Mon, 1 Apr 2002 13:12:19 -0700
From: "Robert Hausser"
To: "Marc Smith"
Subject: Tosebo Archives
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 2002 13:18:36 -0700
This may be of interest to you, or others. I am 56 years old, my older brother, George, is 60, and my younger brother, Joel, is 52.
Although I have only sailed, briefly, twice since those days on Portage Lake, I am constantly reminded of my learned skills when on our houseboat on Lake Powell in Southern Utah. (And I wish everyone that we take with us had learned the same things!)
Great to get in contact with you, and maybe we'll collect information through your website?
Camp TOSEBO - 1956 - 1958
Robert Oakes Hausser
19 August 1998
General Structure & Grounds
Camp started each year with an inspection of last summer's clothing, with an order through Marshall Fields in Chicago for replacements. Name tags had to be sewn in, and I remember for my last year, my mother running a single stitch through the middle of the pre-printed tags, rather than going completely around the edges. Everything was fit into a "steamer trunk," and Railroad Express-ed to TOSEBO. We were supplied a check list, which was approximately 5 pairs of underwear and white (?) Socks, 5 TOSEBO T-Shirts, 3 pairs of green shorts, 3 pairs of blue jeans, a jacket, 1 pair of tennis shoes and 1 pair of "hard" shoes, 2 "Army" blankets and one "Indian" blanket, 1 tennis racket, 1 fishing rod, 1 "Bridgeport" one-piece hatchet and 1- 4 blade pocket knife, flashlight (I remember a "Delta" brand combination spotlight with flashing warning lamp, that used a large, square battery. We usually left the battery inside over the winter, which was always corroded by the next summer,) toothbrush, comb, plastic water glass and soap dish, towels and washcloths and a cigar box for storage.
In 1956, Camp was divided into a 3 week section, followed by a 4 week session. Only a few campers left after the first 3 weeks, with usually a greater number attending the last 4 weeks. From 1957 on, there were two consecutive 4 week sessions. Most campers did the whole summer.
Cabins and Tents were assigned by age groupings, as were "Activity Groups." The cabins were arranged in two blocks of three, with cabin one being the "Nature Activity" room and cabins two and three for the youngest campers (7-9 years old?) There was a bathroom building KYBO - Keep Your Bowels Open) between the cabin blocks. Cabins four, five and six contained the next older groups (10-11?) At the end of these cabins were two tents (#9 & 10,) used by the oldest campers or C.I.T.'s (Counselors in Training) On the opposite side of the ballfield, and starting where the road from below entered the field, were the tents, starting with one through eight. Behind seven and eight was another KYBO. The KYBO's had two or three toilets and one or two urinals, and a shelf on the outside with faucets for washing hands and teeth (I seem to remember the shrubbery next to the KYBO covered with toothpaste spit.) Typical of all such structures, it provided a record of past campers. There was a path behind the row of tents leading to the KYBO, and a wide sand strip in front of the tents. The only lights at night were in the KYBO's and I believe there was one large flood light for the ballfield(?)
The cabins each had 2 sets of bunk beds along each side wall, with a storage closet between the bunks. In the middle of the room was a bed for the resident councillor, if used. The door was screened, as were the windows, with cover doors hinged at the top, and usually held open by a stick. There were wooden built in ladders at the foot side of the bunks for access to the top. There was a set of book shelves along the far wall, with two campers each sharing a shelf. (I seem to remember cabin three having 2 sets of bunk beds, and 4 or 5 single cots.)
The tents were set up in a row on individual wooden platforms, with common "fence" rails between adjoining tents for securing side ropes. Tents were basic canvas "wall" construction, with canvas "fly's." There were front and rear vertical poles and a center ridge pole. The sides could be rolled up and secured with cloth straps. Each tent had four steel cots, and a book shelf in the back with a level for each occupant. Tents were assigned by age grouping with a "resident" counselor bunking in one of the group's tents.
At the far end of the field, separating the upper cabins from the tents, was the "Craft Activity and Indian Lore" building (also with internal electricity.) In front of the Craft building was the flag pole. North of this building was the archery range, and a small campfire circle at the edge of the bank, with railings and benches. This was used, as I recall, for Coach Roskey to tell stories to the younger campers, and as a site for "picnic" dinners. Behind the archery range, and on top of the hill, was the old "Crow's Nest," an old house for the very youngest campers, that was last used about 1952 (?) By 1958, it had begun collapsing. It was always "Off-Limits," as was the Indian Circle and all areas North of the tents and campfire circle.
