Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Name Is White Rainbow

Several months ago, while rooting around in a box filled with old papers and photographs, I came across a brochure for a summer camp that I attended as a boy, in the latter 1960s.  Given that it is now high summer camp season here in America, I figured that writing about my experience at this particular camp—one of the four that I attended as a lad—would be an appropriately timely subject.  Not just timely, though, but an interesting subject, too, since the camp whose brochure I came across was not of a type typically favored in those days for the children of the nation's Eastern establishment, among whose ranks my family dwelled . . .


The brochure I found was for a boy's camp named Camp Flying Cloud, located high up in the remote hills of rural central Vermont.  One of the (then) five summer camps owned and operated by the Farm and Wilderness group of camps, Flying Cloud is still operating today, albeit with a different mission than it had when I went there, more than forty years ago.


According to the brochure, when I attended Flying Cloud it was "the first camp—as far as we know—based largely on the culture of the Northeast forest Indians," where boys between eleven and fifteen had the "exciting experience of true wilderness living, using all the skills the Indians developed," and "live like Indians."


So what, exactly, did that mean?  According to the brochure it meant that the campers at Flying Cloud would:
  • Play Indian games
  • Learn Indian dancing
  • Explore wilderness areas
  • Live in tipis
  • Engage in work projects "for the good of the tribe," such as "constructing an authentic long-house, putting up a larger sweat lodge, improving the council ring, working on a forest conservation area which includes spots where 'visiting braves from other camps' may find lodging for the night"
  • Learn Indian crafts, such as "making your own bow and arrows, Indian breech cloths, and moccasins"
  • "Cook your own meals without pots!"
  • Engage in feats of strength and skill, including "Indian wrestling"
  • Have time just to sit and think
  • JUST HAVE FUN!
Why an Indian camp?  Because (and again I quote the brochure), "The [Farm and Wilderness] Camps have been increasingly convinced that the culture of the Redmen, sensitively handled, offers much of deep value to boys brot up in the city."  In other words, the founders of Flying Cloud believed that affluent little caucasian boys, such as the citified Reggie Darling, would benefit from spending their summer living "like an Indian"—or at least a highly fantasized version of one, circa 1967.


And I did.  I loved it.

All these years later, though, when reading through the brochure and reflecting on my experience at Camp Flying Cloud, I'm somewhat amazed that I wound up going there, that it even happened.  That's because Camp Flying Cloud was a most decidedly "alternative" summer camp when I went there, and of a type that Mame Dennis would have gotten into all sorts of trouble with her nephew's horrified trustees for sending him to, had she done so, before they yanked him out of it and placed him in a more respectable, conventional camp for boys.

Fortunately that wasn't my fate.

Setting aside the absence of Political Correctness of the camp's (then) mission—at least as articulated in its brochure—when I attended Flying Cloud wearing clothing there was largely dispensed with, except for warmth, and we spent most of our days either wearing skimpy leather loin cloths or buck naked.  I'm not joking.  While not exactly a nudist camp, Flying Cloud encouraged its campers and counselors to cast off conventional clothing much of the time.  The brochure may have featured photographs of lads in loincloths, but the reality was we were, more often than not, running around naked!


And Flying Cloud wasn't the only one of the Farm and Wilderness camps that encouraged nudity among its campers and counselors.  In those days all of the other camps in the F&W group encouraged their campers to at least swim without wearing bathing suits.  But I believe that Camp Flying Cloud was the most extreme of the group's camps when it came to encouraging au natural living.


I'm not exactly sure if my parents fully realized the extent of the nudity that prevailed at Camp Flying Cloud when I first went there, but they came to experience it vividly on a first hand basis when they stopped by the camp, unannounced, one afternoon during my second summer there.  What they found when they arrived at the camp were approximately forty boys and perhaps ten or so counselors running about the campground wearing little more than loincloths, if not naked.  Well, not entirely naked—most were probably wearing something on their feet.

At least that is all that the head counselor of the camp was wearing that afternoon when he met my parents.  I recall that his name was Rick, and that he was an extremely handsome fellow in his mid twenties with piercing blue eyes and a head of thick, curly brown hair.  I admit that I had a bit of a little boy crush on him.  


As readers of this blog well know, my mother, known as MD, was not one to blanch or blush, but even she was rather taken aback by what greeted her at Camp Flying Cloud.  I recall her as being uncharacteristically tongue-tied when Rick was standing in front of her and my father, naked as a jaybird, speaking with them about the camp and clearly enjoying showing himself off to them as a veritable nature boy!

