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Sebago-Wohelo camp fire girls online

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late sauce, .51



Total receipts, $0.68



Total expense,
Total receipts,



Cost of supper,
Cost per person.



$1.52
.68

$0.84
.21



208



m g^fflas iios^i



"THE BLUE BIRDS"
Cost of supper for six
Spaghetti, 2 cans, $0.30
Butter, 1 lb., .36

Bread, 1 loaf, .10

Apples, 1 doz., .05

Corn, y 2 doz. ears, .15
Salt, .01

Sugar, y 2 lb., .04

Saltines, 1 box, .10

Total, $1.11

Cost per person, .18%

"THE LOONS"

Cost of Supper for four
Chicken, 3 lbs., $0.66



Flour, 7 lbs., .35

Eggs, 1, .03

Baking powder, .06

Salt, .01

Lard, % lb., .08

Milk, 1 qt., .06

Bread, 1 loaf, .10

Butter, y 2 lb., .15

Corn, 1 doz. ears, .15

Pickles, .10



Total, $1.78

Flour credited, .23



Expense of supper, $1.55
Cost per person, .39



rrrQ™



Pi-ki-da



209



XIV

MERMAIDS ON PARADE

/^vFTEN as the girls had sung of "The
V-** Lorelei," the witching creature who sits
combing her locks with a golden comb, and by
her voice luring sailors to destruction on the
rocks at her feet, they had never expected to
meet her on their journeys to and fro over
Lake Sebago. But that, it appears, was only
because they had never until this Wednesday
happened to approach her haunts.

AX ENCHANTED ISLAND

They had started in the canoes for Wohelo
Island, as they supposed, for the usual Wed-
nesday night supper. But the "Red Beak"
was towing them, and in the "Red Beak" sat
Helpful, who was the head of that night's
supper committee. Just before they reached
Wohelo Island he gave an unexpected turn
to the wheel and passed close to Ship Island,
a little heap of white rocks, with a bare tree
trunk standing straight in the middle like a

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® tSBft?&°&fc§ U G © o

mast, a ghostly place which offered little
temptation to human feet to land upon. But
as they came near they spied, on the farthest
rocky point of it, a figure in flowing sea-blue
garments, who combed her long locks with a
golden comb, and sang alluring melodies,
though the "Red Beak" chugged so loudly
they could scarcely hear her voice. As they
circled the island, a group of fairies appeared,
in snow-white robes with silver crowns on
their soft hair, peeping out behind the rocks
or stepping from stone to stone with bare,
white feet, while in the heart of the island,
close to the big tree, sat a grim old witch in
a long black gown, with a peaked hat, mutter-
ing to herself and grinning weirdly.

Then the "Red Beak" stopped, and in a
moment the girls were landing on the en-
chanted island, where the fairies gathered
around and served them sandwiches and milk
from their own ethereal hands.

"The Lorelei" and the witch ate with them
as if they had known them always. And all
this wonder and enchantment because they
had come to a spot which all summer they had
ignored! The fairies seemed to have worked
some magic, for now that the girls had act-

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The "form" He-ta-ya acquired during the summer



m ss^a^^tg m m n ® in

ually landed, they found it not at all diffcult
to pick their way across the rocks, and in the
middle of the island was a hollow of solid land
large enough to hold them all in perfect com-
fort.

Here they settled down around a cheerful
fire for an evening of stunts and music.
Te-ca-ya sang some gay little airs with her
guitar, Ya-ke-ya told another story, and
everyone who had not done a stunt during
the whole summer was made to do something,
be it ever so simple. Bye-and-bye, as the
shadows grew deeper, the black witch crept
out on a rock that rose higher than the rest,
and began to chant of weird visions, while a
low, moaning sound could be heard echoing
her words from the darkness behind her. The
words she said were strange, yet the names she
used were familiar, and gradually it came to
the minds of her listeners that she was fore-
casting the future of those who sat in the
circle before her. They listened tensely, that
not a word might be lost.

The mere thought of the future brought
feelings that for the past few days they had
been trying to keep from their minds, and
though they laughed a great deal over the

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prophecies, which were funny as might be,
there was under the laughter a little wistful
sadness, a drawing closer together as if some
subtle consciousness told them all that the
end of the summer's happiness was very near.
At the evening's close Helpful interpreted all
of this into tender melodies on his violin, which
echoed long after in the hearts of the
listeners. For this was to be the last gather-
ing of the camp around a fire in the open,
the quiet lull before the busy last two weeks,
which were to be lived more or less in the eye
of the public around Lake Sebago.