South of cabin one was the "miniature golf" course, which was overgrown in 1956, but cleared out and re-habilitated in 1957 as part of the "Athletics Activity" Group training. There was even a sign for the area: "Putt-Putt Golf" from probably the 1930's.
From the West corner of the golf course, back towards the tents, were two, clay, tennis courts, on slightly different levels, with both surrounded on 3 sides with high fencing. "Athletics Activity" usually involved a session of "rolling" these courts. I believe there was a backstop for the main baseball field, located near where the road entered the open field.
Between the far tennis court and the golf course was a path to the theater, which also continued down to the horse corral and stables. (I remember an old tree stump in the middle of the corral, where we once hid our flag during a game of "Capture the Flag.") The Theater building had a fire ring in front of it.
The road to the main building was about 300 yards long, with the shower building on the North side, along with open faucets and washbasins outside. This was also the location of the "Bell." On the South side of the road, in the same area, was a large, two story building for storing the camper's trunks, clothing, and a couple of rooms upstairs for counselors. The ground floor of the main lodge contained the kitchen to the West, the dining hall in the middle, and the game room to the East, with a large covered porch. There was a small covered porch on the South side, permitting entry into the dining room from the outside. The Infirmary and nurse's quarters were upstairs.
I believe Roskey's lived in the house across the road to the East, and Ross and Doris Taylor (the owners, at some point) lived in the house across the road to the South.
The dirt road in front of the main lodge ran North, crossing the paved highway, and continuing through "Red Park" down to the boathouse/beach. Between the main lodge and highway was a open "Gazebo," owned by the camp (?) But seldom, if ever, used. (There was a "Caution - Slow Campers" sign near the highway crossing.) There was a center park area between the facing rows of cottages along the road to Portage Lake, with a small fountain/fish tank. (Excursions off of the dirt road was a punishable offense!) The road wound through a small stretch of brush before reaching the boathouse.
The boathouse was a two story wooden structure, with a wooden deck/walkway around most of the outside. The main entrance was on the West side, with the counselor's room to the left as one entered. There were benches in the large open room for changing, with hooks around the outside where swimming suits or clothing was hung. The top floor of the boathouse had a flush toilet (usually either out-of-service, or with continual running water to it's tank, and no idea where it discharged it's sewage to,) a room for counselors/C.I.T.'s, and a large open area for hanging and drying sails.
From the North boathouse deck, there was a wooden plank walkway out into the lake. There was a "seawall" around the boathouse foundation, and a sand beach to the west. There was a swampy area to the west and south, that was fed by springs (?) and was usually the source of frogs and snakes. To the west of the walkway, tied between two posts, was an old military rubber pontoon raft, with a "solid" cover top, but with air tube segments underneath that could be "squeezed up into (another No-No!) King of the raft was a most popular game. A stretched rope between posts demarcated the outward limit for non-swimmers.
Out further was the floating "wooden raft," located with anchors at the edge of the "drop-off." On this raft was wooden decking with a diving board on the deep side and a lifeguard tower. ("No diving from the tower, or swimming beneath the raft." - Right!) I remember once my last summer having a SCUBA outfit and finally getting a good look at the drop-off. I can also remember fishing for perch and bluegill from the raft, but don't remember what became of "the catch."
Further out and to the west were the 4 buoys for the "Snipe" class, 14 foot sailboats. (This was apparently a popular "class" on Portage Lake during that period, as there were regular races throughout the summer around the lake.) I remember two older green and white, open cockpit Snipes with hinged, retractable centerboards, and a black and red newer Snipe, originally owned by the Buckinghams, with a more closed cockpit and steel "dagger board." (I remember being involved with capsizing this boat, and loosing the dagger board by not having it "tied" in its well.)
Eight foot single sail "Prams" were kept on the beach next to the boathouse, along with rowing Prams, rowboats, and both cloth skinned/wood ribbed and aluminum canoes. There was also an outboard powered (or should I say, "under-powered." by a 25 hp Johnson) runabout boat affectionately named, "The Skunk," that was used for "Aqua-planing" and water skiing, as well as sailboat rescue.
The riding stables had a tackroom at one end, and were like most stalls I've ever seen. The main riding trail took off towards the West from behind the stable, going to some large open former farm ground with abandoned barns and occasional fence lines. I remember always galloping or cantering in the out-bound direction, but always trying to keep at a walk or trot coming back in. I remember there being about nine horses, and always having them trail in the same order. "Peggy," "Dolly," "The Colt," "Duke," "King," "Queen," "Cappy," and "Tigger." The main horse trail also served as the southern boundary for the camp, with crossing another, "No-No."
