1958 - Dave Albrecht
by Dave Albrecht
My camp memories are divided into two distinct categories: camper and staff member.
The very first recollection I have of the camp was probably 1955 or 1956 and our Troop (159 Lindstrom) was carrying duffel bags from the Scoutmaster's car up "short-walk" to site #1. I can only recall snippets of that first encampment more than 50 years ago. Such as: the Fischer Cabin and the root cellar near site #1. How about "bug juice" for lunch (Kool-Aid?) or the "buddy system" on the water front, recall "ship-ahoy" for dropped candy wrappers? Being timed in the knot yard after meals was a Troop 159 tradition for many years. A sheetbend versus a sheepshank anyone?
One evening around a campfire that first week we were all introduced to the legendary-----------------LOGGER PETE by our counselor (Dave Franks?) Patrol leaders in our troop were eligible to paint plaster neckerchief slides purchased from Bruce Foster at Fish's Seldom Inn. Two years later I had the priviledge of being an 'apprentice' (today's counselor-in-training CIT) at the Fish's Seldom Inn squad tent just south of Lake Neilsen (Lake Elizabeth). For those two weeks I should have received a merit badge in Tent Sweeping.
Fast forward to 1961, my third and final year being a full-fledged Tomahawk Staff member. The previous year I endured working in the Provisional Camp near the Administration building. I say 'endured' because we were so unrelated to the rest of the staff at the 'main camp' except for Wednesday evenings with the barbeque and the Order of the Arrow Ceremony. Bill Dorgan was one bright spot working Provisional that year. On rare occasions I would dedicate one of the traditional after-meal songs, "Bill Groggin's Goat" to Mr. Dorgan. And to this day it only sounds correct if sung-------------"Bill Dorgan's Goat". Summer of 1961 I headed up the Scoutcraft area ( knots, lashings, axe, knife etc.) at the Main Camp. My best memories of that summer (besides wondering if there really was a Girl Scout camp across the lake) were Sunday evenings in the Program Room of the Main Dining Hall hammering out the weekly schedule for the newly arrived troops. The new campers were settling in after they had been given a cursory physical by the camp doctor, been rated at the waterfront as to their swimming prowess and had their first Tomahawk evening meal. This Program Room had a fireplace (used on rare cool evenings), knotty pine paneling and some type of mounted head ( deer? bear? moose?) on the wall giving it a true 'up north lodge' feel. Add to this image the staff and scoutmasters all in proper uniform. Don Kelsey added a musical scouting theme with his guitar and Rollie Bowler would introduce the staff and indicate in which area of the room the various 'sign-up stations' were located. The scoutmaster's job was to get everything scheduled for his troop including: waterfront, handicraft, scoutcraft, rifle range, archery etc. It was the quintessential scouting picture, right off the easel of Norman Rockwell. With clipboards in hand and voices rising for attention the scene resembled a commodity trader's exchange. Organized chaos. But somehow I really enjoyed it all. By about 9 P.M. we would all exit with another Kelsey song and the knowledge that the week ahead was well organized for hundreds of scouts.
In the words of Bruce "Fish" Foster---------A Magical Time.