WATER SPORTS

That very Saturday the war-canoe, with a
picked crew, went to the village to perform
its prettiest manoeuvers and show the girls'
kindly feeling for the village that had been so
much a part of this summer. The people had
gathered for an important base-ball game,
and, the girls' share in the day's entertainment
completed, they watched the game in de-
lighted interest and with generous applause.

The next Monday afternoon all were in-
vited to the neighboring boys' camp to see
their water sports, and on Tuesday the boys

214



returned the compliment by attending water
sports day at Sebago-Wohelo.

The day was perfect, a trifle cool in the
morning, but warm enough by ten o'clock,
when the sports began. The lake was dotted
around the dock with launches and boats from
neighboring camps and cottages, and the shore
was lined with people, tiptoeing on the rocks
or clinging to the trees in their effort to see
every event. They held neat brown pro-
grams, mimeographed on the machine that
did service for the copying of the Counts.

PROGRAM FOR WATER SPORTS
DAY

I War Canoe Manoeuvers.
II Undress in Deep Water.
Ill Demonstration of Tipping Over,
Righting and Emptying Canoe —
Ki-lo-des-ka and Helpful the Little.
IV Interrupted Canoe Race.

V Under Water Swim.
VI Follow the Leader.
VII Fearless Four.
VIII Individual Tent Stunts:

(a ) "The Loons" Playing Games.

(b) "Heavenly Rest" — Fry e

Takes a Desperate Chance.

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m u m n b @ ssmssss m

(c ) "The Kingfishers" Disappear.

(d) "The Dutchies" in a Folk

Dance,
(e ) "Niebelungen" — Wheelbarrow
Race.

(f) "Fawassa" and "Top o' the

Rocks" Run a Modern
Laundry.

(g) "The Spiders" — Parachute

Number,
(h) "The Blue Birds"— Life Sav-
ing Practice,
(i) "Heavenly II" — Casting
Away of Mrs. Leeks and
Mrs. Alshine.
(j) "Heavenly I"— A Garden

Party,
(k) A Burlesque.
(1 ) "The Chipmunks" — Pillow

Case Race,
(m) "The-whip-por-wills" — Um-
brella Race.
IX Tilting.
X Diving.
XI Final Plunge.



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h gs^°G H . E Rfc§ iiS0§ni




Ki-lo-des-ka in her birch bark canoe



CANOE AND SWIMMING PROWESS

The War-canoe manoeuvers came first.
There were two crews, first the paddlers from
Helpful' s training, then the best from To-mo-
ke's, and it was surprising to see the progress
both had made since the beginning of the reg-
ular morning drills. They paddled to and fro
in the cove, changing at a moment's notice to
"water wheel," "calisthenics," and all other
strokes which they knew. At the call of
"fainting stroke," every girl fell back on her

217



seat with a long, wailing sigh of exhaustion,
and then with a musical "Whoo-oop" they
were up and paddling again, before the peo-
ple on shore had time to recover from their
astonishment. This was the special stroke of
the season, for which "The Heavenlies ,,
claimed the inventor's patent.

Six girls, with middies and bloomers over
their bathing suits, entered the contest for un-
dressing in deep water, while two others stood
on the raft to receive their clothes and call out
their names as fast as they finished the stunt.
Only one failed to leave her heap of wet gar-
ments on the raft before the contest was
closed, with Ki-lo-des-ka the victor.

Ki-lo-des-ka and Helpful the Little had
volunteered to show the tipping of a canoe,
and, as they did it, it really seemed as easy as
rolling off the proverbial log. They splashed
together, both hanging on one side of the
canoe, working so quickly that the water had
no time to flow back. Then one ducked under
the canoe and both jumped in from opposite
sides at the same instant, and paddled back to
shore.

The interrupted canoe race was between
four pairs at first, and Ta-ku and Te-pe, who

218



brought up the rear, made fun for the com-
pany by calling out pleadingly to the others,
"Wait for us! Wait for us!" and scolding
each other for causing the delay. The race
was then given again between the two winning
pairs, each pair jumping out of the canoe,
climbing in from opposite sides, and racing
back to the dock.

Every girl who could swim under water,
and that was about three-fourths of all in
camp, lined up for the under water swim, each
starting as the one ahead of her bobbed up
from the water. In some cases that was a
very short time, but He-wan-ka, Ki-lo-des-ka
and one or two others swam out so far that
the people on shore held their breath to watch
them. He-wan-ka explained afterward that
she had been taking long, deep breaths for
several minutes before the contest, which
made her able to swim much farther than she
could otherwise have done !

