Rick Van Mell "Super Skipper"



From: Sandy & Rick Van Mell
Date: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 12:17:48 AM
To: Wallace's
Subject: Re: TOSEBO


Amazing stuff you can find on the Internet!

I don't recall the exact years, but I think it was 3 (maybe only 2?) 1956 sounds like it would have been my last year as I was a high school freshman then.

On a hunch, I just walked to the garage, pulled open a file drawer and laid my hand on my "plaque" with 1955 on it, and achievement bars for Able Seaman, Skipper, Baseball, Dramatics, Canoeing and Tennis. My last year I was an Assistant Chief with the name "Heeling Over" (sailing was & still is my sport).

I remember many good canoe trips down the White River, including one camper (whose name I don't remember) who freaked out when we went under some low hanging trees and brushed a big spider into the canoe. He picked up a paddle and started pounding away on the inside of the wooden canoe trying to kill it! There were the Sunday rides in the camp truck into Onekama to get ice cream cones or spend our week allowance. At least once I was allowed, with another crew to sail one of the snipes into town.

It was there I got my first training in horseback riding, and always enjoyed the woods. We made root beer from sassafras roots, and there was the annual hunt in the woods for the High Behind (advertised to new campers as a small animal with a high back) - actually a wooden green shape with black spots as I remember.

Yep, remember Coach Roski (spelling ?) and daughter Barb - who pitched in on making root beer and I think came sailing with me once or twice. Also remember Ross Taylor. The other names you mention don't come to mind, but I think there was a George Hauser who beat me in sailing one year.

The Indian councils were also a treat. One time I was elected to start the campfire by being up in a tree and sending a flaming arrow down a wire. And, of course, I'll never forget the penalty for stepping over the stones rather than going through the openings: "Totem Pole, Totem Pole, forgive my stupidity", and the rejoinder, OhWa TaNa SiAm (O What An *** I Am)

You're welcome to add these little tidbits to the collection!

Rick Van Mell
1629 Begen Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94040

----- Original Message -----
From: Wallace's
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 8:26 PM
Subject: TOSEBO

Hello Rick
My name is Dave Wallace and I went to Tosebo in 60,61, 64, 65, and the worked there in 67. I started dating a Tosebo kitchen girl and we've been married 31 years now. Her folks had a summer place just west of the Boathouse (not built when you were at Camp) so I've been going to Portage Lake ever since. About a year ago I stumbled on Robert Hausser's memories on the internet. We started to e-mail, others joined in, a TOSEBO forum was created, scanned pictures were sent to a website, and I started searching for former campers. My list is about 80 now with a cousin of Jim "Termite" Bergquist who was a camper way back in 1932 being the oldest camper. I found you with a copy of the 1956 camper sign-in ledger. GOOGLE found the obit of your mother and that led me to your brother and now to you. Names you might remember from the list: Skip Sage, Bergquist's, Buckingham's, Sebaly's, Ross Taylor, and Coach's daughters - Caryl and Barb, Larry Meyer, Andy Weissman.
I'd like to add you to the list, so I need an address, phone, e-mail and years attended. Just waiting for a few responses and then I'll send the list to everyone. To access the TOSEBO forum send an e-mail to [email protected] with a user name and a password of your choice, and Marc will set you up. There's lots of good memories on the forum and we'd love to add yours.
Camp has been closed for at least 25 years now. The Clubhouse was re-done into a Bed and Breakfast, but that closed in 2001. The former Camp "on-call" doctor owns the Camp now and I think he will keep the property from getting developed. Enough for now, I've got to root for the CUBS.

Dave Wallace
Top Bottom