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Sebago-Wohelo camp fire girls online

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councilor slipped in for a moment's chat.

"Oh!" whispered Hiiteni suddenly, point-
ing to a pine whose branches were silhouetted
against the sky bej^ond her tent, "there are
the cross-bills! There have never been any
in camp before, so far as I know, but this
dear little pair has been building a nest, and
I have caught glimpses of them several times.
Oh, I believe I could take a picture of them
now, right from the tent!"

They rested the camera on Hiiteni's bed,
moving quickly but quietly, and though one
of the bird visitors flew away, the other posed
for several pictures, pirouetting daintily in
unconscious grace on the pine branch. Hiit-
eni's eyes were full of the hushed happiness
that such a little thing could kindle in her
nature-loving heart, and the light in them did
not quite die out during all of the happy day
which followed. She loved all of the wild
things of the woods — loved them in their free-


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dom, and rejoiced in it, yet she had "captured"
the crossbill in a way that was to be a lasting
source of joy to her and to others.


There were others awake early, too, for
soon after the bugle sounded, from the piano
was heard a strange but catchy little tune. It
was Helpful, Embers, and Te-ca-ya, compos-
ing a new song to a negro melody they had
known in college days, and they sung it after
the morning service, with the aid of Helpful's
violin. In a very short time the girls had
learned it, and were singing with laughter in
their voices:

"Oh Hiiteni built a shack
On Lake Sebago!

And every summer she comes back —
A long time ago!"


"A long time ago ! A long time ago !
And every summer she comes back —
A long time ago!"

"The Heavenly Rock is big and high —
On Lake Sebago!


Ready for a hike

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If you jump off you'll surely die'
A long time ago!"

and several other verses equally nonsensical,
some of them rather personal in their ref-

They were still humming it when they
scattered to their tents to roll up their blan-
kets, for Ce-ki-ca-ti, who had this trip in
charge, had ordered the ponchos down on the
dock before craft-hour, so that there might be
no delay in starting immediately after dinner.
To make sure that the order was carried out,
she had suggested that the having their pon-
chos promptly on the dock should count in the
tent inspection record for the week.

So there was no time lost after dinner in
loading the canoes, which were towed away
by the "Red Beak" after the same fashion
as on the Crooked River trip, except that to-
day the sun was blazing down upon them in
a manner almost too friendly. The ever-pres-
ent craft-work was much in evidence, and in
several groups one of the girls was reading
aloud, one from the poetry of Alfred Noyes,
another from the Ladies' Home Journal. In
one end of the war-canoe Alaska was enter-


taining an interested group with tales of the
time when she attended the Henley Regatta,
and May Week at Oxford.

On the other side of the lake a wagon
waited for the ponchos, then started up the
hill, leaving the girls to climb up by a dif-
ferent road. Ce-ki-ca-ti marshalled them in
squads of eight, and they set out valiantly,
singing as they went.

"Oh, Hitteni built a shack
On Lake Sebago!

And every summer she comes back —
A long time ago !"

The tune was good for marching, and
helped in the long climb. They wound
through the village and slowly up the hill
road, passing comfortable looking farm
houses and apple orchards where the fruit was
beginning to look temptingly ripe. It was
"hard on to five mile,'' as the driver of the
wagon had said, and when the wagon passed
them about half way up, several, at Hiiteni's
persuasion, consented to a lift. But Ti-ya-ta
and Ta-ku had even carried their ponchos all
the way, and declared they were not tired a


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bit, and that this was really the proper way to

About half a mile below the top of the hill
they found their ponchos waiting near a hos-
pitable farmhouse, where they paused for a
rest and a drink of water. Then they shoul-
dered the ponchos and the baskets of food be-
sides, and started for the last, stiff climb.


Every moment the scene became more beau-
tiful! Mountain after mountain came into
view, with little chains of lakes hidden in the
hearts of them. It seemed impossible that so
short a journey from the quiet camp by the
lakeside could have transported them into real
mountain country, which now, as the sun-
set began to color it with rich purple shadows
and glowing lights, changed before their very
eyes into "the glory and the freshness of a

At the foot of the last climb, as if it were
for the keeper of the mountain, nestled a
pleasant home, and the girls stopped to fill
their pails with water and exchange a few
words with the daughter of the house, a col-
lege girl whom some had met in other sum-


m Esa^a^ass ii^q^o

'Pushed upward as fast as the blue-berries would allow'

mers. Then they pushed on to the top as fast
as the blueberry bushes would allow. The ber-
ries were as large as strawberries, if the tales
the girls brought back were to be believed.
Small wonder that some of the hungry travel-
lers laid down their burdens to feast upon this
rich luxury, making this an excuse for a mo-
ment's rest, but others more valiant refused to
stop, and climbed on up over the scraggy,


rocky hillside, only snatching a berry or two
as they went — perhaps they were not so fond
of blueberries!