"Follow the leader" was now in progress,
with Te-pa at the head, leading a merry race
through different kinds of dives, jumps, and
swimming strokes about the dock. Then "The
Fearless Four" came down the dock in lock
step, and dove from the springboard one after

2'19



m m m o m ss in

another, counting under water so as to come
up at the same time. They swam in several
strokes, counting eight strokes each time and
keeping their movements together, swinging
around in a pivot to bring themselves parallel
to the dock and climbing out together.

STUNTS BY TENTS

After this came the tent stunts, which were
gotten up for entertainment as well as for a
display of skill. "The Loons" played leap-
frog on the dock, each one jumping in when
she reached the edge. "Heavenly Rest" acted
out the Frye's Leap tradition from the
"Heavenly Rock," with a broad hat to dis-
tinguish Frye, and gay colored blankets to
mark the Indians in pursuit, who threw off
their blankets and jumped bravely after the
white man. "The Kingfishers" paddled out
in their little canoe in comical imitation of the
war-canoe, taking pains not to keep in time
in a single stroke, and jumped overboard, dis-
appearing under their overturned canoe, which
gave them plenty of air to breathe while they
swam back to shore.

The sisters from Holland gave the dance
that had won them so much applause at a

220



m gS^A w E°SSS IIG0SI



1






" r lfci






^^^^


• ^FT^P^





77ie tilting tournament



Council Fire. Their wooden shoes clumped
merrily on the dock, and their bright red and
blue costumes, with the wholesome, smiling
faces above them, gave a touch of gaiety to the
whole scene. At the end of the dance one of
the sisters fell into the water, wooden shoes
and all, and the other rescued her.

"Niebelungen" had a wheelbarrow race.
Two of the girls were wheelbarrowed down
the dock by the other two, and before the race
ended all four were in the water. "Fawassa"

221



and "Top o' the Rocks" represented the camp
laundry, which is carried on by the side of the
lake, but this time it was done with the aid of
a "Puffing Porpoise" that rolled away through
the water with middies to deliver to Ya-ke-ya,
who sat in a rowboat acting the part of "Siren
Seaweed, the Supersensitive Soaper, Scrub-
ber and S tardier," and doing funny things
with a cardboard eyeglass, making everyone
laugh.

"The Spiders" had planned a dramatic
parachute descent from the shack rock, which
was accomplished by tying the corners of a
sheet together, two at each end, and holding
one end in each hand over their heads while
they jumped off from the rock. The wind
filled the parachutes and made the effect as
picturesque as they had hoped it would be.
The people, who had crowded down to watch
them, stepped back now as they saw what was
happening at the dock again. It was Wa-zi
drowning herself, but He-wan-ka, her coun-
cilor, rescued her promptly and Fuzzie resus-
citated her with great self-possession.

"The Heavenly Twins" had vied with each
other in working up their performance.
"Heavenly II" rendered "The Casting Away

223



m mm 000 ssmssbsb m




Ready for the final plunge

of Mrs. Leeks and Mrs. Alshine," the pair
who were so well prepared for a wreck that
they were able to read while they swept them-
selves ashore with a broom. They reached
shore, with their graceful bonnets and shawls
a trifle the worse for wear, but Te-ca-ya de-
clared that she would rather risk swimming
for her life than floating on a water-soaked
broom.

"Heavenly J" had been seen before the
program burying a variety of objects under
water in the quiet space between shore and the

224



tg5£» c « 110000

arm of the dock. Can-zu now sat on the dock
playing at "mother getting ready for the par-
ty," and sending her willing children down-
stairs to bring her a comb, the silver, and vari-
ous other articles, including a pitcher of milk
for the baby, who sat by her side crying dis-
gracefully. The children dove obediently, and
were each rewarded by a banana, which they
ate under water.

The boys also gave an imitation of the
Frye's Leap episode, with Helpful the Little
shaking too visibly with fear as he made the




"All in!
225



perilous lead. Then "The Chipmunks" gave
their pillow race, for which Kee-wee, with
several helpers, had been blowing up the pil-
low cases which had been soaking in the water
during most of the other acts. The race was
very pretty, but scarcely more exciting than
"The Whippies" , race that followed it, each
girl carrying an open umbrella while she
swam.

TILTING, DIVING, AND THE FINAL
PLUNGE

It was now near noontime and the last
three acts followed in quick succession. First
came tilting, in which two girls stood in the
ends of their canoes, each with a long pole
well padded with burlap, and tried to push
each other into the water without themselves
sitting down. The girls who steered the
canoes were skilful, and the contests were all
interesting.

