Monday, August 13, 2007

Celebrate a Camp Supporter!

I don’t want to turn this into an advertising site, but I thought it was the best way to get a message out.

As already mentioned on this blog, Dale and Nancy Haskell from Cambridge have been Junior Music Camp faculty members for many years.

This year, Dale will be 70 years old. While turning 70 is a milestone itself, it is particularly an added milestone for Dale. He has been on kidney dialysis for more than 25 years. One of the longest known kidney patients in the area.

Those of you who know Dale are invited to an Open House to celebrate his birthday. It will be held at the Cambridge Citadel Corps, 12 Shade Street, Cambridge, on Saturday September 1st, at 2pm.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me (his niece) at

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Theme Days

(Back Row, L-R: Anita Pilgrim, Christine Plank, Shelley Oseil, Cheryl Young, Cynthia Eden, Sue Haskell. Front Row, L-R: Lynn Haskell, Cheryl Randall, Sharon Jones).

Many camps seemed to have theme days, or a theme for the entire week.

Here are a few of the girls staff members from 1988, participating in "Backwards Day" for the camp that was in. (Sorry for the pre-digital photo quality). Oh the things we'd do at camp that we wouldn't do anywhere else!

What theme day memories do you have from your time at camp?

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Songs, Part 2

We've reminisced about campfire songs here.

I heard a song on the radio the other day, that reminded me of camp.

When I was on staff ('87 & '88), we listened to the radio quite often. There was almost always a radio on in girls' staff, we would listen to the radio in the kitchen while working between meals, and if there wasn't a camp in, we'd listen to the radio at the pool during staff swims.

My time at camp was before the 'no repeat workday' concept, so some songs were played several times a day. Some of them still bring back memories of camp, 20 years later.

Two of these songs, were "When Smokey Sings" by ABC and "Hands to Heaven" by Breathe. These had to be two of the most overplayed songs of the late 80's! For the record, neither of these are a favourite of mine. They just remind me of being at camp, because I heard them so often while I was there.

Is there a song from the radio or a tape/CD you took to camp, that reminds you of camp? It could be a favourite or something that was overplayed at the time.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Senior Music Camp, year ???

I'm pretty sure it's either 1999 or 2000 - I'm putting money on the former.

How many people can you recognise?
(double-click on the image to view full-size)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Smell, Part 2

I've often heard smell is a big factor in bringing back memories. You've probably experienced this yourself.

The bad smell of the beach and the old sulphur water have already been mentioned here.

Other, more pleasant smells also bring back camp memories for me. Freshly cut grass often reminds me of camp. (Guess that also means the chore boys were good at keeping up with that part of their job!).

Noxzema skin cream was a popular item with the girls when I was on staff. To this day, it brings back memories of washing up at the double sinks in Hoover House!

Do you have a more pleasant smell that reminds you of camp?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Rise and shine

Flag Raising - the early morning tradition. Of all the common threads of the various camps this is perhaps the one that binds all the camp programs together. Everyone gathered around the flag pole each morning for the raising of the flag, devotions and exercises. Yes the exercises! Those silly jumps, hops and stretches. Occassionally something went up the flag pole with the flag (though I couldn't find any pictures) and occassionally something fell out of the flag as it was unfurled.

Did you have a favourite leader 'round the flag pole? Any favourite memories?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Construction 1994

My only question when this was all done was: "Will we ever have grass again?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Divisional Picnic

Every year, for a number of years, the camp held a "Divisional Picnic" on July 1st (or another day if it fell on a Sunday!).

It was open to everyone, young and old. It was 'bring your own food', but the camp supplied the activities. There were games and races for the kids, swimming, and a baseball tournament. The different corps usually organized their own team for the baseball tournament. I think there have even been "staff" teams over the years.

I was on staff for the camp's 40th anniversary year (1988). I remember we made a huge sundae in a wood 'trough' for all to share, at the flag pole.