The forest behind cabins and Craft Shop building was laced with dirt path trails leading to a number of clearings - usually the sites of camper built log "forts." There was also a cleared, natural bowl area, similar, but much larger, near the Indian fire circle. This was a favorite area for the youngest camper's "over-night" camp, and well within "raiding" distance of the main camp. This "circle" was also the site of wild strawberries. The far western "Off-limits" boundary was an old barbwire fence line near the farthest "fort." Activity in the woods was limited only by "No Fires, No cutting Live Trees, and be back in time for the next meal."
The basic social structure was based on "Activity Groups," determined by age (and possibly, maturity.) There were about 7-8 boys in each Group, all housed together in the cabins, or adjoining tents. There were usually some "older" campers, identified as "C.I.T.'s" that acted as a group, but fell outside of the normal routine. Each week, the Groups rotated through the various activities, with one week designated as "Wilderness Week" (canoe trip, etc.) The Activities were:
|Usually catching butterflies and suffocating them with chloroform, or identifying various trees and plants around the area.|
|Usually tennis, softball, exercises, archery, and, during the last year, miniature golf|
|Learning how to care for, and ride, horses.|
|Leather craft, wood-burning, and vinyl strap key-chain weaving.|
|Mainly leaning a dance presentation for the next Indian Ceremony.|
|A one week intensive acting lesson, culminating in a Saturday Night stage presentation.|
I believe "Activities" were conducted for about 1-1/2 hours after lunch every day, Monday through Friday.
The other important division was the two Indian "Tribes." Each summer, every camper was given a graduated "rank" (Papoose, Brave, Warrior, and finally, Chief) an Indian name, and assigned to one of two tribes; Either "Blackfoot," or "Chippewa," with a third tribe, "Shawnee," dropped prior to 1956. Most competitions throughout the summer were based on tribe affiliation. One important given Indian name was "Babbling Brook," usually given to a new camper that irresponsibly called attention to himself during the early weeks. This was NOT an honor, and the person with this given name was usually the brunt of boyish "cruelty" for most of the summer. At the end of the summer, a "winning" tribe was determined based on some un-known scoring scale.
The final division was the weekly table seating assignments for meals.
Daily & Weekly Routines
The daily routine, as best as I can remember, started with wake-up around 7:00 AM, possibly by the ringing of the camp bell. Dressing, bathroom and tooth brushing were next, followed by making of bed, straightening things up, etc. At approx. 7:30, the bugle call, "Reveille," was played over the loudspeakers, and everyone lined up in front of the flag pole for the raising ceremony, which was also accompanied by loudspeaker bugle music. This was followed by calisthenics (Groan! The worst was "the Ball Buster" - spreading legs and reaching through them "'til you make them hurt!" I also remember "Big Circles and Little Circles" with the out-stretched arms.) (Table Waiters were excused from exercises, and left the formation at that time.) After exercises, everyone spread out in a line in front of the flag pole, and walked towards the main lodge, "policing" the area of any paper or trash.
Everyone walked at as brisk a pace as the counselors would allow, bent over, pretending to look for paper. (There may have been a requirement to produce some trash at the end of the road, before the washbasins. If so, the wiser campers always kept a stash of paper in their pants! It also seemed like there was always a "detail" sent up the direction of the tennis courts and past the theater - usually done out-of-sight of the counselors, and at a "dead run!") Everyone had to stop at the (cold water only) washbasins, and then pass a "Roskey Inspection" of the hands and behind the ears. Everyone then staged outside the lodge back door or in the game room, until permitted to enter the dining hall "en-mass" to their assigned seating.
In general, the table seating had an older camper, or counselor, at the head, and a junior camper at the other end (Not desirable, as this person was responsible for pouring drinks - usually "Kool-aid," referred to as "Bug Juice.") Most items were set on the table prior to seating, but the main course was delivered by the waiters on platters. Each meal was started by the ringing of a small bell, followed by a silent prayer. Chaos broke loose soon after, as every table tried it's best to empty the platters and disperse the food, in order to get the waiter on his way back to the kitchen for re-fills. I can remember breakfast offering rotations of scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, sausage, and bacon, with oatmeal and cold cereal presented every morning. I can't remember if there were limits to either food or drinks.