The diving was from the shack rock, which
can be seen from the dock without much diffi-
culty. Everyone who could dive at all did
dive, and those who could not dive jumped,
one after another. Some made fine, clean
dives, some made poor ones, and brave Ca-du-

226



za, who had never gone off from the rock be-
fore, went down with something of uncer-
tainty. He-ta-ya distinguished herself by a
perfect angel dive, for the promise of the early
summer had been fulfilled and she had become
a rival of Ki-lo-des-ka in difficult diving.

The final plunge was simply the usual fin-
ish of the swimming hour, — all the girls lined
up around the dock, on the springboard, on
the box, on the high springboard, on the
tower, and at a word from Ti-ya-ta all went
in at once with a glorious splash.

Then all gathered around to congratulate
the girls, Hiiteni, and Ti-ya-ta, who had
been in charge of the day. Ti-ya-ta was happy
because she had succeeded in her purpose of
showing, not what remarkable things a few
experts could do, but how the majority of the
girls in camp had advanced in mastery of the
water, in self-reliance, and in physical self-
control that forms the best possible basis for
higher forms of development and success. For
these are the real purposes in the water sports
of Wohelo.




To-mo-ker
227



XV

"FIRE'S GWINE OUT"

"Please keep watch, Mammy Moon,
De fires gwine out pretty soon!"

the girls had sung every Monday night at the
Council Fire, when the coals were burning
low; and now the fire of camp itself was
"gwine out," for this was the very last week.
But they did not intend to let the fire go
out without a final blaze of glory. First of
all they wanted to give a farce, something that
should be just as silly as they pleased, as an
outlet for feelings that were bubbling up more
and more as their spirits reacted to glowing
health. So Ce-ki-ca-ti, with two other coun-
cilors, wrote a farce for them, or, rather, out-
lined the plot and chose the characters, leaving
the girls to fill out the lines to suit themselves.
This plot will probably never become famous,
but it was rich in the local thrusts that seemed
intensely funny at the time ; such, for instance,
as Ca-du-za, the "solemn, solid butler," an-

228



SSftSgESfcS H n (3 ED

nouncing dinner to a fashionable house party
by blowing a toy bugle, while Ta-ku, as the
French maid, stood daintily holding his nose.
The boys of the neighboring camp were in-
vited for the entertainment.

TRANSFORMING THE BUNGALOW

It seemed that no sooner were the stage
scenery and properties cleared away from the
versatile bungalow, than came the day for the
craft exhibit. It had really been several days,
but everyone had been too busy preparing for
the exhibit and the final Council Fire to real-
ize how time was passing.

Tuesday afternoon found the craft-house
a scene of haste and anxiety. On the lower
floor Loh-ah was toiling with rare persistence
over a bracelet that would not solder, while
I-ma-ga-ga was fitting a besel for a silver
ring. The floor above shook a little with the
tread of those who were practicing for a new
Camp Fire dance to be given at the Council
Fire. Out on the porch were girls wood-
blocking chiffon scarfs of dainty tints, which
they were eager to take home as gifts for
mother, sister, or friend. And just outside the
craft-house others were busy at the dye-pails,

229



m m m n @ gs^.s&s m

preparing costumes for the new dance which
was being rehearsed. In the midst of all this
came a call to come to the tennis court in
ceremonial costume, as the light was just right
for a photograph which Hiiteni wished to
take. The photographs of camp are among
the dearest treasures of every girl, but all
would have been very willing just then to be
photographed in their absence. The craft-
craze had them in its grip.

When Wednesday's dinner began the bun-
galow was far from ready for the craft ex-
hibit, which was to begin at half past three, but
many hands did wonders with it during what
should have been rest hour. They brought
ferns and great branches of vividly colored
leaves for decoration, they arranged the tables
and brought armsful of craft things to place
upon them, from the little house called "Wa-
kana Hit," where they had been accumulating.
"Wakana Hit" had been built for Timanous
early in the summer, but he spent so little time
at camp it had served many other purposes.
The pottery had been standing here ever
since it had been brought home from its bak-
ing oven in Boston, and here, too, Mna-ka
and Ya-ke-ya had been busy over a box which

230



m gsgfi&ssB n m n m m

they decorated as a surprise for Hiiteni — but
she had spoiled it all by walking in and rinding
them at work one day.