Afterwards, when walking with my parents back to their car, they asked me if I was having a good time at Camp Flying Cloud, and was I happy there?  I responded that I was, indeed, having a terrific time (which I most decidedly was), and that I loved the camp.  With evident relief at this news, they then gave me a quick hug and a kiss and climbed into their car and drove away.

Years later, I had a conversation with MD in which I asked her about her visit to the camp, and what she thought of it?

"Well," she said, "all that I can clearly recall is the experience of meeting that handsome young man who ran the camp.  But I can't remember anything of what we spoke of because I couldn't concentrate on a word of what he was saying, since I was—uh—rather distracted by the fact that he was as naked as a newborn baby!  And he was very well formed, and rather lovely to look at.  I do remember that."

"But why did you send me there, to that camp, instead of a more mainstream one, such as a tennis camp?" I asked.

"Because, dear, we thought it would be a good experience for you.  We figured that you would be able to play tennis for the rest of your life, but that you would most likely not have all that many opportunities to run around naked in the woods, playing Indian, when you grew up."

She had a point there.

So, what do I mean when I write in the title of this essay that "My Name is White Rainbow"?  Well, when I went to Camp Flying Cloud all of the campers were given an "Indian name" in a night-time ceremony that involved supposed Indian dancing around a big bonfire amidst much drumming of tom-toms and the singing of supposed Indian songs.  "White Rainbow" was the name I was given, and was the name by which I became known thereafter at the camp.  All of the names given to the campers were supposed to signify something unique about the camper's personality, ideally with a spiritual element thrown in, too.  I recall that my "Indian name" of White Rainbow supposedly reflected what the counselors considered to be my general good nature, along with my propensity to joke around most of the time.  It is not exactly what I would consider to be a particularly manly name for a lad of eleven, but it is the name I was given, and I liked it.

While Camp Flying Cloud continues to operate today, it has long-since dispensed with its mission to be a place where boys learn to "live like Indians" and its campers are no longer encouraged to engage in au natural living.

Flying Cloud is now a more culturally sensitive and conventional camp focused on developing wilderness skills among its campers, and the "Redmen" orientation of the camp's identity was dropped years ago.  The Farm and Wilderness camps have also long since stopped allowing nudity at their camps, even for swimming.  I would imagine in today's litigious world that such activity is simply too great a liability risk for them.

Looking back on my experience at Camp Flying Cloud, back in the days when it was still a place where little boys like Reggie could engage in the fantasy of "living like an Indian," unencumbered by conventional clothing or today's more jaundiced world view, I am glad that I went there when I did, in more innocent times.  And, to MD's point, even though I gave up playing tennis for good more than a decade ago, I can't recall having had the opportunity since I attended Flying Cloud to run around in the woods, naked as a jaybird, "playing Indian."  Not that I lose any sleep over it, mind you.

Tell me, what was your summer camp experience like?

47 comments:

  1. Hello Reggie:
    Well......!! How extraordinary. And whatever Lord Baden Powell had in mind when he founded the Boy Scouts, it was certainly not at all what was in the minds of the erstwhile organisers of Camp Flying Cloud. Today, of course, such activities could not, we feel, be permitted to take place, let alone pass almost without comment as was the case with your parents all those years ago. But how enlightened, and liberal, they must have been for their generation.

    Summer camps are, from what we read, very much part of an American tradition; there is nothing at all similar in the UK. The closest in Hungary would have been the Pioneers but they are in greatly reduced numbers since the collapse of Communism.

    A totally absorbing and much amusing post which we have so much enjoyed.

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    1. Hi,
      I tripped over this article by accident -- it reminded my of a section in either my old Boy Scout handbook or maybe an issue of Boys' Life magazine. "Indian" campouts my not be what Baden Powell had in mind (or may they were), but Scouts definitely included loincloth-wearing in the woods as a possibility. Unfortunately, not a possibility I experienced -- it looks like fun, in a nature-boy, naturalist sort of way.

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  2. I went to Girl Scout camp in the 80s. As I recall there were a few naked swimming adventures. Someone always claimed to see Joe, the attractive male counselor, but in reality he and the other male counselor probably had the day off and were miles away. The shout of "Hi Joe!" was always good for a quick adrenaline high as girls squealed and tried to hide.

    The scavenger hunt for the dinosaur egg (a watermelon) and the dessert of donut holes (air) were big flops, but the rest of the time was fun.

