by Tim Stuart
“The Cream Will Rise, Boys!”
Every Sunday night, we all gathered at the campfire circle near the swim lake to share information, stories, songs, and inspirational messages. Even though there was a general outline of order, the campfires always had an improvisational feel. The organization and direction was usually handled by Hank Lewis and/or Tom Radford for most of the years I remember. Each cabin and group was strongly encouraged to participate; many a Sunday rest period was filled with frantic “bull sessions” and rehearsals.
Many of the songs, stories, and sketches that were debuted at the campfire became legendary, including Tom Radford’s “Golfoldilolfocks alfand the Threelfee Belfares”, “Fleastah” — a Cajun chant , courtesy of Larry King, Jack Hall’s inspirational story of George Bailey (before most of us had ever heard of It’s a Wonderful Life), and Hank Lewis’s “Shaggy Dog Story”.
To me, the magic of the campfire was supplied by nature herself and was the constant through all those years of shows: the roar and crackle of the fire, the high-pitched trill of tree frogs and other creatures of the night, and the boom of the bullfrogs down by the lake.