As I Remember It, page 6
George Washington Council
by Hugh Callahan
Life at Camp
After a few days at camp we realized the only one to use the road from Columbia to camp, and beyond, would be the US Mail. You always knew when the mail arrived. The first person sighting the car would yell "how how" and you would hear it repeated all over Camp. About an hour later, after they had a chance to sort it, you could pick it up at the Trading Post
The Trading Post was the area where you could buy stamps, post cards, patches, candy, soda, etc. Also, when you arrived, they opened up a credit page so you could deposit your spending money. They would deduct as you spent it. That way you would not lose it. At the end of the period you could pick up the balance. I know, I was usually broke and so were most of the others. Spending money, at that time, was probably around $1.00 or $1.50. Candy bars cost 5 cents, postal card postage was only 1 cent, so your money did last quit a while.
Camp fee was $1.00 a day, seven dollars a week. Sounds like a give away today, but that was a hefty price at the time.
Our dining hall was part of the old mine operation. One side was quite long and that's where the tables were set up for feeding. It was on part of the mountain. We used a ramp from the trail to gain entrance. