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extra materials, you can ask for them when
you receive your supplies."

This meant a busy afternoon spent in
gathering wood, repairing the little stone fire-
places, and plunging into the delights of cook-
ery. Several girls prepared to cook supper

98



m ^Mr w e°gTr l l § u m n ® eo

with Miss Moore at the guest tent, "Top o'
the Rocks," which is generally agreed to pos-
sess the most picturesque fireplace in camp.
It was built on the very edge of a rock which
slopes steeply down into the water, with a
little, sturdy, slanting pine tree leaning out
beside it, making Japanese outlines against the
sunset sky.

SUPPER-TIME IN THE TENTS

That evening Embers sat in the farthest
corner patiently baking potatoes in a special
fire under an overhanging rock, while the
others passed wood to her as she needed it,
and fed her with bread and butter and bacon.
Miss Moore toasted her slice of bacon with
girlish delight and enthusiasm, offering to
teach the girls how to make real southern hoe-
cake the next week. Dis-ya-di performed the
astonishing feat of stirring fudge with one
hand and holding her bacon stick with the
other, without harm to either. The little group
was just enjoying to the full the thrilling
sense of being quite independent of the devices
of civilization, when a call from above told
that someone was passing around with a large
tray of cake, bidding them take one piece each.

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m m m n m gs^^sas eo

With a noble effort they subdued their ob-
jections and helped themselves to cake. Then
"The Chipmunks" brought Miss Moore a dish
of ripe red raspberries which they had gath-
ered, washed, and sugared for her, and which
she insisted upon sharing with her supper-
mates. Gradually the "Tuesday-night-supper
feeling" began to come to every one, — the feel-
ing that there is a great deal too much to eat
in this world, and that it were best to lie down
and rest awhile after the exertion of doing
one's duty by it. Before the summer was
ended this feeling was too well known to need
comment.

But "The Top o' the Rocks" family ral-
lied bravely to new activities. A councilor
volunteered to be Miss Moore's guide on a
tour of the camp, while the others cleared up
the supper dishes. Some of the tents had fin-
ished their supper, but all had a little fudge
left for the purposes of hospitality, which they
pressed upon their visitors in spite of protests.
It was delicious, and the visitors were inter-
ested in observing the little differences in ways
and devices for cooking. "The Kingfishers"
had neatly spread on a paper plate the oiled
paper in which their bacon had been wrapped,

100



SEBACO-WOHELO
CAMP FIRE GIRLS



II 00§0




The Heavenlies' kitchen

and poured their fudge out on this to harden.
Some had boiled their potatoes, some had
baked them, and one tent had served them
French fried. "The Whippies" had been
cooking in a kettle, which hung on a crane
over a large fireplace near the tennis court.
Now that the feast was over they had filled
the kettle with water, and were nobly wash-
ing their dishes in hot water, an example that
others might well have followed. Several of
the tents talked largely of the ovens they were
going to have, and the things they were going

101



m m m n m »°„£° G « m

to bake, boasts which happily they lived to
fulfil.

Last of all the visitors came to "The Heav-
enly Twins," whose fireplace, on the highest
ledge of all, nearly rivalled in picturesque ef-
fect that of "Top o'the Rocks." When the
guests stood on the platform between the two
tents, looking down over the rustic railing,
the girls responded to their greeting by sing-
ing a fudge song they had composed while
eating, with He-ta-ya as cheer leader to direct
the tune and the motions. The song has not
survived the test of time, and perhaps the
world is not much poorer, but during its short
life it was a success. When other visitors came
up to the tents a little later they were cor-
dially urged to repeat the performance, and
they gracefully did so.

"THE HEAVENLIES" AS
ENTERTAINERS

The singers stood before the closed tent
flaps of "Heavenly II," while their audience
sat in the doorway of "Heavenly I," or re-
posed in comfort on its little cots. Cheering
was enthusiastic. Intoxicated by their success
the singers soared to undreamed of heights, and

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m iss^r^ss u m n © 10

volunteered to give an opera — or was it an up-
roar? They retired into the tent for costumes
that proved to be fearful and wonderful com-
binations, — dyed lingerie of the summer, sup-
plemented by a bath robe, a mannish straw hat,
and similar accessories. They rendered the Sex-
tette from Lucia, in six different keys at the
same time, and a tragic opera in an unknown
tongue, but with perfectly intelligible slayings
and lamentations. He-ta-ya and Te-pa gave
their famous "Toreadore" performance,
which never ceased to be called for, at inter-
vals, from that time until the end of camp.
Sun-o-wa rendered a Danish dance, and Ce-ki-
ca-ti came in just in time for a Spanish one,
with the aid of a scarf and sombrero. The
audience was steadily growing in numbers,
and was fairly shaking the tent with laughter
and applause.

