Ethel Rogers.

Sebago-Wohelo camp fire girls online

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fully under Embers' direction. The purpose
of the dance, which had been planned by To-
mo-ke, was to express growth, and that which
reaches out to others, then the Camp Fire
ideals of Work, Health, and Love, expressed
by postures and motions full of reverence and
grace, and, last, the circling figures danced
the seven laws of Camp Fire, interpreting
each with exquisite appeal to the imagination.

The effect is described in the Count that was
written after camp had closed, while the mem-
ory of the dance still clung with its haunting,
mystic beauty:

"Flashed the colors, red, blue, yellow,
In and out among the seven green —
White arms lifted up in dancing,
White feet glancing, leaping, turning,
While the moonlight and the firelight

238



Seemed to brightly say together:
'By our light we help to show you
This symbolic dance, 'Wohelo.' '

So the last Council Fire closed with one of
the loveliest of the summer visions — a gather-
ing into the poetry of motion the essence of
the summer's meaning. There was scarcely
need of good-night songs to bring the sense of
reverence and mystery which always fell over
the circle before the evening was at an end.

THE "KAPICA"

But the prose of parting was waiting in
the bungalow next morning in the form of
trunks to be packed, bundles of blankets to
be made ready — in short, all of the work of
the day of arrival to be reversed with no less
excitement and bustle. Breakfast was served
on the hillside, for the bungalow was still in
the sway of the craft exhibit, and after break-
fast there was a long wait while pictures were
taken of that same craft work in all its splen-
dor. But when the anxious packers were ad-
mitted everything speedily dropped from the
walls and jumped from the tables into the
trunks which were brought from the loft.

239



Only the councilors had a thought for any-
thing but packing. They had been seen mak-
ing mysterious visits to the tennis court, and
soon the secret crept out — there was to be a
banquet! It was the first time in the history
of camp that such a thing had happened, and
they called it the first annual "Kapica," an In-
dian word which signifies that the people who
are attending the feast simply cannot bear to
be separted.

The tables were set in a circle on the court,
with flaming leaf branches arching over where
two tables met, and glowing Japanese lan-
terns hanging between the branches. At the
middle of the first table stood a large chair,
much decorated, waiting for Hiiteni. When
the bugle sounded all met at the bungalow and
marched to the tennis court with their hands
on each other's shoulders. At the end of each
course they left their places, marched around
to music and sat down when the music
stopped, in "going-to-Jerusalem" style.

Clever menus, made on rough gray paper
with wood-blocked decorations, were at the
places, and the names of the dishes written on
them sounded exceedingly foreign — so much
so that they almost defied translation.

240



Once or twice during each course Ce-ki-
ca-ti rose and announced that Hiiteni had a
speech to make, which surprised Hiiteni as
much as anyone. But she really had several
things to say and gifts to give, which she did
from time to time. There were fire-making
sets for the girls who had learned to make fire
in the primitive way, Wohelo symbols to wear
on headbands or sweaters for the girls who had
excelled in various crews, etc., so that before
the evening was over many maidens were made
both happy and proud. A silver Wohelo sym-
bol was presented to He-ta-ya, for the buf-
falo robe could be kept for but one year, while
this simple token of the honor which had been
given to her was her very own, to be treasured
' 'forever."

After the feast Ce-ki-ca-ti called on each
of the councilors for a speech, and the coun-
cilors altogether retaliated by calling upon
Ce-ki-ca-ti for ' a few remarks," which she
made in her own inimitable way, to the delight
of everyone. Then Hiiteni was made to climb
up on a table, which the girls carried round
and round the tennis court, singing to her out
of their very hearts the only camp song that
in any degree expressed their feeling for the

242



one to whom, first of all, their summers hap-
piness was due :

TO HIITEXI

"On Sebago's sparkling waters
There's a band of Indian maids.
They are all Wokanda's daughters,
And good cheer there never fades."

Chorus :

"It is our Camp Wohelo,
It is our dear camp home,
And 'tis there that every summer
We so long to live and roam.

"We love our Indian mother,
And we know she loves us, too;
May Wohelo live forever,
And to her we'll e'er be true."

Hiiteni laughed a little at finding herself
carried so high in the air, but her eyes were
wet when at last she was lowered and helped
down from her somewhat precarious position.
Every tribute of appreciation and gratitude
paid to her by her girls touched her mother —
heart deeply.