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  3. Savage! White Rainbow. Now it's clear why you returned-again- and again, along with getting life long lessons in making fire! I refused to "do" camps and since my mother had been forced to endure them for years-she didn't insist I go! I rebelled against all things organized at a very early age. My name was "Little Hellion."

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  4. YMCA camp in the Poconos in '73-'78..all boys...all riding and shooting BB's and .22's and Trap and swimming and baseball and capture the flag and canoeing and camping and wood lore and friends. Disney Movies at night and village campfires and dining hall memories...some of the best years of my life.
    Interesting piece in Sunday NYT last about Summer camps.
    AND...my daghter is a waterfront counselor at a YMCA camp on the Chesapeake in Maryland this Summer...and happier than any kid anywhere...
    Another great post...but the loincloth and bare-ass thing has me scratching my head to some extent.

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  5. A most amusing post indeed! We had nothing like the American summer camps when I grew up in England. We also had a much shorter summer break from school (six weeks). Most summers, my parents usually took my sisters and I away on a wonderful month long trip through Europe. Our destination involved somewhere hot (like Greece) so as to escape the drizzly and humid English summers.

    The closest experience I had to an American summer camp was going away with fellow students on an educational school cruise aboard the SS Uganda. Ports of call included Naples, Valletta, Larnaca, Haifa, Antalya, and sailing up the Corinth Canal.

    That was really a wonderful experience, being as all the students (many from around the globe), were of the same age and spoke a variety of languages. For many of us, it was the first time we had experienced living away from our parents as young adults. That trip in particular instilled my love of travel and it has been non-stop ever since.

    Alas, the SS Uganda is no more, being sold for scrap in the late 1980s. Ah, what fond memories I have of her.

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  6. I was so agog at that brochure that normal brain function was temporarily suspended. Now I recall that Robert Benchley wrote several articles about summer camps; in “The Boys’ Camp Business” the camps are “manly” to the point of juvenile delinquency, while “Facing the Boys’ Camp Problem” included this discussion:

    "'The Nooga-Wooga Camps,'" I began. "'The Garden Spot of the Micasset Mountains. Tumbling water, calls of birds, light-hearted laughter…all these are the heritage of happy days at Nooga-Wooga.' ... I don't think much of the costumes they give the boys to wear at Nooga-Wooga. They look rather sissy to me."
    "That's because you are looking at the Camps for Girls, dear," said Doris.

    Apparently the surreal heritage of camp brochures was to remain entrenched for decades via Flying Cloud.

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  7. In the 1950s, I spent three happy summers at Camp Bryn Afon in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. MD had attended the camp and had also been a counselor there. We enjoyed singing some of the camp songs together. You can hear a sample of them at http://wfmu.org/365/2003/107.shtml

    xox Camilla

    PS I was at camp when you were born and they announced it on the loudspeaker.

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    1. Camilla..you must be talking about the CD a guy named Bob Purse made after finding an album called Girls of Camp Bryn Afon at a yard sale. Until I found your brother's blog, that album had been the only real reference to Camp Bryn Afon on the internet. Everything else was just a site about real estate on Bryn Afon Road. If I hadn't had a dream bout Bryn Afon last night, I wouldn't have goggled it today and find this blog. Glad I did. And still am looking for more connections to Bryn Afon and her alumni.
      Margo Taylor

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  8. What a wonderful memory to share with us! Great story, and I especially loved your mother's reason for leaving you there. She was right, wasn't she?

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  9. I went to Camp Beach Cliff on Mount Desert Island in Maine. We lived in tents with no electricity and no running water. We did bird watching and crafts. I adored the fat cook and her wonderful raspberry turnovers that she would give me on the sly away from meal time. The camp was on Echo Lake, and did rowing and sailing, and swimming in the ice cold water. I came in second on Paul Bunyon Day. I made the mistake of sending my parents a home sick letter, saying that I hated the place during my second summer there, and they took me seriously, and my father and older brother came to get me. I had totally forgotten about the letter when they showed up... We had a counselor from Switzerland who taught us the song that "all Americans knew" the words were "Johnny has a head like a ping pong ball" repeated over and over to the tune of the William Tell Overture. It was a great experience

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  10. Jane and Lance Hattat: Yes, you are correct: camps such as Flying Cloud as it was when I attended it are likely no longer possible here in America today. For many reasons. I was not aware that "summer camp" as we know them here in the States is mostly an American phenomenon. Thank you for that insight.