After repeating each act several times the
actresses retired with many bows and modest
hints of their disappointment at the absence of
flowers. But the audience was so insistent for
more that at last they yielded. "We have one
more act to give," Ce-ki-ca-ti announced, "but
it will take us some time to prepare for it, and
we shall have to ask you to wait patiently."

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h m m n h @ sssftssss m

They drew the tent flaps behind them,
while the admiring audience slipped furtively
out for bouquets of hemlock branches. Then
they came back and waited. They waited long,
until at last it was discovered that the tent
behind the closed flaps was empty. The ac-
tresses had quietly climbed out by the back
way! And so the "Heavenly Opera" ended
as unexpectedly and quite as effectively as it
had begun.

These spontaneous gayeties — what is it
that suddenly calls them into existence in a
happy moment of exhilaration, dowering them
with a wild, wilful humor that we could not
have caught with months of forethought and
drill? It seemed as if this evening of cooking
together by the tent fire had called into being
a new element of comradeship that fused the
spirits and powers of the girls into joyous ex-
pression.



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Ca-oh
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r 0h, we own the Lake!



VII

CANNING AND CAMPING

TF Miss Moore had been rather uniquely
A entertained on her first day in camp, it was
her turn now to open the eyes of the girls to
another kind of outdoor cookery that proved
scarcely less novel and fascinating. She ap-
peared the next morning in a trim white apron
and cap, and all in camp followed her to
the open space beside "The Blue Birds' " tent.

Tin cans and little tin tops came out of a
box, together with the very newest kind of
"topper," an ingenious device to aid in solder-
ing. Last came the canner itself, a square,
zinc box, with a chimney, which was easily
fitted into place. The lower compartment was
a firebox, the upper was to be filled with water,
and Miss Moore cautioned the girls never to
forget to put the water in before starting the
fire if they did not wish to ruin the canner.

There were amusing little stories to accom-
pany the explanation of the working of the
canner. One could see her, as she talked, vis-

106



iting the towns of her state, and introducing
the subject of canning. She related some of
her conversations with women who evidently
had thought her a mere schoolgirl.

"Was canning hard work?"

"Well, they guessed she had never tried
it or she would not ask that!"

"Did it keep?"

"Why, of course. Sometimes you had to
go a long way down to get past the mould,
but it kept."

Then tactfully she had persuaded the wom-
en to try the new method, placing the fruit
or vegetables in the cans before cooking and
lowering them into the hot water for the "pro-
cessing," as she called it; and to their amaze-
ment she had proved to them that this method,
which seemed like play compared with the old,
indoor, stand-over-the-stove way, nevertheless
kept the fruit much better, and gave more of
its original flavor. She explained to them that
the new method could be used with glass cans
as well as tin, by leaving the tops a trifle
loose while "processing," and that, if one had
no canner, a boiler over a stove would answer
the purpose very well, the principle being ex-
actly the same.

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m m m n q @ sb^^sss eo

She paused a moment to show the girls
how the cans were to be lowered into the water
by the racks made for the purpose, then went
on to the story of how this canning work had
started in Tennessee, after the success of the
boys' corn clubs had driven the girls wild with
envy. She told how a plucky little school
teacher had taken a leave of absence from her
work and devoted herself to finding what
could best take the place of corn as a special
study for girls' clubs, and had finally hit upon
the tomato, which can be used in perhaps a
larger variety of ways than any other vege-
table, and is beautiful as well as nutritious.
Miss Moore told amazing tales of what some
girls had done with the tenth of an acre of
land, planted with tomatoes they cultivated
themselves, and of exciting contests and trips
to Washington that were awarded as prizes for
the best work.