Do you have a Divisional Picnic memory?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

International Students

In my files I have this picture listed as the "International Students" who came to us via the Lion's Club each summer. It was always an interesting week, and some of them had some very European standards of dress!! At any rate we always welcomed them and they added some flavour to the early season. There were usually 14 of them, and they would come from about a dozen countries. We were the briefing stage for them so they could learn some Canadian culture, and get to know each other before heading off to different Canadian homes.

The other note of interest in this picture is the sky behind them. Remember those storms when we thought the trees would fall, or the cabins would be blown down? Remember the sheets of rain that soaked you if you took two steps from the dining room to your cabin?

The storms were not restricted to any decade. They came off the lake with fury.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Trees, or the lack thereof

The open field around the cabins and dining hall always seemed a bit bereft of trees in my humble one day when driving from the Camp Selkirk to DHQ I noticed a house with a tree spade parked outside (just on the edge of Caledonia). I stopped and after a short conversation he agreed to meet me at the camp on a given day to move trees from the back to the front of the camp. We identified about 22 trees that we could move, and on the day we did so in 8 hours.

It was a great experience and I loved seeing the immediate changes! Mind you the phone company wasn't so happy about our cutting their line into the camp.

The other contributor to our need for trees was the Lion's Club. Each year in conjuction with the International Students (I noticed no one from the staff has mentioned them) they would plant one tree.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Along the Way

Did you have a favourite place where you liked to stop on the way to or from camp?

There's Hewitt's Dairy Bar in Hagersville. Delicious ice cream with lots of flavour choices!

Also, maybe a bit more out of the way, but still a destination for some was Port Dover, and while there, a trip to The Arbor for a hot dog and some "Glow" (their exclusive juice drink).

With people coming from all different directions, I'm sure there were a lot of places people stopped.

Let us know your favourite place to stop along the way.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Favourite Camper

I'm writing this post in response to some comments left by Major Betty-Ann Lewis a while back...

Anyone who worked at Camp Selkirk in the 1987-88 era is sure to remember a special camper named Buford Organ. There was just something so unique about Buford and we all loved him immensely. Meal time with Buford was such a treat that the counselors all wanted him at their tables and the waitresses fought over the prilege of serving him.

My favourite memory of Buford though has nothing to do with the dining hall. The first day of camp I noticed Buford walking to the pool with a Mac's Milk t-shirt with a big rip in the sleeve. The next day he wore the same shirt without any sleeves. On the third day I nearly died when I saw him walking down to the pool with only the sleeves on his arms, no shirt!

Buford's dining room antics were legendary. He asked for marmelade at every meal and spread it on everything. He put orange juice on his pancakes. He would ask for a cheese sandwich if he didn't like what was being served. One time, as his waitress, I was serenaded with a beautiful rendition of "Jello in the Bowl" after serving him some Jello for dessert.

But the classic Buford story involves the time when we in the kitchen spied him licking the rim of the ketchup bottle at his table. We were all grossed out, especially Mrs. Lewis. Unfortunately his waitress didn't see this and she collected the ketchup bottle before we could get to it. It was placed on a table with all the other ketchup bottles, so we didn't know which one had been licked. We then had to empty, wash and re-fill every ketchup bottle in the place.

Who else remembers Buford? I wish I had a picture of him. Are there any other "special" campers who come to your memory?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Roofs over our heads

Camps are anything but buildings - they are all about people, but the buildings are central to facilitating the ministry of camping. The Dining Hall, with the bell and flag pole just outside was a central piece of the camp. My goodness that building could be noisy! And how many times was that floor washed - yes the kids loved doing that.

Then there was the washrooms. Now these washrooms are familiar to the younger crowd but I remember the old building - remember the urinal trough? Ugh.

That buiding became our drive-in shed and workshop for the maintenance worker.

I always thought the washrooms could have been located elsewhere but location was dictated a bit by the way the services were located. And finally the cabins. The old ones left the property with much history still inside them - walls, beams with notes and names inscribed on them. The new ones allowed more space and the porches provided shelter from the sun and rain.

Did you have a favourite building? One that seemed to represent camp to you?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bermudian Invasion!