    Emmaleigh504: Those handsome counselors were our Rock Stars, weren't they?

    PGT@LA: I spent six glorious summers at four different summer camps as a boy, followed by another one at Outward Bound, and loved them all. Little Hellion, indeed!

    MLS: Your camp experience sounds like what I had at a number of the other camps I attended, which was lottsa fun and more of what one would expect (in a good way, of course). I tend to agree with you about the attire we wore (or didn't) at Flying Cloud. I'm rather amazed about it today (and amused), but perhaps that's because the world (or maybe it's just me) ain't quite so innocent as it was way back when...

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    1. I suspect the world was not quite so innocent for the "redmen" even back then.

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  11. LizaE: The "SS Uganda"? I suppose that when the ship was so-named that the country it was named after had yet to be in the grips of the dreadful Idi Amin, and therefore had different connotations than what came to my mind when I read your comment! Supposing that is the case, such a trip as you describe sounds like a marvelous adventure!

    Parnassas: Yes, I too, was all agog when I read the brochure for Camp Flying Cloud, and examined the photographs in it. One has a different perspective today, I am sure. I must look up the Benchley articles about summer camp that you reference. "The Noog-Wooga Camps" nails it! Thank you.

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  12. Sister: I recall seeing some wonderful photographs of MD at Bryn Afon when she was a counselor there, in the late 1930s. If I recall correctly, she organized some sort of lakeside theatrical production there one summer, and the photographs were of herself and others in costume, in boats. The first camp that I went to was Camp Pocahontas, in West Virginia, where MD also went as a girl. Somehow, over the years it transitioned from being a girls camp into a boys camp. Frecky and I both attended it together.

    Kristin: While I would not have necessarily made all the same choices that MD made for her children when she raised us, I am very happy that she (and I believe it was she who managed such decisions) sent me to Flying Cloud for two happy summers. Thank you.

    Gil: Thank you for your comment, and your memories of summer camp are most pleasant, and vividly conveyed: I can almost taste and smell the raspberry turnover you were given by the fat cook on the sly!

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    1. Reggie...I went to Camp Bryn Afon for four years (1963 - 1966) and came back as a counselor for a couple of years in the early 70s. The "lakeside theatrical production" your mother organized was called Regatta. There were different themes each year. Example: Fairy Tales. I think we did them by cabins. Each cabin worked on a story, like Billy Goat Gruff, and made a background scene that was attached to the back of a canoe (making it into a "float"). There would be about three kids in costumes sitting or standing in front of the backdrop. The audience sat on a slope of beach near the swimming docks while counselors and older kids pulled the canoe through the water (freezing). I would love to see the phots of your mother at camp. My summers at Bryn Afon hold some of my best memories and I periodically google it to find my fellow campers...but with little success. I did find a CD of our camp songs called The Girls of Camp Bryn Afon. A guy named Bob Purse (I think) produced it after finding the album at a yard sale. it has all our songs which I, of course, still know by heart. If anyone out there is a Bryn Afon alumni, please reply to this. And thank you Reggie for a great story about Flying Cloud.

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    2. Tried to reply but made a mistake in the "finding" of the pass words. will try again.

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  13. It felt like I was perpetually off at camps...
    Day camps like local pools,life guarding, etc.
    involved little effort and was easy for my family. Soccer, softball, riding- and ultimately Washoe Pines...Your experience trumps it -Thanks!

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  14. Reggie, a wonderful post. MD sounds very much like my own Grandmother, a delight. I must say, that although there was a bit of nudity at Camp Cobbossee, to my knowledge the counselors always met parents clothed. What a hoot.

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  15. Dear White Rainbow: At last, the secret revealed of your drop-dead tans at the end of the Flying Cloud summers! Your nephew has attended the local Boy Scout camp for the last 3 summers. He likes it a lot, especially the guns part. As a sign of the times, naturist shenanigans are strictly off limits. Your Pocohantas-enduring brother, Frecky

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  16. Those photos! Bruce Weber would approve:).

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  17. Yes, you are correct Mr. Darling. When the SS Uganda was launched in 1952 by Lady Hall, wife of Sir John Hathorn Hall, Governor of Uganda, the country was still under British rule. Uganda gained independence in 1962, and the dreaded despot Idi Amin seized power in 1971. Regardless of her name, the Steam Ship Uganda had a very interesting history, being taken out of service as a school cruise ship to serve as a hospital ship in the Falklands war almost 30 years ago. The children on that particular cruise were asked to disembark in Naples, no doubt highly disappointed that their dream trip was ruined by war. As you pointed out in your essay, times have certainly changed. I cannot imagine in today's climate letting unattended school children meander the bazaars of Jerusalem, as we did, in search of trinkets and bargains. Unfathomable!

