Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Who Are These Men?

In 1982 and 1983 I was on staff at Owasippe Scout Reservation (now Owasippe Outdoor Education Center).

When I started, they had just started a new program that took three years to develop staff members. We were the second class.

The program started with staff members being Apprentices. The first year guys only got paid $20 for the whole eight-week camp season. We were supposed to spend the first week, Staff Week, in training and then rotate to different section camps every two weeks.

Owasippe is so large that it is divided into section camps. In '82, they had Camp Blackhawk (Go!), Camp Wolverine (Zaxie!), Camp Robert Crown (Mojave!), Camp Reneker (family camp), the outposts (Pack and Paddle (canoe and backpacking), horse coral, COPE and Wilderness Survival) and they were just opening Camp Sauger Lake (Over All! (in '83, Sauger Lake changed their name to Camp Carlen (Bahooka!))). Blackhawk and Sauger Lake were dining hall camps while Wolverine and Crown were hotpack camps (they delivered the meals directly to the individual troops by hotpack).

I did so well in training that at the end of Staff Week I and five other Apprentices were advanced to Associate. Associates were supposed to rotate only once in the summer.

I met with Rick Lowe, the camp director for Camp Sauger Lake and we decided I would work in the brand new dining hall. There were two of us on permanent dining hall staff and two more Apprentices that rotated in. We didn't cook there, just served food prepared at the "Ad Center" (Administrative Center) and hotpacked to our dining hall.

Because of my schedule at the dining hall, I was available between meals to help out in other areas. I did a lot of work with the Field Sports area and the Nature area. In the afternoons, I swam with the scouts at free swim (we had a pool).

They liked my work so much, I never rotated and the second year Rick hired me as the Assistant Dining Hall Director with two permanent staff members reporting to me. I spent Staff Week in Philmont because I was nominated to attend National Junior Leaders' Instructor Camp (NJLIC). Only 100 scouts from across the country are invited each year to attend.

Anyway, I had another great year working at my old camp with the new name. That same year my brother Sweet Pea worked as an Apprentice. He would in later years end up working at Camp Robert Crown.

I have the staff photo from '83, but shame on me, I can't remember most of the guys' names. I'm the fifth from the left in the back.

I remember Rick Lowe (far left in the back) and Michael Reese (standing, far right). To my immediate left (as you're looking at me) is Steve Tabor and then Mark Plebanski (my cabinmates). The very tall, blond guy in the back was my boss in the dining hall. His name is Dave and he was from Oconomowac, WI. The guy kneeling on the far right was called Mange (like the French word for eat, he worked for me in the dining hall) and the guy sitting on the far right is Tim Klinefeld (sp? his nickname was Mouse).

Can anybody help me with the other names?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This year will be my son's first time at Owasippe. It is sad that Hoover will no longer be the same. Time will only tell how long Owasippe will last.