THE CRAFT EXHIBIT

Before the guests began to arrive every-
thing was in order. The bungalow had been
transformed into a bower of autumn beauty,
and the tables were covered with wooden
boxes, carved spoons, tiny balsam pillows in
boxes decorated by wood-blocking, silver work
of great variety, Count books, baskets and pot-
tery. The weaving work, which was chiefly in
the form of rugs, was well displayed on the
large benches around the edges of the room,
while the walls were hung with the ceremonial
costumes, fascinating in the individuality
shown in their decoration. The filmy scarfs
fluttering from the tables gave a touch of
softer beauty to the scene. But to the prac-
tical eye there was nothing more beautiful
than the table full of canned fruit which stood
in its own place near "The Blue Birds" tent,
brave with a decoration of ferns.

In fact, it was almost as much of a revela-
tion to the girls as to their guests to see all
their work together and realize how much had

231







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Eh



m ts^^as u g m m




been done. They were enthusiastic over the
large box that Mna-ka and Ya-ke-ya had dec-
orated, and they whispered to each other of
cedar chests which sometime in the future they
would decorate with their symbols, as this had
been decorated. They laughed over the rug
in which one of the girls had woven a lock of
auburn hair she had begged from Ca-du-za
"to give just the touch of sunset color she
wanted," and admired each other's rings and
bowls and boxes with generous impartiality.
As the Count said:

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m m m n ® gsstfs^ss m

"Happy was the hum of voices,
Happier still the silent voices
Of the symbols of our craft work,
Speaking of our happy summer,
Telling tales of our ideals,
Council fire and pleasant mornings
When the lake smiled calmly at us,
And with work our hands were busy."

After the guests had fully complimented
the exhibit they were invited to the tennis
court for the folk dancing, in which were
summed up the dances the girls had learned in
their drills each day.

THE LAST COUNCIL FIRE

The girls came to supper in their ceremo-
nial gowns, and, as the sun was setting earlier
each week, they hastened to the rocks by the
water's edge for the usual good-night to the
Sun-Mother. On this last evening the sun
veiled her face with clouds, but they sang
to her just the same, knowing she was
only hiding, and would smile again another
day. Then they went quietly up the hill to
the meeting place of the fire.

It was an eventful Council Fire in several
ways. At noon that day votes had been taken

234




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on many subjects, some of them funny, some
serious; from "Who is the prettiest girl in
camp?" to "Who has the best ceremonial cos-
tume?" and "Who is the most popular?" The
answers to these questions were to be an-
nounced to the circle about the fire, and great
was the tension with which they were awaited.
The nonsensical ones had been answered in
the spirit in which they were asked, Helpful
the Great being judged the possessor of the
prettiest ears, and "the best figure" being
given to the stoutest girl in camp, who oblig-
ingly rose as awkwardly as she could at the
demand and allowed her form to be viewed.
There was no jest, however, about voting
Ma-na's simple, but well planned ceremonial
gown the best, and when it came to the last-+-
the important question of camp spirit — no
trifling had entered into the matter at all.
Everyone knew that the buffalo robe, with all
the symbols for four summers past, would go
this year to the girl who had won this vote.
She who won it might well be happy, for jt
meant that her leadership had been recognized,
that she had been loved by all, and had sunk
her own wishes in the doing of those things
which were for the general happiness.

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m ekf^es n^Qgifo

There was a great cheer when the robe was
awarded to He-ta-ya, and though it was an-
nounced that Da-su the Twin had made a
close second and Ma-na a third, there seemed
to be little doubt that of all the fine, capable
girls of camp He-ta-ya, with her skill in water
sports, her gift of song, her power of leader-
ship, had best deserved the honor. As for He-
ta-ya, she could say nothing when the robe was
given her, but went back to her seat in the cir-
cle shaking with sobs.

After this the water-witches were duly ap-
pointed by Ti-ya-ta, and the final tent inspec-
tion report for the summer was read. Then
the circle sang camp songs, while a stage was
being made ready for the Pantomime of the
Seasons, in which every tent had a part. The
stage was just the little rise of ground oppo-
site the fireplace and the curtain was lifted and
dropped by Helpful and To-mo-ke. Embers,
who had written the poem, read it and directed
the action, with Little Daylight standing by
her side to give the hand-sign for each moon,
or month, as it was announced. The girls had
planned their own action in most of the scenes,
and some of it was very amusing, as when the
Camp Fire Girls were shown sowing seeds in

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ulbjhlb %ssfig%B& m

the spring and the flowers (three girls hidden
under a blanket) sprang up at their bidding,
or when another group made the sun rise by
lifting a lantern slowly up from behind a
poncho.

"June, or the Rose Moon," was kept to the
last, for this was to be illustrated by the dance
for which the girls had been practicing so faith-


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Online LibraryEthel RogersSebago-Wohelo camp fire girls → online text (page 8 of 9)