As I Remember It, page 8
George Washington Council
by Hugh Callahan
In 1934, the ore crusher building, situated behind our mess hall, was to be dismantled. Each unit and camp site would gather up wood to burn in their fire. They made a contest out of it, with fires 24 hours a day. Scouts took turns watching and adding wood so that the fire would not go out during their watch. It really added a lot of fun. That wood today would have brought a good price. Nobody, at that time, was interested in old, well dried, full cut wood.
The kids, in those days, were no different than the kids of today with all their pranks. Prentiss Ward was a practical joker. He was full of fun. One day, we all noticed a tire, on a rim, up the flag pole rope, about 12 foot above the ground level. I happened to be present when it was discovered. I thought Ward was going to pass out. He laughed so hard, almost falling to the ground, tears in his eyes, and tryin to say "that poor guy will have some surprise when he sees this."
So, a little later, when Ward found out it was his tire, I never saw a man change so fast. He was hot, and what he was going to do the those scouts that did this. We helped him get his tire and put it on his car. I never did find out who did the prank and neither did he. At dinner that night, everyone was warned not to be involved in any pratical joke or they would suffer the consisquences, sent home and not allow to come back, etc.
At another time, perhaps a year or two later, Edwin Gerber, who was on the waterfront staff, used to put a cot in a row boat and tie up to a float in the Delaware River. Somehow, he either didn't tie the boat securely, or someone swam out during the night and untied the rope. The staff missed him, as well as one boat missing, so off they went looking for him. Putting two and two together, they realized that he was heading down stream. Someone had donated an old outboard motor to the camp, so, with the use of the motor, they went downstream looking for him.
They found him several miles down stream. He was close to the banks and trying to row upstream to camp. He swore that someone set him afloat, that his knots would not slip on its own. This was widely suspected, but never proven. Neither he or anyone else slept out on the river after that.
In 1934, we had a Ron Rogers as a nature director. He had a way with snakes. Anytime a snake was seen, a call went out for Ron. If a rattlesnake, or a copperhead snake was found, they were taken far up the mountain and released. There were a lot of rattlesnakes and copperheads in the area, but as the area began to be used more, a lot fewer snakes were seen in later years.
September 12, 1999