243



a u n h ® sMsarass in

"UNTIL ANOTHER SUMMER"

Sleep came slowly that night, and to some
scarcely at all. "The Heavenlies" sat up a long
time, loth to miss a minute when they could be
together, and the girls in each of the different
tents might be found clinging close to each
other, realizing, on this last night, that what-
ever happy days another summer might bring,
this summer could never come again! But
all rose easly, and, dressed in those dread-
ful city clothes, ate a hurried breakfast,
finished writing in everyone's address book,
looked after tags on trunks, and at last
stood waiting for the boat, looking more and
more disconsolate every minute. Then Ce-ki-
ca-ti suggested going to the craft-house to sing.

It was a solemn little procession that went
to the familiar place, now strangely desolate.
They sang the songs that had so many times
stirred them to laughter, and then drifted into
the serious ones, saying to themselves over and
over, "The last time, the last time!" To-he-ca,
supposedly one of the most irresponsible chil-
dren of camp, wept in the corner without re-
proof, and I-ma-ga-ga, who had cried herself
nearly ill with homesickness when she first
came to camp, sat weeping now for the leav-

244



m firsts u m n m m

ing it. Perhaps others wanted to cry, too. It
had been a happy summer, and this was in-
deed "The last time."

The boat came, and those who were to re-
main in camp for a little while longer went
down to the dock to sing a good-by cheer.
Ki-lo-des-ka slipped on the boat with the de-
parting maidens, and when they had gone a
little way from dock made a dive from the
bridge of the boat, while the little group on
shore kept things waving, black middie ties,
then towels and sheets, as long as the boat was
in sight. The girls afterward sent back an
amusing Count of their homeward trip, by
which Hiiteni knew that not a good-by wave
had been wasted, and that under Ti-ya-ta's
care the girls had reached home safely.

Later came a happy sequel when the let-
ters began to arrive, some from the mothers,
telling how happy they were over all that the
summer had done for their daughters, some
from the girls themselves, full of love and
gratitude, of the new vigor gained for the days
and the years that lay before them, and plans
for returning when summer should come
again.

The little white tents seemed empty in-

245



0IIG0 ® gBtf^BS 13

deed to those who were left behind, and soon
they, too, packed their trunks and their mem-
ories and sped cityward, leaving the camping
place by the lakeside alone with its dreams
and its stillness, until, when another year has
come, when the winter snows are melted and
the woods and lake are bright with summer
sunshine, the Call of the Camp shall be heard,
and its tents again be filled with laughter.



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SYMBOLIC NAMES OF SEBAGO-
WOHELO CAMP FIRE GIRLS

Ca-du-za Strong Current.

Can-zu To be firm of heart.

Ce-ki-ca-ti To make fire for someone,

Da-su, To finish.

Dis-ya-di Moon child.

Ek-o-le-la To continue to grow.

Embers Fire dreams.
Fuzzie (A "Blue Bird")

Ga-ob Spirit of the wind.

Ge-me-wun-ac Bird that flies through the rain.

He-ta-ya Against wind or current.

He-wan-ka To brood over.

Hiiteni Life, more life.

Ho-sa Little Crow {chosen "just caws")

I-kan-ya-dan Keep near to.

I-ma-ga-ga To enliven; cheer, amuse.

Kani-da-ka A lover of nature.

Kee-wee Rainbow maid.

Ki-lo-des-ka Water-bird.

Loh-ah Reaching toward the sun.

Ma-na Grow like the green pine.

Mna-ka To weave.

>s'i-ma-ba Misty-water.

Pi-ki-da To be glad.

Su-ni To do more than is required.

248



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Su-no-wa




Sun on the water; friends, music,
happiness.


Ta-ku




Gift.


Ta-o




Singer.


Te-ca-ya




To make new.


Te-pa




White wings.


Timanous




The guiding spirit.


Ti-ya-ta




Love of home.


To-he-ha




Humming bird — finding the good in
everybody.


To-ka




First to come.


To-mo-kc




Lightning thought.


Wa-han-ka




To do difficult things well.


Wan-ye-ca




Firefly.


Wa-ya-ka




See beauty.


Wa-zi (A '


'Blue Bird")


AVoh-do-ke-


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Skilful artist.


Wa-ye-ka




A story teller.




Loh-ah



249



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY

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