It touched a little spring of Camp Fire
pride to learn that, in part, the Canning Clubs
were striving for the same purpose as the
Camp Fire Girls' organization, to give girls
new opportunities for social life, for working
together at something worth while, and, best
of all, for knowing the joy of earning their

108



own living in wholesome, healthful ways. She
added that the Camp Fire Girls had the ad-
vantage in cultivating the beauty and romance
of life with the practical side, and that nothing
could be finer than for the two organizations
to work together.

Her enthusiasm, and the earnestness that
lay beneath the bright winsomeness of her
ways, had kindled the girls to eagerness to
take up this new craft, but they were obliged
to wait to begin the actual work of canning
until the fruit could be selected, which in a
camp in the Maine woods in early summer was
not a matter of a moment's time. But when
Hiiteni and Miss Moore went motoring off
to Portland the next morning they knew that
the fruit would be soon forthcoming.

THE SECOND CAMPING TRIP

Meantime came the second camping trip —
but there is not space to tell all the things that
happened before it was over. This time the
girls really walked with ponchos over their
shoulders all the way from the camp to the
point called "Frye's Leap," where a white
man named Frye is supposed to have saved
his life by diving into the lake when followed

109







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by Indians. Here they cooked and ate and
dipped, and in the morning they saw the lake
steamer go by with a load of Camp Fire Girls
on board. This was an event indeed. The
Sebago- Wohelo girls called to them, speaking
all together as they so well knew how, and the
girls heard and repeated the name.

But when they tried to give their own in
return their voices scattered and were lost,
either because they were unable to mass them-
selves together in the boat, or because, as
Tiamanous would have said, "they had not
fully mastered the art of team work." So they
passed "like ships in the night," yet left behind
a glow of fellowship and a sharing of ideals,
for whoever they were, whatever their name,
they were Camp Fire Girls !

CANNING AGAIN

When the girls returned from this trip
they found alluring crates of fruit waiting
on the dock, and on Saturday morning the
first canning crew went to work, with the rest
of the girls on the bank above watching them.
They had no dainty uniforms, but they did
their best, with bathing and boudoir caps and
such aprons as they could find. Beans, to-

111



m 13 m n b ® sssftgira m

matoes and peaches were canned, some in glass
jars, some in tin, and when dinner time came
one of the girls ate her dinner beside the can-
ner to watch the peaches, which were last to
finish. When these were at last completed
they very proudly surveyed their rows of jars,
and planned great things for the time when
blueberries should be ripe.

Next Monday evening at the Council Fire,
when canning days were reached in the Count,
Hiiteni asked the reader to pause a moment.
Forth came four maidens and sang the "Song
of Canning," to the tune of "Oh, I'm here
and you're here, ,, which has since become fa-
miliar to Sebago-Wohelo maidens. It goes:

"Oh 111 can, and you'll can
All that we can can!
So start a fire in the canner
And fetch out a pan —
And we will blanch and peel and wash
Tomatoes, peaches, beans, and squash,
And they will simmer
In air-tight containers
Of crystal and stone,
All packed with a grace and a style
That is really our own,
112



And we will make the whole world
Sit up and take notice
That we can can!"

Incidentally on that evening Miss Moore
was initiated into the ranks of The Camp
Fire Girls, which ceremony wedded The Can-
ning Clubs and The Camp Fire Girls more
firmly together, and the conquest of cookery
and canning as outdoor sports was complete.

(Information about the Canning Clubs
may be had by writing The Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D. C.)




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VIII

EVERY TENT A SONG

rpHE Camp Fire fever was at its height.
■*■ Timanous had made another visit, and
given a talk on "The Desires of the American
Girl," her desire for money of her own, for
something worth while to do, for friendship
and for a home. He had kindled into life many
latent desires for self-reliance and worth-
while achievements in the hearts of his listen-
ers, and the activities of camp were every day
giving them fresh outlet.

"Kingfishers' Inn" had announced itself
as ready to receive guests in pairs for five
cents a night, pillow fights five cents extra.
Every night some new form of entertainment
was provided, and registration was full for
at least a week in advance. This was a new
and novel way of earning the money for dues.
Every Camp Fire Girl earns the money with
which she pays her dues by her own efforts,
no matter what may be her income or allow-
ance.

