Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Remembering Jed

One of my favorite lines from C. S. Forester's "Mr. Midshipman Hornblower" is a tribute Horatio gives a Captain he admires. "To be half the man," he says, "would see my life fulfilled." These are my feelings about Jed Stringham.

When I was a boy working at Camp Bartlett, Jed was the Director of Camping for the Lake Bonneville Council. It was common knowledge that Jed could do anything. He fixed plumbing, sawing and sautering as he went, milled planks 20 feet long with a chain saw and moved whole KYBO's over the holes we dug and built buildings from scratch out in the woods. He was the archtype of a professional Boy Scout in my mind. It was Jed, who, with the support Tom Bird, suggested I become a professional Boy Scout. For the next five years I worked with Jed everyday. It was Jed that brought me to Camp Loll in 1977, as Craig Edwards Assistant Camp Director, and the next year it was Jed that made me the Director of Camp Loll. In the many years that followed he supported everything we did at Loll. In the Spring, he led the way, busting through the snow banks. Jed put the pipe in the spring and hooked up the showers. He would start up those frightful propane refrigerators, and get the lights on.

I was late in coming into Jed's service to Loll. Jed was here from the first. He brought the cabins from Grassy Lake; numbering the logs and reassembling them on foundations he laid. One year, when the snow stayed late, I remember following his big propane driven station wagon as it pulled his camp trailer over Teton pass. He had us set up camp in the Snake River Canyon; we cooked our meals over a campfire and the next day we dug our way in from the Flagg Ranch side. I have always followed Jed. He taught me everything that makes running a camp possible. He was my example of leadership through service. Jed always worked harder than anyone else. We all ran to keep up. Jed was unique in that he could take off one of his ears. That first year at Loll, the Star Wars movie came out, and soon we were calling our selves "Jed Ear Warriors". Many of us follow that force to this day.

Seemingly everywhere Jed went, he brought his wonderful wife Charlotte. It was Charlotte that taught us the camp songs we still sing. I remember so fondly our crew crowded into the old dining hall while Charlotte played her accordion and led the singing with a nod of her head.

To my children Jed, was and remains - Grandpa Jed. My sons remember the kindnesses and strength.

We live now in the beautiful Barlow-Wadman Lodge. It is a treasure, a generous gift of its namesakes and other patrons and of the hard work of our present Director of Camping, Bill Wangsgard. However, it seems fitting that the heart of that lodge, as in so many ways the heart of Camp Loll, should bear the name of its great founding and building force. So we call it the Jed Stringham Memorial Hall.

This past week Fred and Ann Hansen brought us some beautiful cut steel art to celebrate Camp Loll and to commemorate the memory of Jed Stringham. They were made by Leigh Huggins of Gordo Sales, and provided by the generosity of the Hansens (by the way, Fred is Jed's nephew) and Bob Stringham, Jed's son, and the former Council President of Trapper Trails Council who saw this Lodge erected. We thank them for their gift and we thank them for the chance to pay tribute to a great man, a hero of all who love Camp Loll, Jed Stringham.

If any who read here at the Agora have stories or information to share about Jed, please post it here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Camp: Never Winter and Always Christmas

Santa's main helper here at Loll is Julie Orme. She sees that everyone gets to draw a name for the gift exchange and supervises the festivities. Many others contribute along the way. We try to celebrate as close to the 25th of July as possible. This year was perfect. The 25th came on Sunday. We had the camp to ourselves most of the day and were able to go all out. Saturday night the group that stayed in camp decorated the lodge; complete with tree and a red nose on the Caribou above the door. We start singing carols on Saturday. Sunday morning church service had a Christmas theme. We sang all the old favorite Christmas hymns. The speakers were a bit shy about speaking about Christmas - and stuck to Faith and Scouting - but there is really no difference. When I got my turn I reminded them of the new Scrooge - who carried the spirit of Christmas in his heart every day of the year.

Lunch was a fine Christmas Breakfast - with biscuits and gravy, but the real feast was Christmas dinner, complete with roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some very tangy cranberry sauce. We saved the pie for later.

