So… The Babcock-Hovey Alumni Association have asked you all for your stories. Some have replied but others we know are holding back. WE NEED YOUR STORIES!!!!!! We want YOU to be included in the history of Babcock-Hovey. Post a blog online, mail us your memorabilia/pictures and I will scan them and return promptly. With out YOU there would be no history at Hovey. STORIES NEEDED!!!!!! STORIES NEEDED!!!!!!
Ok, now that that is over- Below is a neat picture from a staff member in 1985. Also attached is a very very cool diary from a staff member in 1984. It tells the story of a boy that is trying to find his place as a camp staff member.
PDF of Personnel Diary- 1984 personnel diary size reduced
ok. The diary is to big I will have to upload a smaller copy latter today…
Pranks – As I recall my years on staff, pranks were one of those things that happened from time to time between staff and when former staff members were leaders with their troop (Tom Kemp). A couple of pranks that I remember:
1. Archery bails of hey kept changing configurations at night.
2. Magic shell somehow getting ‘spilled’ in the lakefront staff leanto.
3. The kitchen staffs vehicle was found one morning on top of a pile of gravel next to the dining hall.
4. Polish devices that were given to Tom C’sky through-out his tenure as camp director.
Remember, there were 3 staff patrols: The CRP, the giver of the many pranks on me, the ARABS and I forget the 3rd. The Arabs were the Wilkes brothers – Jim and Bill, Bill Bergamo (Mr. Bill) and I. ARABS stood for aroebic and body builders – believe it or not. We used to go running every day and Jim worked Physical Fitness, so we lifted weights in the area. One Thursday morning we did the mile swim in 1 foot waves. We couldn’t do it in the afternoon because the other 3 members had program duties.
Dave, You are right,,, C’sky was the benificiary of several of the CRP (Chezslovokian Racoon Patrol) tool items,,,
Bullwinkle (formerly Dave Aldwinckle) here. Okay, you want a story? Here it is. Why the ’85 banner is called Skunk Busters.
Staff Camp had a very funny vibe that year. Rick Nayaert’s parents were going through a nasty divorce, and Rick was having a pretty bad time dealing with it. First he got a Mohawk haircut, then he started carrying (and occasionally throwing) Ninja Stars around. Then when you’d walk past Staph Camp you’d see an axe halfway embedded in the picnic table, and over the course of a couple of weeks you’d watch that picnic table mysteriously disintegrate into wood chips. Nobody said much because we all thought that this was how Rick was dealing with things, and everyone implicitly liked Rick. Then one day, I think it was the Moyer Twins were playing that pocket knife game where you flick the knife downward towards your outspread feet and try to get that knife stuck in the ground between your feet without it getting stuck in your foot (and if you manage that, you try again with your feet a little closer). Well, eventually it did get stuck in someone’s foot — Rick’s. He looked up with a bemused glint in his eye and said, “You f###er, you cut me!” Then he reached into his tent for his Ninja Stars. I don’t think we all ran away from someplace any faster that summer, even compared to the time we uncovered the White-Faced Hornets nest. We later found a Ninja Star deeply embedded in a Staph Camp tree and a more disintegrated picnic table later on that day.
Now, about that skunk. One evening Rick was sleeping in his bunk and he heard a rustling outside his tent flap. In a reflex, he threw his hiking stick at it, and with remarkable (and well-practiced) aim managed to brain some poor skunk. Well, two things Boy Scouts have taught me is 1) never pee into a camp fire, and 2) never kill a skunk, because if you think one lick of their spray is potent, imagine all their reserve spray being released at once — it’s thermonuclear. I was always the last one to get to bed at night because I would sit on the porch of the main office until about 11PM watching the camp settle down and writing my daily diary of the day’s events. Well, walking back to Staph Camp that evening, by the time I got up to that building with that pool table in it, there was this veritable WALL of skunk smell, and it got worse with every step closer. Staph Camp was unapproachable. And I hadn’t gotten the worst of it. Rick had apparently moved that skunk as a jape into Dave “Rocky” Cywalsky’s tent and under his bunk, and this not only permanently poisoned everything in his bunk, it also pervaded his suitcase full of clothes. He would be living in other people’s clothes and sleeping elsewhere for the rest of the summer. Amazingly, I’m not sure there was any disciplinary action taken for any of this. Rick had more teflon than Bill Clinton, and in the end, as you can see, it became assimilated into the humor of Hovey and made for one of my favorite stories about the place. Bullwinkle
PS: I still have my daily diaries. I mean it, every day, chock full of Hovey stories. If you want lore, I’ve got it. They’re in storage in Canada at the moment, but I’m happy to give you stuff in dribs and drabs when you’re ready. In the meantime, keep asking me stuff about the early 80’s and I’ll see what I can remember. Happy to reconnect.
