but apparently they were. This is what I remember of the field trip(s).

At least one year we went on a field trip. I don’t think that we did this every year, though I could be wrong. The places that I remember going to include a boat factory (Century?), a pie making company, the Morton salt factory (my favorite) and Sleeping Bear Dunes (the most fun). Since I ingest more salt than almost anyone I know, I liked seeing the mountains of salt. I picked up a few salt tablets from the floor of the factory and kept them in my desk at home for some years afterward. I even took them on a few hikes in desert areas so that I could replenish salt lost through perspiration. Sleeping Bear Dunes was a lot of fun. A few of us went to the top of the first dune and did somersaults all the way down the dune. I picked up quite a bit of speed coming down the dune and got a bloody nose when I kneed myself in the face. I also picked a lot of sand in my green pockets.

Neil Suits 1964-6

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