Friday, October 2, 2009

Random Ramblings and Flashbacks

Greetings! Today I present to you a list of random flashbacks from my years at Quaker Lake Camp. I turn 50 next Tuesday, so I cannot be held responsible for any errors or opinions expressed below. :)

· This picture is from 1988 when I was volunteering as Camp Pastor. I am front right; with me are Jennifer Bills, Beth Phillips Massey, Scott Smith, Jason Dewar, Jay Wilkins, Anita Swaim, Rebecca Howard Jackson and lots more of my favorite people!
· When I first attended camp in 1973, there was no pool, no Jericho Road, no Rappelling Tree, no Crafts Hut (just the Quonset Hut), no paved basketball court and no Crafts and Special Activities Director. They were all there 10 years later, my last summer on staff. Thanks Neal.
· I was the first Crafts and Special Activities Director in 1983.
· One of the assistant cooks in the mid-70’s, Vickie (her last name eludes me), was a vegetarian. One night each week we had either vegetarian lasagna (excellent) or spaghetti (BEANS=YUCK!). 
· When you played basketball with Mike Wall and Wallace Sills you were taking your life in your hands.
· Neal Thomas used to like to hide on the roof of the lodge and pour water on people as they came out the back door to the kitchen- I have pictures somewhere of him getting Gail Steelman and Susan McBane.
· David Fields and Paul Routh were both in my cabin as very young campers. Between the 3 of us we have spent at least one full lifetime at QLC!
· We once sent a staffer the emergency room with a sprained ankle and an insurance form. The form asked how the injury had occurred, and the answer was “injured while being stuffed in the pot sink.”
· Assistant Cooks didn’t last very long in those days.
· My first year as a camper, Team Competition included individual sports like tether ball, ping pong (single and doubles) and badminton (singles and doubles). I still have my blue ribbon for going undefeated in singles badminton.
· Heather Beggs Varner was once on a team called “The Boogers”- and she was chief booger!
· My first counselor was Richard Shimaka, a Guilford student from Kenya.
· The most famous QLC ghost stories were Red Eye Dick, The Quaker Lake Hand, and Nancy Nurse. And no one ever told them better than Ricky Sessoms
· The only bad part of being Crafts and Special Activities Director my last summer was that I had to play on the hated staff team in the Staff vs. Counselors volleyball game every Friday night.
· Room #2 in the lodge was nicknamed The Ghetto during the years Alan Brown and I used it as our home base.
· The skit where God interrupts a person praying the Lord’s Prayer and talks them through it has been done at Vespers since the dawn of time, along with The Giving Tree and Barrington Bunny.
· The late Doug Morse, who volunteered for years at Senior High Camp, loved to ring the bell every morning. He often would ring it 100 times or more. Several mornings he was almost the only volunteer ever assassinated by the staff.
· The softball field was nice, but nothing was better than seeing everyone’s candles floating on the lake after the Campfire Circle.
· Alice Carrol wrote a lullaby she used to sing around the campfire in 1978. I can still play and sing it.
· The greatest song ever used in a Quaker Lake slide show was Dan Fogelberg's To the Morning, which Paula Teague used in 1976. Unless memory fails me, she recorded that soundtrack on an eight track tape. Go listen to that song, think about QLC, and tell me I am wrong...
· Marshmallows, which can be so good on s'mores, are instruments of Satan in the hands of 4th and 5th grade campers on campouts.
· Lifeguards used to wash all the dishes. They needed something to do while the counselors were doing the REAL work…
· Jay Osborne once dropped guitar off the roof of the lodge. I just can’t bring that up often enough!
· Mark Farlow built campfires so big airplanes used them as landing lights.
*Some of the best meals I ever had in my life were potluck dinners served in small Friends Meetings after the staff would sing on Sundays at worship.
· Secret Documents was a game I brought to camp in 1983. We used to play it growing up at New Garden. The game most of you know as Secret Documents has almost nothing in common with the original version.
· Some of my favorite memories are of washing dishes and singing in the kitchen with Martha Farlow.
· I saw all 3 of the original Star Wars movies with QLC staffers on Saturday nights in 1977, 1980 and 1983.
· The first ever Senior High Camp Banquet was in 1983, it was a Luau, and it rocked!
· QLC once owned an Earth Ball– until it crushed some campers.
· By my estimate, around 25 of my former youth went on to work summer staff at Quaker Lake. This ranges from Ron Osborne, Glenna Osborne, Belinda Marley and Timothy Marley from my very first group at Centre Friends to Jill Gilbreth, Ashley Goad, Mandy Beggs and David Mercadante who all worked camp well after I left Springfield. I take none of the credit and none of the blame for anyone who falls into this category!
· In 1983 we had the first (and as far I know only!) Mr. & Ms. Quaker Lake Pageant during Sr. High Camp. One of the female contestants (I know who, but I'm not saying!) came out in a bikini, with her body fully oiled, and the the pageant came to a stop. This was one of the times I almost lost my job...
· The second greatest song ever used in a slide show was Orleans’ Still the One, used in a montage of past counselors in 1983. Gave me chills every time I saw it.
· How many people remember what a slide was? On the evolutionary scale of picture presentation, slides were somewhere between filmstrips and Powerpoint.
· Terry Venable and Leigh Ann Everhart came to my house after they got engaged, hoping I would notice the ring. I did not. They had to tell me.
· One summer the lake turned red. I kid you not…
· Homemade Orange Sherbet always rocked my world.
· I will never, ever, ever drink red kool-aid again!
· Did I mention that Jay Osborne let my guitar slide off the roof of the lodge?
So there you have it. Flashbacks are a wonderful thing, and the memories are even better!
Until tomorrow...


  1. Wow Carl you sent me into some flashbacks of my own lol. Bless you, you were and always will be one of my most respected and loved mentors! (Despite my inability to listen haha). -- Chuck Cagle

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Chuck. And glad you enjoyed the flashbacks!

  2. Every time I hear Watching The River Run (Loggins & Messina), I think of your Quaker Lake slideshow. And singing Ba-Ba-Ba, Ba-Ba-Ba-Ran (Barbara Ann-Beach Boys) every week is super memorable, too. I think we got into some trouble regarding DANCING that year. The early 80's! One last favorite was when Alan started doing the "Dancing Hair" trick with the standing water next to the dishwasher in the kitchen. It was my first year and no one realized that I already knew what was about to happen. Everyone started quietly backing away as Alan dipped his head closer to the water, trying to get me to lower my face closer as well. Instead, I splashed him. Surprise! I still was placed gently in the pot sink after that, but I felt victorious nonetheless. Love remembering with you Carl! Thank you.

    1. Brenda!!! So great to hear from you and do some flashing back together! Those songs always take me back as well, and I have to admit to having forgotten the Dancing Hair Trick, What a classic! I applaud you for turning the tables on AB- even if it did mean the dreaded pot sink. "Gently placed in the pot sink" sounds like a bit of a stretch however! :) Hope you and yours are well!!!


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