At the top all dropped their ponchos and
looked around them, the full beauty of the
mountain sunset shining straight into their
dazzled eyes. The peaks and ridges glowed
with rose, gold, and unknown tints, and
through a rift in the clouds a shower of long,
glimmering rays fell aslant into a valley be-
tween the hills. Those who knew could pick
out individual peaks, Old Man, Kearsarge and
Mount Washington, clearly outlined, yet
transfigured by the veil of beaut y that swept
over them.


But after the first hush of wonder the
hungry girls remembered the solid, rocky
earth beneath their feet, and, while keeping
one eye on the sunset, guided themselves with
the other to the richest blueberry patches. The
berries disappeared like so much dew, leaving
always plenty more to be had for the gather-
ing. Wa-zi demanded to have her bed made
in a clump of bushes, so that she could wake
and eat berries by moonlight, but others,


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moved by more aesthetic motives, chose spots
from which they could watch the sunrise in
the morning.

The top of Douglas Hill was marked by
a rough monument of stones, and near it
stood a fireplace of the same gray rock, walled
about on three sides like a stove, with an open-
ing in the fourth side. Here a fire was built,
and cans of beans set in the opening to heat.
Toasted bread, milk, and jam, with some
maple fudge, which the cook had sent as a
surprise, made a feast to satisfy the hungriest.

After supper a big fire was built in the
open to signal to To-mo-ke, who had remained
in camp, and they all sat down around it and
mere merry. "The Dutchies" sang their na-
tional anthem, and a tune or two besides, and
then everyone joined in the new camp song
about Hiiteni's shack, making new verses to
sing when the original ones ran out. Stunts
of the usual kind followed, and then came a
charming Hawaiian story by Ya-ke-ya, who,
though a new arrival at camp, had found her
place at once upon the roll of entertainers.

Stumbling down among the rocks in the
dark, or finding their way more comfortably
by the help of their pocket flashes, the girls


were soon snuggled under their ponchos,
which were already damp with the heavy dew.
The moon came up, and the night was perfect,
clear and still and bright. No one wanted to
sleep, and Hiiteni's "Hush!" came several
times before the whispering was stilled.


rang over the hillside. It was early in the
morning, and the sleepy maidens woke to watch
the sunrise, some from their beds, others
from a jutting rock that commanded a sweep-
ing view of the eastern sky. They looked for
the familiar waters of the lake, but only the
peaks of the mountains were to be seen, ris-
ing above a sea of mist that rolled in billowy
whiteness all around. Slowly the sun rose
through the mist, a clear, flaming ball, touch-
ing the mountain tops with gold, and lighting
every misty wave crest.

As the novelty of the scene wore away the
girls thought of the long hours between sun-
rise and breakfast, and some crept back for
another nap. The rest went up and down the
hillside gathering berries, talking softly, as
they had promised Hiiteni, for fear of dis-


m m m n b m gBEsa^gs eq

turbing the sleepers. They returned at break-
fast time with purple lips, and quarts and
quarts of berries to carry home.

Dis-ya-di had been busy making up a
"Douglas Hill Song" to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra-
ra-boom-de-ay," and the girls sang it as they
marched down the hill soon after breakfast
with their ponchos in neat array over their
shoulders :

"From Douglas Hill we maidens come,
Laughing, singing, on the run!
My, but we've been having fun,
Eating berries by the ton!"

But as they neared the house at the foot of
the hill they stopped singing, and crept down
softly, to surprise their friends with a morn-
ing cheer.

Then began the long jaunt down the hill,
which was curiously easier than the upward
climb, and made easier still by some apples
that insisted upon falling from a tree hanging
over the road. Before they realized they had
reached the good, old lake again, and were
taking their places in the canoes, surprised to
find how much rougher the water had grown
during the night. Twice a canoe broke loose


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Working in clay

from the line. "It would not be the Douglas
Hill trip," Ce-ki-ca-ti said, "if the canoes did
not break loose," — but they were safely tied
again, and as good sailors should, they enjoyed
the trip more for the dancing of the craft on
the water, though one or two arrived at the
dock a little pale.

