Column: Back at summer camp, 60 years agoCome with me to Camp Tepeetonka, the summer of 1948. I had found out that on one night I was supposed to take the girls on an overnight in the woods.
By: Nancy Zuehlke, Special to the Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part column.
WORTHINGTON — Come with me to Camp Tepeetonka, the summer of 1948. I had found out that on one night I was supposed to take the girls on an overnight in the woods. Well, already I was worried because I thought I something shining in the woods and had no idea what that could be.
Somehow, we know where we’re supposed to camp. I guess there was an old fireplace pit where the other troops were. The sleeping bags were unrolling on the ground (no tents allowed). As we set up camp, one girl said how fun it would be to roast marshmallows over the open fire. Hello? Who has marshmallows, and who brought matches? Oh yes — everything I had been in my missing bag.
The evening hours were long, but one good thing was that the flickering lights had stopped as soon it was dark. The night passed and soon the weary bunch was heading back to our cabin, none the worse for wear. Soon the week passed and I was worse for wear. What a mess I was after a week without my bag of clothing, etc. etc.
Oh happy day, we are leaving camp! I had to do one more thing before I left this mysterious island. Yes, I must go back into the woods to find the answer to the flashing, twinkling lights in such a secluded area.
The hike was not very long but in order to find the lights, I had to get through the brush and trees — and I had only 30 minutes before the boat would leave. Beyond the well-worn path that led to the overnight camp lie the thicker underbrush and fallen limbs of storm-struck lake winds. Closer and closer, I could see the lights fiercely flashing in the wind.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear but — an old discarded Christmas tree with lots of old tinsel swaying in the breeze. Surprise, surprise! Now, hurry back to the camp and say farewell to Manhattan Island. Let me tell you, it was not like New York, N.Y. How did you like Camp Tepeetonka (big tepee)?
I think I liked the name of Eahtonka better, how about you?
Nancy Kaercher Zuelhke is a Worthington resident.