Does anyone remember the year the Hamilton Citadel youth band from Bermuda came to Senior Music Camp? I think it must have been somewhere around 1980. (I was a faculty brat at the time)

What I do remember is that the Hayward family was there, including Winslow Hayward (Kevin's father). I was so young, that the name "Winslow" did not register with me as being a first name, I kept calling him "Mr. Winslow"! We took them all to Niagara Falls on one of the days, and the Bermudian contingent even hosted a Bermudian trivia night at camp. I remember one of the questions: "What colour is the sand in Bermuda?" Can anyone tell me the answer?

Does anyone have any photos from that year? If you send them in, we'll be sure to post them!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

From the Reynolds photo factory

Once again it is time to play for 64,000 canteen points. Can you name the individuals involved? Some of you weren't even a glimmer in your father's eye for these photos - others you will know for sure. The title of this entry might give you a clue as to who is involved.

Many thanks to Glen Reynolds for taking these wonderful photos - and for keeping them! Isn't it wonderful to see these and revisit some of the memories.

Have a great evening - see you at the flag pole in the morning!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From on high

The first of these pictures was taken from the roof of Cedar Lodge. Not sure why I was on the roof but it seemed a good idea to take a picture while I was there.

You can identify those in the second picture...

This third picture is from July 1994 around the time we re-0pened the camp after building the new cabins. I recognize Ted Williams but pray tell who is with him? My guess is this is the first day of Jr. Music Camp.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Camp Closing PowerPoint

An update...I'm having some trouble figuring out how to post the slides which Sue-Ann provided me. They were from the closing program and in a PowerPoint format. However all is not lost and I'll continue to see if we can get this posted some how.

Who are you?

We have a regular visitor from New South Wales in Australia visiting our web-site. Who are you friend? How about leaving us a comment?

SMC 1990

The year 1990 was Fred's first summer at Selkirk. It's so happens that SMC 1990 was my first camp at Selkirk as my family had just moved to Guelph the month previous from Grand Falls, Newfoundland in the Central Division. Being an Officer's Kid, moving wasn't always easy ... but looking back now this camp really prepared me well for the transition and also set the stage in a big way for who and where I am today. Thanks to everyone at SMC 1990 for making that happen ... it really did make all the difference in the world!

There are a lot of people in this photo that I am still in contact with today, and I know they are friends who will remain for a life time. Even my Brother-in-law is in this photo. Can you find us both? This was two years before he even started dating my sister! There are many here as well that I've lost touch with and wonder where life has taken them. It sure would be great to find you again.

Finally, do you know who the musical guest was at this SMC? What Corps do you see represented here? What individuals here are still involved in music camps today?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Men in trees, ladies too

These photos don't do this justice, but here are the early days of the ropes course. It was paid for by two lawyers in Hamilton who wanted to make a difference for teens in the area. The idea of it came from the need to do something more challenging with the inner city kids who were increasingly more demanding in their personal needs. Glenn became the natural choice to train on this and the potential of such a course seemed endless. If I'm not mistaken Sharon Avery even took the Bible program for Senior Music Camp one year and wove it around the use of the ropes course. Here's a few pictures from the early days as it was being finished and Glenn trained.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Let me see your funky chicken

Jon Evans and the funky chicken...!

Every year after holiday camps, just before the last camp of the season and while the counsellors were with us we went to Wonderland as a staff. It would be a day long event, travelling early by school bus to the amusement park. It was a treat of small proportion for the sacrficial work of our staff. It was always a great day.

Here, the timid and shy Jon, sits on the shoulders of Mike Eden while leading the other staff, and onlookers, in a rousing randition of "let me see your funky chicken" while waiting in line for one of the rides.

Jon - are you still shy and reserved?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

SMC (and JMC!) Faculty

I think someone was reading my mind! The prior post about volunteers at camp goes right along with what I've been wanting to say about the music camp faculties, especially those people who went up year after year. They really had a great influence on me!