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  18. I can't get over this! This would have been a DREAM come true, and I'm so sad to think I grew up in a time when this wasn't allowed. I never actually went to camp, I think I always wanted to, but my mom would point out, that most kids don't live near a beach like I did and that I should be happy there.
    This post reminded me of a David Sedaris story (but better!), I think you should think about publishing some of your posts.

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  19. This is wonderful, I was just musing about the use of the word "camp" now and how it is so vastly different from my childhood, where we actually camped. Camp now means any of a million ways to occupy your children during summer break: art camp, robot camp, zoo camp, lego camp, not one of which involves tents, s'mores or nudity, at least I assume that children are fully clothed while playing with legos. I miss camp, real camp, and real summers.

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  20. Remnants of days passed look rather exceptional. Thank you Reggie for all of your superb writings (longtime follower0.)

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  21. Many summers spent at camp on the Chesapeake. And one memorable few weeks spent at Outward Bound in Maine. I am a total city kiddie, so OB was a nightmare.

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    1. Hello PTD: As a teenager I went to OB in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. It cured me of ever wanting to attempt rock climbing again. Not fun. Reggie

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  22. I love" American camps." We don't have anything of that ilk here but I once spent a summer as a camp counsellor in New England, I came back fat as a pig ( an introduction to s'mores) but it was such a fantastic experience.

    "Well formed": Did he decorate his groin Reggie?

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  23. Oh I have been having a "what would Reggie do moment for weeks now?" Hubs and I actually use that phrase a lot now - seriously.


    My postman has taken to commenting on every single thing he delivers to me. As he passes me parcels he tells me what it is or who it's from. I think this is such an invasion of my privacy.
    Last week, " A wallpaper sample? Can't you just buy the rolls from a shop?"
    I'm considering ordering a gimp mask from the Soho backstreets.
    He makes comments about " women shopping on the the internet" All very politely I may add, he is a very lovely man, but it is too much. I loathe conflict and don't want to start a doorstep war.
    Please advise.

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  24. Reggie! You lucky boy!

    I never was sent to camp, though I ardently wanted to go. Alas! Then again, in many ways my whole childhood resembled summer camp (the running around half-clothed, the supervision by well-wrought hippies, the sleeping in primitive structures out in the wilderness, the ridiculous nomenclature...)

    Francesca

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  25. Oh, Reg -- I laughed all the way through this one! I know now from whence you gained your much-admired aplomb. Brava, MD! Miss you, Kisses, Bits xoxo

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  26. Izzy: Washoe Pines, now that's a place I haven't thought of in many decades! Didn't you and Hermione both go there, together?

    Bumby Scott: Glad you found this amusing, I was hoping that you would.

    Frecky: I remember particularly enjoying rifle practice at Camp Pocahontas, and was quite proud of my marksmanship abilities when there. Imagine today camps giving little boys of six and seven (which I believe I was when I attended CP) rifles and bullets to use, even under supervision?

    LPC: Yes, the photographs are worthy of Mr. Webber. Certainly the second one, at least!

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  27. LPC: I meant "Weber" not "Webber"!

    LizaE: Thank you for the clarification (and history lesson). Unfathomable, indeed!

    Daniel-Halifax: I am so glad that you liked this, and attending CF was, in fact, a dream come true for me. I did attend more conventional camps before and afterwards, which made the experience of attending FC all the more of a "dream", at least for me. Thank you!

    northsidefour: Thank you, you make an interesting point. For me "camp" means a place where one slept in sleeping bags next to burning fires, at least some of the time, and where paddling around in canoes and games of capture the flag were a daily activities.

    Raulston: Thank you.

    Pig-Town Design: The OB I went to was in the Colorado Rockies, where I went because I thought I loved rock climbing. I learned that I didn't! Never did it again, in fact.

