R.David Pogge Wrtites...


The current issue of Reminisce magazine has an article about summer camps, which got me to thinking about my days at Camp Meacham. I went there for two summers, probably 1956 and 1957. I looked on the Internet and was so happy to find your Camp Meacham page.

The only pictures I have of Camp Meacham are the two official cabin pictures (attached). In one, I am the boy near the right in the shirt with the wide horizontal stripes. In the other, I am the boy in the center of the front row, with my friend, Glenn Aldinger, right behind me.

Although I don’t remember the camp song, I do remember singing, “Somebody Stole the Diving Board,” which was written to commemorate the time when our camp counselors stole the diving board (for reasons I can’t imagine). The diving board made its reappearance later that day as a replacement for a dining room table.

I learned to swim at Camp Meacham, but not very well. There were some swim races at the end of the two-week session, in which I usually came in dead last. But once, in the backstroke race, I got out to an early lead. I could tell I was in the lead because the water around me was calm. But just as I was about to win the race, I felt a hook around my waist dragging me to the side of the pool. I was furious! This was my one chance to win, and somebody was sabotaging me! Then I realized that the race was over, all the other boys were out of the pool, and I was alone just splashing in the middle of the pool. Somebody was rescuing me.

One of the highlights of camp was when a greased watermelon was tossed into the swimming pool, where it was allowed to float for a few seconds. Then a whistle was blown, and all the boys jumped into the pool to try to get it out. The cabin that was successful got to eat the watermelon.

I was especially glad to see the pictures of our cabin and “Egypt” (the remote bathroom). For years afterwards, I told my parents “I have to go to Egypt,” whenever I had to use the bathroom. For some unexplainable reason I remember that it was in Egypt that I tried Ipana toothpaste for the first time.

I also remember the campfire stories about Ooglie Moog, the monster who lived in the hills just south of the camp. I don’t remember what he did to the campers who left their cabins at night; but I remember wanting to make the trip to Egypt and back as quick as possible if I had to go at night.

R. David Pogge