One couple, who were what I call a "Camp Selkirk Institution", was Mr. and Mrs. "K". (although, I think Mr. K. went by the name of "Angus" in this get-up!) They were just one couple out of many who were wonderful Christian and musical influences on us all. (I also thought it was so cute how they would often dress in matching outfits!) It just wasn't camp without them!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Years of Dedicated Service

Most of the camps at Selkirk were planned and implemented by volunteers.

For most people involved, this meant months of planning their particular camp, giving up a week’s vacation to attend the camp, and time away from their family, if their family wasn’t involved in the particular camp.

Are you one of these people? Do you know one? A few have already been mentioned in previous posts and comments. Were you a Brownie leader, Guider or Scouter for many camps at Selkirk? Did you spend several years on Music Camp faculty? Did you help plan Men’s or Women’s camps? We want to hear from anyone who volunteered at any camp for a number of years. I think there are some who can claim 10 or more years.

Let us know how many years you have given to the camping ministry. And THANK YOU, from all former campers!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Bluejays Gummies!

Does anyone else remember them? During my first summer as a counsellor at Camp Selkirk (1992) there was apparently a large donation of candy! Tubs and tubs of "bluejays gummies" (related to the Jays winning the World Series perhaps?!). They were quite yummy, albeit a little stale. I saved an empty container and a couple of extra candy and found them a year or two ago when I was sorting through an old box. I couldn't bare to part with my candy... Here it is... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember the candy being more clear white and clear blue in color!

Talent Night

One of the things I really enjoyed about SMC was talent night in the old auditorium. Photos below showcased the talent from SMC 1994. Do you recognize who these individuals are and can you name them? Do you remember what was happening in each of these photos? Let us know! What favorite memory do you have from talent night?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hostage taken to the flag pole

I am really at a loss to remember what started this. I know the women at Junior Music Camp were being teased about something...what was it? At any rate the teaser was Martin Vize. In revenge Martin was awoken by a group of women, tied up still in his sleeping bag and taken to the flag pole where he was secured for everyone to see as they awoke.
The name of Debbie Williams is attached to this in my memory, but I might be mistaken.
Are you out there Debbie? Remember this? Who else was in on this?
I have to add that Martin took this stride and was a very good sport about it.

First camp experience

I'm being a bit selfish this morning by posting a Camp Selkirk picture with a family connection. This is our eldest son Jason at the beginning of Junior Music Camp. I think he had been playing a very short time and he is waiting by Ernie Pitt to go "audition". That year the kids, maybe just the younger kids, but they had huge name tags. You can see his blowing in the wind.

At any rate - how young were you when you started at camp? What do you remember? What camp was it? Music, cub, guide, other?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Before Selkirk

This picture actually comes from my wife. It was among some of Wendy's grandparent's pictures. Some of you will know that Wendy is a Kitney - from Argyle/Hamilton Temple (and is therefore related to the Harris', Marriotts and the Evendens). You will find her Dad Norm in this picture. He's on the left side, third row from the front with dark hair and glasses (about 3 in from the left side).

At any rate this picture I think predates Camp Selkirk by a year or two. I know that Jackson's Point camp was originally purchased by the Territory with the plan that all of Ontario would attend it. Camping ministries were so popular that in 1948 the Divisional Commander of the day, Lt. Colonel Joseph Acton, purchased 86 acres from the Hoover family on the shores of Lake Erie and began Camp Selkirk. But for two years prior to that decision, the division rented a camp and ran their summer program there.

I am wondering if this is one of those camps. You can see that someone is holding a megaphone with the words "Camp Erie Heights" on it. (It's hard to see but it is there.)

Were you there? Do you have any information on this?

We would love to hear from you.

From the kitchen

Okay - so what is going on here? More pictures I've been sent. You will have to fill in the details! What is Bev doing?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Award Winners

I don't believe that an official list exists anywhere, but I would be interested in hearing from award winners.
Do we have any reading this?
Let's hear from you - what did you get and when?
Oh - and name the people in the photo. I'll give you this much: that's me with the late Lt. Colonel Bob Slous. The kids are...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Is it all about the boys?

We have posted many, many pictures of the girls but the guys deserve a post too. After all the guys had fun too! Any stories that you can think of?

And of course - name the people!