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  28. Bourbon & Pearls: Fortunately, I usually lost weight at summer camp, what with all the running about and such. Perhaps I should consider enrolling my rather portly self in one this summer as, goodness knows, Reggie could stand to drop a stone, or two. Or three, now that I think of it in the cold, clear light of day. "What Would Reggie Do?" Most amusing, and most pleasing to one, too! As far as the postman goes, one doesn't want to be unduly curt with him, since he is probably a lonely chap with a bit of a crush on you. A simple "Thank you, nice to see you!" response (and nothing more) when he comments and enquires, delivered with a bright smile, will eventually resolve the issue. The trick is to not engage in a well-mannered way that does not allow for continued interaction, and that doesn't hurt his feelings.

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  29. Our summer camp was our farm - our parents would pack us off for 6 weeks at a time- We would go target shooting with my Grandmother and her .22 "Ladies" rifle-if we were lucky, she would take us snake hunting on the north farm during the rice harvest when the water moccasins were stirred up by the harvesters-Now,there was no sunscreen involved, no helmets ,shoes were rarely worn, cuts and scrapes were taken care of without trips to the doctor- we drank straight from the irrigation pump and generally had a spendid time- back home, it was a big let down-riding ones bike to the club was hardly an adventure- a little note- my grandmother would always clean our faces with Elizabeth Arden astringent lotion before we went to bed.

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  30. Growing up one of seven, camp seemed like a daily experience. I did however go to a "band camp" - marching and playing my flute. I remember it being so hot and the food being rather inedible.
    pve

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  32. Re: "I'm rather amazed about it today (and amused), but perhaps that's because the world (or maybe it's just me) ain't quite so innocent as it was way back when... "


    I wouldn't say the world was more innocent back then.The horrors of today's world still existed back then.In fact, I would say things were worse.The difference today is the media overload and a more paranoid populace.

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  33. This is hilarious! I had no idea there were camps like that. You are lucky you got to go before the political correctness police took over everything for better and for worse and also that your parents were so open minded. They sound like wonderful parents.

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  34. Hi! I just discovered your blog, seeing your name as a comment on another blog an intrigued by your name, and I found this wonderfully written post, so amusing and delightful- one of the best i have read in a long time. This was a complete pleasure .Thank you.
    Warmest regards,
    Philip

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  35. Found this blog while doing a search on Flying Cloud. I am a proud second generation F & W alumnus. My mother and Aunt went in the 50s and I went to Timberlake and Tamarack Farm in the 70s and 80s. As an adult my curiosity about FC finally got the best of me and I was a counselor there for two summers. When I was last there in 1990 it was still very much as you described except the inspiration for ceremonies, etc. came from the Lakota Sioux as there was a member of the Lakota Sioux who worked at the camp. He was awesome and gave legitimacy to the proceedings. Rather than feeling like we were teaching how to live like Indians, I felt like we were teaching simplicity in the context of living very closely with nature and that included the nudity. All of my experiences at all three camps I attended were crucial to my development in a very positive way; wouldn't trade them for anything!

    Peace naming brother!

    Rainbow Hawk

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  36. Thank you, Rainbow Hawk, for your comment. I went on to spend a summer at Tamarack Farm after Flying Cloud, and have many fond memories of the F&W Camps. In Peace...

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  37. To the Anonymous commenter with the FC name of Painted Pony and who referred to Buffalo Heart and Standing High in his comment, left on June 22nd: I am not entirely surprised by what you wrote, and find it unfortunate, indeed. It was not my experience at all. My memory of the details and dates is, I admit, somewhat hazy after all these years; for example I don't remember whether I attended FC for two summers or three anymore. I do recall Standing High, and rather vividly, as he was a larger than life, high strung character, but I don't really recall a Buffalo Heart (was he the big burly fello who was at one point in charge of the kitchen there?). Rick I remember quite well, given the exchange with my parents (but I don't recall his FC name), and also because of another connection that had nothing to do with the camp. Yours, Reggie

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  38. I never did anything quite like this, though I did do camping with both my family and the Boy Scouts back when I was a youth (and as a side note in reference to some earlier postings, many of the BSA manuals did talk about how Scouts could do "Indian Camping" as a possible activity - "Loincloths and moccasins are your day-long wear," the manual says; this activity was last included in the 9th edition of the Manual, published in 1984). Nowadays you'd never see anyone allowed to get away with running this kind of camp, by the BSA, F&W, or anyone else. Between Political Correctness, worries over Jerry Sandusky type individuals, and campains by many Native American nations about how they're a culture, not a costume, nobody will be sending their kids to a camp where "loincloths and moccasins are the day-long wear" anymore, even if there's no public nudity involved (which is a pity, because the camp that Mr. Darling described did sound like a lot of fun).

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