116



m m m a h s.sstt^Rss m

Other tents and individuals chose less spec-
tacular ways of earning, such as taking in
washings of middies, giving shampoos and
neck washes at swimming hour and gathering
balsam for those who had not time to gather
it themselves. Every girl in camp seemed to
be fitting herself for a business career by tak-
ing account of whatever talents she could turn
to practical and lucrative purposes. In swim-
ming, in era ft- work, in nature lore and cook-
ery the girls were striving eagerly for honors
and promotion in the ranks.

It had been amusing on the last camping
trip, at a place afterward known to the girls
as "Flat Rock Island," to see the eagerness
of everyone to take part in cooking the meals.
In the morning eggs were given out to a num-
ber of girls to cook for the party, and one
could be heard calling, "Poached eggs over
here!" while another begged, pathetically,
"Please somebody order a fried eggl I want
to fry an eggl" As a result of their zeal sev-
eral were waiting to claim the honor, as one of
them expressed it in Council Fire, for "cook-
ing an egg in four different ways."

It was Monday now, and, to complicate
matters further every tent was in the throes

116



of musical composition in preparation for the
great contest. "Original words and music"
had been the orders, with "Health" as the sug-
gested subject, though other subjects might
be allowed. The songs were to be sung in the
evening at the ceremonial meeting. All day
Sunday, except during service and rest-hour,
the piano had been wearily twanging out the
processes of composition, similar in effect, to
unsympathetic ears, to the tuning of the in-
strument. All day Monday the tents slipped
away together whenever a pause in the
day's program permitted a hasty practice
in the woods, for a last attempt to brush up
the melody or the words.

A FAREWELL

The day began sadly enough, with a fare-
well to the guardian from Kansas City, whose
hearty laugh had rung out so merrily that
camp was going to seem strange without it.
She was a clever girl, and a good camper, and
it seemed like losing a bit of camp to have her
leave, but the girls were going to say good-
by merrily, if say it they must. So when
breakfast was over, a group of the girls
emerged from the bungalow playing on combs,

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with Embers at the head, walking backward
and beating time with a tennis racket. The
others fell into line behind them, escorting
Hiiteni and the departing guardian, both of
whom looked painfully civilized in city skirts
and hats. Up the long path they went to the
road, where the auto waited, and there the
Kansas City maiden kissed them all good-by
and promised to return for the last two weeks
of camp if possible. She did not come back,

118




Create a new home in our woods
And light the teepee in the night"



m m m m © rKt? m

but a parting is easier if we can at least pre-
tend that it is only for a little while.

The girls hurried back to their craft work,
reluctant to lose time on it, only pausing a
little as they went to ask the meaning of a
great white thing that was going up in the
woods behind the tennis court. "What is
it? What is it for?"

"It is Hiitems teepee," Kee-wee explained
proudly. "Isn't it wonderful? We are going
to have Council Fires in there on rainy nights,
and sit in it often to tell stories."

"Oh, I wish it would rain tonight!" cried
one of the girls.

"Don't wish that!" protested a "Heavenly."
"We need space for singing our song."

"Oh, do you? Guess it's going to be an
action song."

"The Heavenly" suddenly became uncom-
municative, and Kee-wee went on happily con-
fiding to the world that she, too, had a teepee,
a little one she had made all herself, which she
was going to set up somewhere in the woods.

HONOR BEADS

This Monday afternoon was the busiest
time imaginable. In the bungalow Ce-ki-ca-ti,

120



who had charge of the honor records, was re-
ceiving lists of those the girls had won during
the week, and giving out beads for the ones
which had been awarded them the week be-
fore. In so large a group it was impossible
actually to award all the beads at the Council
Fire, for the mere reading of the honors took
up many minutes, and Hiiteni was eager for
someone to suggest a way of making it more
interesting. Already Ce-ki-ca-ti's resourceful
mind was at work on the problem.

The girls were busy at the tables, each one
filling out her honor sheets by painting, in its
appropriate color, the symbol for each honor
she had won, after which the beads would be
given her. Some were decorating the neat
brown pages of their individual Count books.
Over in one corner a girl was singing "Amer-
ica" to Ta-ku, as a test for one of the required
honors, while in another corner Helpful was
testing several as to their knowledge of ele-
mentary bandaging. Another was telling over
the mythical stories of seven constellations
that she had learned to distinguish, for, on
pleasant evenings, To-mo-ke had been holding
a star-gazing class on the rock before the
bungalow. With Ki-lo-des-ka's help he had
121



m m m ea © » G r°^°s m

contrived to make a little sky of blue mosquito
bar, outlining on it, in beads of different sizes,
the most prominent stars and groups of the
season, and this had been hung overhead in the
bungalow for study before there was any at-
tempt to decipher the real stars out-of-doors.
Evenings on the water or by the edge of it
were made much pleasanter by this new in-
timacy with at least a few of the mysterious
watchers from above.