That afternoon and parts of the next day
were spent with "a fire in the canner," putting
up the fifty quarts of berries which had been
brought home from the trip. They were not


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the first blueberries of the season, for twice
Ki-lo-des-ka had marshalled "The King-
fishers" out before breakfast to gather berries
for canning. But the Douglas Hill berries
seemed to have a flavor all their own, mingled
of mountain sunrise and the vigorous delight
of the climb.

The evening was rainy, but no one cared.
They sat in the teepee around a cheerful fire,
toasting marshmallows, as cosily as could be,
while Alaska read aloud; and they wondered
how it could be that tramping up the hill in
the sunshine is so wonderful, yet coming
home again to one's own little teepee in the
rain is so very sweet.







rilHE Tuesday night suppers of the tents
-*■ had been gradually expanding from the
simple "bacon-bat" affairs of early summer to
feasts of considerable style and variety. The
girls of "Niebelungen" had made a bean-hole
early one Tuesday morning, and produced for
supper a generous supply of well-baked beans.
The Count for the next week said:

"As we were not bidden thither
To that feast of Niebelungen's
We can only hint and surmise
That their beans were either burned or,
Mayhap, underdone a trifle."

But that is too obviously the utterance of
a jealous mind to call for argument. The
beans were perfectly cooked, and had a rare,
delicious flavor.

Now a still greater spark of ambition had
fired the breast of one of "The Loons," who


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came to Hiiteni with a modest request for per-
mission to buy and cook a chicken. She want-
ed to earn the home-craft honor, "pick, dress,
and cook a fowl." Hiiteni saw in her sug-
gestion a happy answer to another problem
that had been troubling some of the girls who
wanted to become Fire Makers, but had not
had opportunity to meet the requirement: "To
help prepare and serve, together with other
candidates, at least two meals for meetings of
the Camp Fire; this to include purchase of
food, cooking, and serving the meal, and care
of fire." "Perhaps," thought Hiiteni, "all of
the girls would like to choose their own ma-
terials for one Tuesday night supper, and
buy them from the village store or the farmers
in the neighborhood."


The "perhaps" was still strong in Hiiteni' s
mind when she brought the subject before
the girls after Service that morning. She did
not wish to compel anyone to make this ex-
periment, she said, but she thought that, be-
sides solving the problem of the honor, it would
be a valuable experience. She told how, when


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her own daughters were young, she had dis-
missed the servant, and given the kitchen into
the keeping of the girls, letting them buy and
cook the meals in turn, and so learn by first-
hand the knowledge of cost and preparation
of food. And she added that cooking out-of-
doors is the natural, biological way for a girl
to learn to love home-making, just as playing
at Indian battles is the boy's way of learning
strength and manly qualities.

Hiiteni intended to put the question to a
vote, but she had scarcely finished speaking
when the girls began to discuss their menus
as if it were already decided.

"How shall we get small enough quantities
of flour?" a practical maid demanded.

"You might club together in buying things
like that," was Hiiteni's suggestion.

"Oh," cried Ta-ku, bobbing up and down
with excitement, " 'The Loons' will buy flour,
and sell it to anyone who wants it!"

"'The Kingfishers' will sell salt!" put in

"Get your baking powder from 'Niebe-
lungen/ "

"And when can we go to the village to buy


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It was finally arranged that each tent
should send two delegates to the village dur-
ing rest hour, and the Service broke up in a
buzz of planning.

Little else was talked of that day. The
telephone came into use for ordering the ar-
ticles that could not wait until afternoon, prin-
cipally two chickens, one for "The Loons"
and one for "The Heavenly Twins," who were
not to be outdone by anyone. "Heavenly Rest"
announced that ice-cream would be for sale
to all who wished to buy.

