And climb the stairs to the beach...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Morning Folks 07 18 07

Morning one and all. Just sitting here on my deck looking out at my backyard. Here is a live picture of the view I have.

Yesterday I saw a hummingbird perched on a branch. I have never seen that before. I have seen them in the past but in flight hovering around the honeysuckle or the hanging fuschia on my porch.
He was only a silhouette so I couldn't see what type he was. But I will be watching for him to return.

It is really pretty here this morning. A little overcast, about 77 degrees and the only sounds are the cicadas and crickets and lots of birdsongs. An occasional distant bark from a dog can be heard once in a while. Our neighbor dogs are quiet and probably napping.

It's going to be warm today. Shorts seemed to be the way to go in the wardrobe department. I put on a pair of navy blue shorts and a white shirt. Whenever I wear that combination it brings me right back to my Camp Kiwanee days. That was what we had to wear everyday and I remember the packing list: 5 white blouses and 5 pairs of navy blue shorts, two bathing suits, towel etc. Everything labeled with sewn in labels bearing my name written in permanent ink.

Camp Kiwanee was a Campfire Girl Camp in Hanson MA. I googled it and find that it is still there, almost 50 years after I first went there. It was opened in 1923 but sold to the Town of Hanson in 1974. Available to the public for private functions, they invite you to go for a tour of the whole facility. I might do that someday, just for fun.
In its time it was an overnight camp with all the things one would expect to find. There was a place called the Bluebird Lodge where the littlest girls stayed. That was a large old wood building set up like a dormitory. I stayed there when I was 7. I was homesick the entire time. The older girls stayed in cabins that housed about 8 girls. I stayed there when I was about 11. I remember that during that stay the big news story that broke was that first lady Jackie Kennedy had lost her 3rd baby named Patrick. That gives you a perspective on the era.

During my stay as an eleven year old, we did the typical camp crafts like making things out of gimp. But I also made this really cool silver bracelet that I wish I could find today. And I remember doing bead work on a loom. The gimp we wove into long useless ropes, but it was fun to do. I also learned how to make chains from folded gum wrappers there from a fellow camper. We had archery, which I loved because I was good at it. And swimming lessons and open swim were memorable. One day we were required to jump off the high dive. That was terrifying. Why do you suppose the swimming lessons were always first thing in the morning in the coldest lake water I have ever been in? I think the swim staff were all masochists.

We had campfire singalongs most nights which I really loved and remember many of the songs, still. The Camp Kiwanee song was to the tune of Wonderful Copenhagen. It went "Wonderful, wonderful Camp Kiwanee, Campfire is always the key"... Dorky, but I still remember it. We also sang rounds like White Coral Bells and "Why Couldn't my Goose Sing as well as Thy goose when I paid for my goose twice as much as thou". And Oh, How Lovely is the Evening. That was a favorite. I still have the songbook somewhere. We prayed the Lord's Prayer and had Sunday Service there, too. We couldn't start our day without the Pledge of Allegiance as we gathered in the clearing to raise the flag each morning before breakfast. The evening ritual is less memorable for me, but I am sure it involved lowering the "colors" and taps.

The dining hall is still vivid in my memory with its long tables and benches covered in red oil cloth. We sat at the same table for every meal with our cabinmates. We had rotating assignments. One girl set the table, one person filled the breadbaskets and set them on the table. Two got the drinks and two more cleaned up afterwards. They had really good cornbread sometimes. The food was good, especially on spagetti nights. And we always said grace before we ate.

I remember going to the general store and getting mail and being so excited when there was a letter there for me. Dad and Mom had deposited the recommended spending money, probably $10, into my camp account. We didn't actually ever see the money. It paid for stamps and the occasional ice cream sandwich and of course packs of gum, primarily for the wrappers. I think I was there for 2 weeks but in that short period of time I remember that almost every day there was letter for me. I sent post cards and letters home every day, too. We did a lot of writing back then, and on into my college years. We didn't mind the delayed gratification from snail mail like we do now. The anticipation just added to the excitement of it all. I still have some of those letters sent to me at Camp Kiwanee. Messages from my younger sisters inserted in the envelope were really sweet. It's fun to look at them now and then.

I don't know where this nostalgia came from. Oh yeah, my blue and white outfit. There is something else about my Campfire Experience I remember well. The first thing we had to memorize as Bluebirds at the age of 7 was the Bluebird Wish. Here it is:

To have fun.
To learn to make beautiful things.
To remember to finish what I begin.
To want to keep my temper in.
And to go to every interesting place.
To learn about the beautiful trees, the flowers, the birds and things like these.
And make friends.

That is a pretty realistic wish for anyone's life, don't you think? And the Campfire Law, memorized at age 9, picks up where that left off.

Worship God

Seek Beauty

Give Service

Pursue Knowledge

Be Trustworthy

Hold on to Health

Glorify Work

Be Happy.

These are still great guidelines, I think. My Grandmother was one of the original Campfire Girls in 1910.

She exemplified these laws better than anyone I have known. As a grown woman I don't always follow them, but thinking about it now, I think it would be a good idea to start. Don't you agree?

Have a great day everyone! WoHeLo.


  1. I went to Girl Scout camp in Plymouth, MA and have similar memories. Camp Wind in the Pines - George and his three brothers went to Camp Wyanoke for the whole summer. He thought they were sent to camp because their parents loved them so much.. later he figured out that his mom and dad wanted all four boys out of the house!

  2. I went to Camp Nokachoke in Rhode Island. Had a great time. I also went to Cathedral Camp in Mass. It is were I first learned to sail at 12 years old.


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