There were three common distractions from the eating routine: It seems like a dropped eating utensil resulted in the offending party walking around his table holding the item above their head. Another manners violation was answered with, "Hausser, Hausser, strong and able. Get your elbows off the table!" And finally, the after meal game of, "This is table number one; where is number two?" Another conversation centered on which food item contained the "saltpeter," but at the time, I didn't know why that subject was important. It seemed like everyone at the table had to be finished, and then permission asked for everyone to be excused. Return to the cabins or tents for about a half hour of free time followed each meal.
Being a table waiter for a week period was rewarded with two work Honors. Waiters were chosen each week from a "volunteer" sign-up list. The camp bell was rung about BD hour prior to the regular dinner bell, summoning the waiters to duty. The waiters all ate together, then set silverware, salt & pepper, dishes and glasses, drink pitchers, and some side food items on the two tables he was responsible for. During the meal, he was responsible for bringing the initial platters out, and re-fills, when requested, of both food and drinks. He collected the meal dishes when finished, and carried them to the kitchen area, where, I believe, another camper collected them at a window, scraped them, and separated them for washing. When everything was off the table and it was wiped off, the chairs were placed on top to permit floor sweeping/mopping. Table waiting wasn't desired by everyone, but enough campers were interested that seldom, if ever, was the position held two weeks in a row. (Other than the two work Honors, I don't remember any other benefit to being a waiter.)
I believe there was "free time" in the morning until about 10:30, which was the time for "mandatory" swimming. This was time spent with lessons or organized games in the water. I remember instructions in life saving (leading to Red Cross Certification?) involving the "fireman's carry," "across the shoulder" swimming carry, "tired swimmer" swimming carry (breast stroke while the "victim" lay on his back with stiff arms on your shoulders,) "Running straddle" (in order to keep a view of the victim) and "high" jump water entries, surface dives and underwater turn dives, artificial respiration, and "in-water" escape techniques (always easy when done with a fellow camper partner; damn near impossible when done during final testing with "Skip" Sage!)
Lunch followed, with everyone hungry. Usually "Mail Call" was held before the noon meal, with letters and packages distributed outside the dining hall door. A package from home, consisting of cookies or candy, was always a welcome surprise (as it always has been,) and letters eagerly awaited. The receipt of a package resulted in a sudden close relationship with one's bunkmates.
There was a short period of "rest time" after lunch, with a bell about 1:00 PM for a 1-1/2 hour "Activity" period. As mentioned above, each "Group" was assigned for a week's period to a specific "Activity," and rotated through all of them by the end of the summer. The bell ending "Activity" announced "free time" until dinner. Some boys would continue with their "Activity," but most took off towards there favorite thing at that time. I don't believe returning to one's tent or cabin was an option. This was the time that would occasionally result in campers going "too far" into the woods, or having "boat problems," and getting back to dinner late - and receiving harassment from the whole dining room!
After dinner excluded lake front activities or horseback riding, and most people stayed around the tent/cabin area, except for a few excursioners into the woods. At about 7:30, "Retreat" bugle call was played, for the lowering of the flag, with everyone expected to stop in place, and face the flag pole. Bedtime was soon after dark, with the playing of "Taps."
The routine differed on Friday night with the issuance of clean clothing and towels, and the weekly shower at the building west of the main lodge above the wash basins. Groups were called down from the living area by age, issued clothing, etc., sent to the shower, and returned the old clothing afterwards. There was usually some activity near the lodge to keep the "clean" campers at bay until all had completed the routine.
On Tuesday, clean underwear, socks, and one shirt were issued.
Saturday morning was the time of the weekly living quarter's inspection. After breakfast, everyone cleaned and straightened their cabin/tent and their personal belongings. They also were responsible for the area directly around their unit, and other designated "common" areas. There was a certain acceptable order to the personal items on the shelves (with other items discreetly moved to outside hiding spots!) Besides the spotlessly clean floor (almost impossible, considering the bare sand walkways in front and around the tents and cabins,) the making of the bed to "military specifications" was the most important item. Coach Roskey, and a counselor designate, would perform the inspection, with the campers knowing that a failing grade could entail extra duty, and possibly, the ultimate punishment, NO TRIP TO TOWN!
Assuming inspection was passed, a weekly spending allowance (established by the parents - about 35 -85 cents a week, and occasionally supplemented by money sent from home,) was issued and the campers were transported to downtown Onekema, Michigan, in the green, canvas covered stake truck. Traveling in this truck nowadays would probably violate a number of safety codes, but with a counselor at the rear gate, and strict rules about reaching through the side slats, etc., I can't remember anyone getting hurt. The youngest campers went in the first shuttle to town, and were deposited in front of the Onekema Drug Store. Most of the weekly allowance was spent there, usually slowed only by the line at the cash register, on such necessities as 10 cent comic books, candy bars, popsicles, and possibly soft drinks. The other place of business visited, was the hardware store across the street, for the purchase of nails and other "fort" building materials. There were some individual cases of shop-lifting, but in general, the chaos of our presence was probably the only downside to the businesses. Campers were shuttled back as the next group arrived.