Holy cow — just realized, the personal diary that you have scanned and put up (thanks!!) is mine! I am ready to decipher stuff at any time. Dave “Bullwinkle” Aldwinckle, now Arudou Debito after 25 years in Japan.
Hi all. Correction. I was contacted about the skunk incident from an eyewitness and participant off-list, and it turns out that it wasn’t a hiking stick, but an aluminum baseball bat that was thrown (which is eminently more lethal for that poor skunk). Moreover, Rick didn’t put the skunk under Cywalsky’s bunk. It was the person who contacted me (I’ll leave his name out of it unless he wants to fess up) who said that Rick tossed it into the ravine, but my contact retrieved it and put it there in retaliation for all of Cy’s japes with dead gypsy moths in his sleeping bag (and running out his flashlight batteries so that he could never get rid of them properly). After that skunk, all that stuff stopped. Anyhow, not everything that happened was due to Rick. Just most of it. Thanks to everyone who notified me off list and reestablished contact after all these years. Gotta love the internet for giving us all this opportunity. Bullwinkle
I thought the reason why Rick got the Mohawk was due to a bet that he lost with Hal Button. He made a bet with Hal that he could out-shoot Hal at the rifle range, the bet was whoever lost had to get a Mohawk, and Hal out-shot Rick. I just remember Rick riding back into camp in the back of Hal’s Subaru Brat pickup with a Mohawk.
As for Dave Madison?? Yes I remember the pranks. I remember one morning when all of the canoes where in the swimming pool. I can remember another morning when someone built “the Hovey Hotel” out of all the cases of Nutra Grain cereal on the parade field by the flag pole. I’ve still never seen so much Nutra Grain as what I ever saw at Camp. I swear there had to have been a railroad boxcar full of that stuff.
I don’t know which staff member it was, but I recall a story where they took one of the staff members all the way down to the lake front, was about ready to put him into a rowboat in the lake and the staff member woke up just as they were starting to put both him and his bunk into the rowboat.
This brings back such good memories from the two amazing summers spent with you guys at Babcock-Hovey in 1983-4 (was that REALLY 30 years ago?). I’ll have to dig out my photos – I have a load of them somewhere, and a diary… not sure I can publish that though… loving reading your stories though!
Pat, Ed ??? and I did the Hovey Hotel out of Nutrigrain. That stuff was so awful we just felt if we did that it might go away and be forgotten. I think that it moved out of the breakfast rotation for a good while after that.
My favorite prank, and I can’t even remember who gave and who got… Somebody opened a gypsy moth trap and wiped the pheremones all over somebody’s back. That stuff wouldn’t was off and they were followed by a swarm of gypsy moths for a week or more.
Hal Button and Tom Kemp played a prank on me when I was just a CIT. I had to take all the kids in camping merit badge over big field to camp out in tents. All went smoothly and we went to sleep. At two in the morning the little kids wake me up in a panic. The fire is burning. They knew and I knew that we had soaked it and there was no way it came back. They were convinced that somebody had escaped Willard and was going to kill us all. I told them to go back to sleep… if they wanted to kill us they already would have!
I don’t think that I’ve ever been with such a fun bunch of people. That may be because I went to grad school in Engineering….