Thursday, February 19, 2015

#TBT: Ten Random Quaker Lake Camp Memories

My mind has been on Quaker Lake Camp a lot lately (I'm working on something special, so stay tuned!) and so this seemed like an obvious choice for a Throwback Thursday! In my 6 years as a full-time member of the Quaker Lake staff (1978-83) there were hundreds of moments that made me laugh. Here are ten of the most memorable (I left out so much, like Gail Steelman ambushing Neal Thomas, seen here!); all names are maiden names, including the guys!

10) My first week as a camper at QLC I was sleeping comfortably in my top bunk in Boys Cabin 1 when suddenly I was awakened by loud noises, giggles, and the feeling of water soaking my bed and sleeping bag. And not just me- our entire cabin had been attacked. It was a sneak attack that rivaled Pearl Harbor, brilliantly executed and very successful. There was only one problem. The water balloons tossed at our screens by the girls in question (including some people I love dearly- TAMMY...) destroyed those screens, knocking them out completely. It was all fun and games until breakfast the next morning when new camp director Neal Thomas went totally ballistic over the damage done and forced the girls to repair the screens. So it was one of those rare pranks where, in the end, everyone got to laugh at everyone else!

9) There was no air conditioning at QLC, so floor fans and window fans were very important, especially when you were trying to sleep. The girls' staff cabin, where the cooks and female lifeguards lived, was no exception. One particular night we came into possession of a 50 pound bag of dried mashed potato flakes that some mice had gotten into, so they could not be used. We waited until the middle of the night, slid a window fan to the side, and started throwing flakes through the window! As they went in, the multitude of fans began to blow the flakes all over the cabin. They woke up the next morning buried under 50 pounds of potato flakes! Snow in July!

8) David Fields, as a 4th grade camper, singing Home On the Range. "Oh give me a................HOME!" Also his famous line at dinner: "This is not Del Monte corn. I taste Del Monte corn when I taste it!"

7) My cabin of guys snuck over to the girls cabins in the early morning hours to lock in the campers of Beth Grantham's cabin. Our usual plan consisted of locking them in and singing to them, thus waking them up and causing some of them to need to use the rest room- which was located OUTSIDE the cabins! As they woke up and began screaming at us, Beth said to one of my guys "You just wait until I tell Carl Jones you are out of your cabin!" I laughed and responded "Good morning, Beth!" She forgave me about a week later...

6) On Saturday mornings one particular summer Ronnie Osborne and a very young Doug Thomas would ride around in the classic old QLC truck and empty the garbage cans dressed as Trashman and Garbage Boy! It was such a hoot to watch the parents arriving to pick up their kids try to figure our what was going on...

5) Before we knew sun tanning was bad, people used to wear oil (SPF Negative 50!) to actually attract the sun. Susan McBane was using such an oil- until Carl Semmler (the king of pranks!) substituted bacon grease from breakfast in her oil bottle. It looked the same, and she rubbed it all over her, but after a few minutes the smell started to get to her. Her response: "Oh wow, I think this oil is cankered!" A classic moment.

4) A few us were walking by the guys outhouse one afternoon when we heard the familiar voice of Lindley Osborne singing The All Day Song while sitting on the toilet. Just as we passed the door we heard "and in the in between time when you feel the pressure coming..." And we lost it! We also once lost Lindley for hours when he took a nap on a third level bunk in the back of the lodge and didn't tell anyone. We searched everywhere...

3) Head Cook Denise May and her assistant spent hours hand writing a huge chart for the kitchen with a measurement list- things like 4 Quarts=1 Gallon. Hours after they posted it, two unnamed culprits came along and wrote on the bottom 2 Cooks=1 Disaster! Denise is still mad. (Bonus: Name the 2 culprits!)

2) Alan Brown and I had written a silly song about animals dying and we premiered it at camp. We dedicated it to fellow staffer Martha Ratledge, and then finished the song with this chorus:

Isn't it a sad day, when all the animals die
There ain't nothing to do
Isn't it a sad day, when all the animals die
Why can't you die too?

It was so off the wall and so unexpected, everyone just burst into laughter. A great moment! And as always (and she needed to quite often!) Martha forgave us.

1) I had a cabin of guys for a number of years who not only came to camp together but went to school together as well. They would spend the "off-season" planning for camp, and one year they came armed with elaborate paper shooters. They would fold bits of paper and fire them at each other, leaving marks whenever they hit. One night, it was late and we had been loud, and when Neal came by for cabin check he had told us no more noise. So as David Fields, David Hockett, Robert Osborne and the rest lay in their beds, all was quiet. Until I heard this- Zing!....POP....Owwww!!!!!!!! There would be snickers, more quiet, and then a repeat. Over and over again, until, to keep from laughing, I yelled at them "ENOUGH!" Quiet set in for a minute, and then I heard a loud thump, followed by the all-time classic line "Carl- David just hit me with his saxophone!" I lost it laughing! I loved those guys...

So there you have it. If you were never a part of the QLC family then I hope this flashback makes you wish you had been. And if you were- what did I leave out? I truly hope you get a feel for how special those years were to me. 

Because of Jesus,

1 comment:

  1. Susan McBane Tuggle2/19/2015

    Great memories! None better than our QLC days!


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