Most candy was consumed by the end of the day, Saturday. And the only theft I clearly remember at the camp was the taking of "care package" cookies or candy from the incautious recipient.
There was free time upon return to camp, as well as after lunch. After dinner, however, was the big weekly campfire gathering at the theater area, where the Group having that activity during the week presented a play - usually light comedy or a mystery. (The play was sometimes re-played throughout the night, as the actor mumbled their lines in their sleep.)(I can remember "skit night," when we parodied the C.I.T.'s and I imitated Dick Buckingham saying his usual, "There goes another ripe zit!") Coach Roskey then presented general announcements and the schedule for the next week. Then he announced the all important "Honors" awards for the week.
"Honors" were given for various activities, and accumulated towards the awarding of patches, etc., at the end of the year. A total of 25 earned a "Tosebo 'T'," 50 received a "Pine Tree," 75, a "Sailboat," and 100 was rewarded with a finished walnut/mahogany "Shield." Chevrons were awarded for every 25 Honors after 100. There were 4 Honors a week that a camper could receive that were "Gimme's." I remember "Activity" and "Good Camper" as two, but not sure how the other two were obtained. Honors were also given for winning certain events. There were also "Work Honors," awarded for each two hours of donated work time in an Activity area (Boathouse, stables, craft shop, etc.) Two Honors were given to the waiters each week.
The weekly Honors number were geared to give each camper a "25" Honor award at the end of the summer. Any time a camper received less than 4 at the camp fire, there were "snickers" from the other campers. If less than 3 were announced, the group responded with an outburst of derisive laughter, changed by Coach Roskey to, "How, How, How." And the ultimate was the night "Babbling Brook" received only 1 Honor!
The fireside was ended with the playing of bugle "Taps," usually played live by a camper (I can remember the anticipation of messing up on the occasions I was the bugler.)
Sunday was generally a day of unstructured free time, with the Catholic campers trucked to the church in Onekema. After the noon meal, we were required to write the dreaded weekly letter home (later recalled in the Alan Sherman song, "Hello Mother, Hello Father.") There was usually an "All-Camp" softball game in the afternoon, and after dinner, "Vespers" was held in the main Lodge game room. Usually a local Protestant minister was invited to present some spiritual offerings, interspersed with the singing of Hymns (I remember "Follow the Grail" being one often repeated.)
Most firesides, Indian gatherings, etc., at night, were ended with the singing of "There's a Long, Long Trail." Coach Roskey would also lead us in famous camp songs such as, "99 Bottles of Beer," and "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt." The counsolors and older campers would teach us the more popular songs of, "Roll Me Over in the Clover," and the cheer, "Potato Chips, Potato Chips, Crunch, Crunch, Crunch. Ross Taylor, here's your lunch - Eat it Raw!"
At the end of the summer, the camp bus was used to transport campers back to Chicago, with stops in Benton Harbor and Holland, Michigan, for the purchase of wooden shoes.
Three or four times a summer, an Indian council was held in the Indian ring west of the Craft Shop. All campers were led in by groups, wearing their Indian Blankets, and seated on the benches around the fire/dance ring. Complete silence was the rule. The campers all stood until the "Chiefs," "Squaws," and "Princesses" were seated. Coach Roskey would then beat on a Tom-Tom drum while one camper, dressed as an Indian, danced around the pile of wood in the middle of the circle. As the beating and dancing reached the desired fervor, the fire mysteriously burst into flames (by what method, I still don't know!) Occasionally, the Coach would have to add a little "fire water" to get it going again, and would add wood several times during the ceremony. The first Indian meeting of the summer involved the "un-burying of the Hatchet," signifying the start of the inter-tribal competitions. The final meeting of the summer involved burying the hatchet, and the fire was started by a flaming arrow (on a guide wire!) There were always Indian dances ("Toe-Heel," "Canoe Step," and "Running Toe Step.") presented by the various groups in the Indian Lore Activity, and stories of Indian Myths by Coach Roskey.