Not until the supper bugle sounded was
the bungalow entirely deserted. Then the last
stragglers seized their beads and hurried over
to Hiiteni's fireplace, where a fire had been
built, and a huge kettle hung from a rude
tripod over it. The supper committee soon
emerged from the kitchen with a large dish
of melted butter and a basket of crackers.
The lid of the kettle was removed and delic-
ious, tempting, savory steamed clams were
dished out in large quantities on paper plates,
to be dipped in the melted butter and eaten.
The accessories of sandwiches, cake, etc., had
scant attention that night.

When supper was over the girls hastened
away to don their ceremonial costumes before
sunset. Softly and sweetly from the water's

122



SSgfiSS&S U S ® O

edge sounded the call "Wo-he-lo, Wo-he-lo,
Wo-he-lo!" and softly the girls answered as
they came gliding down, some stepping out
on the boulders that straggled away from
shore, others standing tall and straight on the
rocks above.

THE SUNSET SONG

As the sun went slowly down behind the
mountains far across the lake, they lifted their
arms and sang, "Good-night to Thee, Sun
Mother," repeating it softly and still more
softly, till the flaming globe of light slipped
behind the crest of the mountain, then knelt
for a moment with bowed heads in reverent
thankfulness for the day that was gone. How
the maidens felt about this sunset song may
be shown by lines from the Count of the next
week, written by the girls of "Heavenly Rest" :

"There they sang their good-night
greeting
And were answered by a promise,
Written not in words and music
But in glorious light and color.
And they knew that after twilight,
After darkness, after dawning,

123




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There would come again the greeting
Of the morrow's glorious sunrise."

After the song the moccasined feet of the
girls stepped softly up through the woods to
the place of the Council Fire. Here a new de-
light awaited them. Hiiteni had often been
dissatisfied with the fire at the side of the ten-
nis court because in the motion songs the girls
could not circle around it. So tonight they
gathered around a fire made in a box filled
with sand, and set in the center of the circle
on the court, the triangular form, for Work,
Health, and Love, being the final artistic
touch that completed the happy solution and
delighted the girls.

CONFERRING HONORS AT THE
COUNCIL FIRE

Several guests, who had come to watch
the Council Fire, were sitting back among
the trees. Two of these were a part of the
Camp Fire Girls' organization in the city and
were asked to rise while the Indian names
they had chosen were bestowed upon them.
Then Alaska initiated several new Wood
Gatherers, giving them the coveted siver rings

125



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with the seven fagots for the "Seven Points of
the Law."

Seek beauty,
Give service,
Pursue knowledge,
Be trustworthy,
Hold on to health,
Glorify work,
Be happy.

"I never wanted anything so much in my
life as I wanted that Wood Gatherer's ring! "
one of the girls said afterward. She had many
rings more costly than this, but she had not
striven and worked for those, nor found any
sweet meaning of comradeship and growth in
the wearing of them.

Embers had been asked to initiate the Fire
Makers, for she was a guardian, and so had a
right to give the symbol of rank. She could
not resist the impulse for a bit of fun in the
initiation of Te-pa, asking her how she in-
terpreted the requirement to know "the ap-
propriate dressing of the hair." Remember-
ing the ever-present french-roll and comb
the girls laughed gaily. But Embers returned
to the serious in a moment, giving a litttle talk

126



m ssffigm n m g b © o

on the meaning of becoming a Fire Maker,
one of those who really keeps the fires of love
burning, wherever they are found, whose
coming brings brightness into any circle, who
makes real her pledge to tend

"The fire that is called
The love of man for man,
The love of man for God."

Hiiteni herself initiated the Torch Bearers,
and her eyes shone tenderly, for Ki-lo-des-ka,
her youngest daughter, Ki-lo-des-ka of the
golden hair, was one of them. She had this
summer assumed responsibilities with the girls


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Online LibraryEthel RogersSebago-Wohelo camp fire girls → online text (page 4 of 9)