The storekeeper of South Casco must have
been taken by surprise when the horde of eager
housewives descended upon him in the after-
noon. There was Ta-ku, bustling about buy-
ing corn for everyone who wanted it, and,
finding that she had counted a dozen ears too
few, had to order more. There were the
"Dutch sisters" buying rice, and currants and
brown sugar for a native dish they were plan-
ning to serve at "Top o' the Rocks." Pi-ki-da
and I-wa-da-ka had their heads together as
usual, and were buying provisions for break-
fast, for "The Spiders" had permission for a
little camping trip of their own to a nearby






















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They all met at the "Red Beak," those who
had been in the store and those who had been
visiting the houses along the road, arms full
of many-shaped packages, and eyes bright
with excitement. On the way home they
busied themselves counting up how much they
had paid for their provisions, and making more
plans for the evening's feast.


Of the hum of activity that filled the camp
that afternoon, "The Heavenlies" seemed to be
the very center. The air about the three tents
fairly quivered with activity that hinted of
delicious viands preparing. Early in the day
the girls of "The Heavenly Twins" had dug a
hole near the tent, walled it around with
stones, built a fire in it, and laid in the ashes
a neatly stuffed chicken wrapped in oiled
paper, which was then covered over with earth
and stones and left to cook. They spoke of
"when we take the chicken out," very much
as they might have spoken of "When the night-
blooming cereus blossoms," with the tones
of those who are waiting breathless for a brief
but weighty crisis. They made a little fire,
with two forked sticks to hold a spit on which


they could brown the chicken to a turn when
they had taken it out. Then they left Ce-ki-
ca-ti and To-ka to watch by the hole while
the rest went about the other cooking on the
fireplace beyond the tent.

In the intervals between entertaining the
interested visitors who came now and then to
inquire about the chicken, Ce-ki-ca-ta and
To-ka busied themselves making some rich
chocolate sauce. Helpful the Great, who had
been invited to supper, came near with a
hungry and almost w T istful expression, won-
dering, no doubt, whether the chicken would
yield up a meal for a man's appetite. A visit-
ing guardian, who was also to be a guest at
the feast, hovered about in a hungry search
for new ideas. She drifted over to "Heavenly
Rest" to watch with admiration the dexterous
maidens there, who were baking biscuit over
their fire by rolling the dough around a long
stick, which was then poised on two forked
sticks and turned until the biscuit were baked.
As the girls were cooking soup and agonizing
over the ice-cream that would not freeze at the
same time, the visitor was allowed, as a special
privilege, to amuse herself with a few turns at
the biscuit.


m m si n h e gg^^ssas m

"Thank you so much for letting me see
just how it is done," she said, and hurried back
to "The Twins' " fireplace at a rumor that the
chicken was about to be taken out. Hiiteni
was hastily summoned, and in the presence of
a little group of favored witnesses the hole
was opened. The chicken lay there, slightly
blackened by the ashes, for the paper was
quite burned off, but with a cooked appear-
ance gratifying to behold. They poked it. It
was tender. It was even slightly browned,
but they finished it to the last touch of per-
fection, as they had planned, on the spit over
the fire.

Meanwhile the other viands, in their own
humble way, were turning out as well as the
chicken. Te-pa had taken charge of the sweet
potatoes, which had been allowed to cool, and
were then peeled and fried with a sprinkling
of sugar. "Because if you don't cool them
first," she explained, with an air of long ex-
perience, "the grease will soak in and spoil
them." Te-ca-ya had fried the tomatoes most
deliciously in plenty of butter, and the apples
had been left to bake in the natural reflect-
ing oven under the rock behind the fire, and
all were "done to perfection."

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"The Heavenly Twins'' sat down at last
and waited for Helpful the Great to carve the
fowl. "The tenderest I ever saw," quoth he.
"The best I ever ate," was the visiting guar-
dian's verdict. And, indeed, the chicken had a
taste that differed from chicken cooked in the
usual prosaic way, as corn roasted over an
open fire differs from corn boiled on the
kitchen stove. The eating of this feast was
such a simple, unadulterated joy that no one
felt the need of words to accompany it.


They had gnawed every bone of the
chicken, and were waiting for the apple sauce,
which had to finish cooking on top of the fire,
when one of the girls from "Heavenly Rest"
announced that at last the ice-cream was fin-
ished, and for sale. They hurried to the tent
with cups and spoons, bought cream, and cov-
ered it thickly with the rich chocolate sauce.
They tasted it greedily. Then they puckered
up their faces. It tasted of salt instead of
sugar! The chocolate sauce was the one blot
upon that otherwise perfect meal!

