Monday, June 25, 2007

It's Time for Camp

I could write a thousand words about this building. Hundreds of similar camp kitchens and dining halls are busy feeding boys and girls throughout the country this summer. It's the venue where children and staff are served generous helpings of comfort food during their week at camp.

Right now, I busy getting ready to chef my own camp kitchen. The menu is ready and my purchase order will be sent to Sysco Foodservice in a day or two. In the meantime, you can browse my posts from camps in 2005 and 2006.

I grew up at Camp San Joaquin sleeping in similar tent cabins as this one. The boys at the camp slept in a line of tent behind the Blue Box (kitchen, dining area and main lounge) and pool. For the record, we boys were always miffed as why the girls got to sleep in a hard-walled cabin (called the Long House).

Six to eight boys and a counselor lived in each tent for the week that was filled with activity. I lived in Tent 5 for the 1963 Intermediate Boys Camp (10 and 11 year-olds) with Rory, Paul, Lyle and Gary. Our tent counselor was Mr. Swisher of Fresno (Mrs. Swisher was the camp nurse that session).

Buddies Stephen Cater and Scott Schoenfield stayed in Tents 4 and 7 respectively. Scott and I share a birthday. Stephen's tent formed the Off Key Quartet. There may be good reason why I don't remember the group.

"Roger caught a field mouse and gave it to Gary," reported Paul, our official tent correspondent. "We put it in a large tin can. During the night it supposedly jumped out and spent the night with Gary. Tent 5 is the highest so far in tent clean-up. We usually win 10 points by inspection but all other times it's a mess."

While Tent 5 excelled in cleanliness, we lacked any skill in Wednesday's fitness competition. It seems Tent 3 came out on top with our tent coming in second to last. Not one Tent 5 name appears on the camp newsletter's sports page!

This kitchen and tent cabin in the pictures belong to the Berkeley Echo Lake Camp high in Eldorado National Forest. They're visible from the road into Echo Lakes. Hardly anyone was around the day that I visited last June 2.

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