There were several competitions between the tribes. There was a day of "Athletic" events, with broad jumping, running races, standing jumps, "hop, skip, & jump," pull-ups (always won by Jim "Termite" Berquist,) etc. There was a season end softball game. There was a tennis tournament, and an archery tournament (with the final four top shooters facing off after the big picnic with targets located on the tennis courts. (I remember my first year in the finals, using a 35# bow with short arrows, that I could barely get the arrow to the target. The next year, I made sure I had the 50# bow with the longest set of arrows I could grab hold of.) Usually, two or three arrows in the target would secure the championship.
"Termite" was also the originator of the "ob" language - sticking the syllable "ob" before each vowel - sort of like "pig Latin."
There were also swimming races, sailboat races, and canoe races.
Most times, teams were identified by shirts being worn right side or wrong side out: "TOSEBO's" or "OBESOT's."
The last Indian meeting of the year usually had time devoted to the tribe chiefs bragging of victories, and justifying defeats, in the various events.
There were also softball games played against a camp (Camp Lookout?) on the other side of Portage Lake, usually won by them!
I can remember at least one summer of meeting most of the camp in a field on the "lakeside" road to Manistee, for a "horse" outing, where there were races, and various horsemanship games. (I can remember seeing old home movies taken and shown by Coach Roskey, of prior horse meets at the same area. I do look back and realize that all races seemed to finish in the same "horse order" as was used on the trail rides, with "Tigger" always last!
I can also remember an overnight horseback trip to roughly the same area, where we all slept in "Jungle Hammocks."
Another outing was a trip up to the "Look-out" at Pierport, a beach on Lake Michigan located about 10 miles North of Portage Lake. There were high sand dunes along the beach, with bird nest "caves" dug into the sand at a vertical ledge near the top. I can remember jumping off the ledge, thinking I would sink into soft sand when I hit, only to encounter hard pack sand, having my heels slip out from under me, and smack my tailbone against the hard sand. I limped around for several days after! It also seemed that this trip involved "clothing optional" swimming. There was a small "fort" overlook at one time at the top of the dunes, but this had been destroyed by the time I was in Camp.
The best outing, for me, was the annual canoe trip. These were done "by Group" and I got to canoe on the Big Manistee (wide, and smooth - no rapids - a "beginner's river,) the Little Manistee (Narrower, with some rapids,) and the Pere Marquette (very narrow, more rapids.) I can remember spending the night camped next to "Baldwin Bridge," when a car crossing the noisy wooden floor bridge lost it's front universal joint, and its drive line dropped down and caught the approach to the bridge.
Canoe camping was exciting, with two campers and gear per canoe. All food, and any other outdoor meals, were usually from dehydrated "Trail Mix" menus. And the main cooking utensils were empty "Sexton" brand institutional sized tin cans. I believe it was later in life that I discovered that soap applied to the outside of utensils placed directly in the fire, are much easier to clean. I do remember that river sand serves as scouring powder! And that water fights between canoes usually shows up later as wet sleeping bags.
There were also trips to the Traverse City Cherry Days Festival, with a stop at Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park, and I believe I attended the Manistee County Fair one year. These events could not have been much fun, considering the money available to us. On these trips, we may have gone to a movie.
Another outing was a visit to either the Century Boat Works in Manistee, or the Morton Salt Plant in Manistee. Everyone returned with either color sales brochures from Century, dreaming of the top-of-the-line two seater run-about, or with a handful of salt pellets from Morton.
The older campers got to take a trip to Mackinac Island, but I missed out on that. The camp bus was used on such trips, with all the participants surprised at waking up after the trip in the parking space outside the dining room.
During my last year, a fellow camper, Jerry Hudson, from Oak Park, Illinois, developed what he concealed as "Project 10," which was "Gold Rush Day." He painted a number of rocks with gold paint and hid them all over the side of the hill behind cabins 4-6. All the campers searched the side of the hill and later exchanged each gold rock for paper money. Then every tent or cabin had a "business" trying to collect the most paper money. I remember a "kissing booth," staffed by the kitchen staff, a fishing pond, and numbers of games of chance. It actually worked out well, and I have wondered if it continued in later years.
Another camp-wide contest was the Nature Lore hunt, involving finding up to fifty various plant samples that matched those selected by the Nature Counselor.
Names of Campers that I Remember
The Buckinghams: Dick, Tom, Dave, Steve, & Rodger
The Berquists: Joel & Jim
The Kelmansens: Victor & Terry
The Larsens: Terry & John
Steve(?) Van Meter
Names of Counselors that I Remember
Jon & Kim Sebaly
The Elsmar Cove