To humiliate their pride a trifle further at
this point "The Niebelungens" announced that


Sweet potatoes and apple sauce

they had chocolate sauce for sale at three cents
a helping. A few of "The Heavenlies" hum-
bled themselves and bought it, but others ate
their cream with apple sauce, which by this
time was ready to serve. Purchasers from
other tents were now flocking up to "Heav-
enly Rest" and going away with five-cent
helpings of the cream, either in their cups
or in the neat little boxes the girls had bought
for the purpose.


The visiting guardian felt that she must
have fallen upon the chief feasting place of
camp, and that there could be nothing any-
where else to equal it. But she took a stroll
about camp, to find that each tent was fully
convinced that no supper had been half so
good as its own. "Niebelungen" had stuffed
tomatoes on toast, mashed potatoes, fried
apples, and scones made by Alaska's own
recipe, which was soon in demand. She gave
it thus:

One-half pound flour, one teaspoon baking
powder, one-half teaspoon salt. Mix with milk
or water till moderately stiff, fry in boiling fat,
when brown underneath, turn.


"The Kingfishers" exhibited an empty tin
that bore silent witness to the charms of an
apple pie which they had baked in their own
oven. They had rolled the crust on a paper
on their table, with a glass jar for a rolling
pin. Besides this they had baked apples over
the fire, turning them on a stick and dropping
a marshmallow in the little hollow made in the
top of each when it was done. They gave
dazzling promises of blueberry biscuits which
were soon to be baked, but their visitor fled
from the temptation of further eating.

"The Whippies" had tomato soup, welsh
rarebit, and fudge. "The Loons" had fried
their chicken and made dumplings to eat with
it, besides having roast corn, and blueberry
fritters for dessert. "Top o' the Rocks" had
"cheese dreams," which are toasted cheese
sandwiches, and rice cooked with currants
and eaten with brown sugar. Nothing ex-
cept the chocolate sauce seemed to have given
a hint of failure, and all of the cooks looked
proud and happy. Hands, faces, and middies
were a bit blackened by the smoke of the fire,
but that was a usual accompaniment of Tues-
day night suppers, and gave one a reckless
feeling that rather added to the zest of things.


While they enjoyed it all, the camp spirit
was busy weaving the experiences of the day
into their future, farther than they knew.
"They will never forget this," said Hiiteni,
"and the woman's work of choosing and pre-
paring meals for the home will have ever a
new romance for them because of it."


Hiiteni asked each of the tents the next
morning to give her an account of their ex-
penses for the supper, and several of them
are given here for the perusal of any who may
be interested in camp cookery. Anyone who
is not must be a sad dyspeptic or must never
have known what real camp cooking is. Ask
the Wohelo maidens if this is not true; or,
rather, ask their guests, for the opinions of
the girls themselves might be tinged with the
rosy hues of the happiness they felt in cook-

In the keeping of these accurate accounts
the girls learned another valuable Camp Fire
lesson — that the housewife must keep books,
and "know just how she stands," if she is to be
as efficient in her profession as is her sister who
enters the business world.


^iigggi sa^sas ID



Cost of supper

Soup, 2 cans,
Butter, y 2 lb.,
Apples, 2 doz.,


Corn, 8 ears,

Eggs, 1,



Baking powder,




Cost of ice-cream

Milk, 6 qts., $0.36

Ice, «25

Salt, -10

Sugar, -26

Milk, 2 cans, .20

Ice-cream boxes, .10

Eggs, 6, .18

Vanilla, ^05

Total, $1.50

Cost of supper, $0.77

Cost of ice-cream, 1.50

Supper & ice-cream, $2.27

Proceeds (ice-cream) $3.72
Total expense, 2.27

Net profit,



Cost of supper and mate-
rials for sale

Milk, 1 qt., $0.06

Bacon, y 2 lb., .15

Butter, l/o lb., .18

Potatoes, 2 qts., .08

Tomatoes, 2 qts., .12

Lard, % lb., .08
Baking powder, 1 can, .25

Flour, 1 lb., .05

Sugar, 1 lb., .08

Bread, 1 loaf, .10

Apples, .10

Eggs, 2, .06

Salt, .01

Ice-cream, .20



Proceeds from baking
powder, $0.17

Proceeds from choco-

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Online LibraryEthel RogersSebago-Wohelo camp fire girls → online text (page 7 of 9)