August 16, 2014 by auntkatefirmin
Today’s Sepia Saturday prompt is “writing and letters,” so I’m spoiled for choice since this entire blog enterprise grew out of the correspondence with the English cousins. But just for variety, I’ll go for the 1920’s instead.
The girls look posed to me and my guess is that they are demonstrating how they tidy their cots for a clean tent award. The tent would be swept, tidied up and, in order to get the coveted clean tent distinction, any striped or plaid blankets had to square up with the sides of the cot. I think this happened every day in the morning and the story is that the inspectors had very high standards.
After lunch there were two rest periods, each one hour long. In the first hour the girls were only allowed to rest or nap. In the second hour quiet activities were allowed, including writing letters. It was also a camp custom to keep a notebook with poems, and during rest hour I suspect they composed, copied and memorized poems and songs. Around the evening campfire the girls would play a game called “Magic Ring” where the object was to go around the circle reciting poems on a given topic.
The last I heard, the campers at Sealth still keep “Magic Ring” notebooks with more songs now than poems, and sing at evening campfires although the poetry games stopped some time ago. The council published a book, Magic Ring: A Collection of Verse, that included favorite poems recited at camp.
Here’s an example of one of the camp songs, written by a camper to be sung to the tune of the chorus of “I’ve Got Rings on My Fingers”:
We’re out at Camp Sealth,
The camp of our dreams,
Where the ocean just ripples and sparkles and gleams.
Oh, come out and join us,
For we are never blue.
Be a member of our happy laughing crew, you too.
At night round our camp fire
We laugh and we sing,
Give a cheer for Camp Sealth that’ll make the echoes ring.
We’ll cheer for our leaders, our counselors good scouts too –
We’ll cheer for you and you and you, we do.
I hope that campers still write old-fashioned letters home – and every now and then write new camp songs of their own.
Check out more Sepia Saturday responses.