After reading the evaluations for the past week we watched Walter Cronkite and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's presentation on the Christmas Truce of 1914 and then sang some carols. We then watched Julie's video from week 4 - always a highlight of our adventure. Then more Christmas carols and I told the story of The Emperor and the Nightingale, a Christmas tradition from my childhood. Then we all handed round our gifts to each other, sat in a great circle all around the hall and displayed the booty. Many hours and much love went into the gifts. Some of them are displayed below.

The Christmas tree and gifts. Don't worry the tree was a winter kill - dead and down.

Elven swords and wizard staffs.

Quinn gets a gift from a mad scientist.

Deanna's book of memories.

Dan and Emma enjoy their first Christmas together.

Trevor got huckleberry jam!

The red noses are from the frosting that Stephanie put on during the singing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Happy Christmas

Yes, the Last Air Bender does work at Loll. Here he tries out his gift, a brush for bald heads.

More huckleberries and more happy hearts.

Friends are the best gift to get.

As if Ashlin didn't have enough of a bushy head of hair.

That's not a kilt!

Kara and some happy celebrants.

All Christmas gifts should bring memories.

Justin and Lauren display theirs.

Jody is now well armed - Savanna knows he'll need all the help he can get to keep all the boys at bay as she grows up.

There are Christmas elves, these are Christmas Rangers.

Some one's getting their holiday symbols crossed - but then, like Christmas, pirates are always in style.

John got his kite caught in the snow flakes. Trevor was on hand to help.

The smaller the boy, Charlie, - the bigger the fun!

Justin is well armed.

No one is forgotten. Again, Janice and I pose with frosting on our noses.

Once the gifts were documented, Santa provided sacks of treats and toys. The treats had to be eaten, bear precautions; the toys shared and enjoyed. At Loll Santa uses lunch bags not stockings. We try to be very hygienic. Then it was time for pie. After the pies were gone we once more gathered in a circle to sing Silent Night and hear Dan, our camp Chaplin, read the Christmas Story from St. Luke. Some one called for a prayer and, a great gift to us all, Quinn volunteered to offer it in all our behalf.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Random Shots #1, 2010

We have had so many adventures in 2010 and so little time to share them. I hope these few shots will give a taste.

Camp Loll Staff 2010

This boy came from India, then from Texas, to be at Camp Loll, he played for us in the wilderness.

He reminded me of the Archduke Peter in a favorite book of mine.

The harmony of the worlds.

Out on the swim dock.

Only problem is there is only one way back.

The camp-fire-bowl from the lake.
Yes, we do sail at Loll!

The Vital Spark

One of our two Cats.

When the wind is wonderful.

Oops! I know what it means when I say oops.

Soon we're back up again. We are our own Bay Watch.

Ya got to love it.

Lunch at Big Judds in Ashton Idaho. Go Dallin, go!
We have many wonderful hike destinations.

The 200 foot cliff at Phantom Falls.

Mitch and Scout Pool. Which is more beautiful? One was made by God, one made in God's image.

Union Falls.

Terraced Falls.

Grassy Lake Dam.

Tillery Lake Dam, made in 1937 of plywood and determination.
A road trip view.

This is why they call it Yellowstone.
The Rangers learning the trail.

Rangers at Ouzel Falls. This is the real Ouzel falls, there are some who miscall Scout Pool by this name. They are wrong.

Tayte in Ferris Hot Pool while on the Bechler Hike.

Dallin at Ferris.

We get many welcome guests at Loll.

The 4th of July brought the Browning Staff.

Emily and her friend Ben make mom and dad very happy.

This Christmas Harvey and Pat Mortensen visited their three grandsons who work at Loll. The rest of us too of course. It was Harvey, who as Scout Executive, hired me to be the director at Loll in 1986. There had never been a non-pro as Director of Loll. Thanks Harvey!!!

Former Staffers, Jason and Holly Dalpias and their kids, (left to right), Juniper, Denver, and McCall.

Wild things:

This robin has hatched her eggs on the post above the north door. They have done just fine, in spite of daily flag ceremonies.

Road trip Bison.

There is a big bear out there - on the trail to Union Falls.

My kind of wild creature.
My kind of bear (grass).
Merry Christmas!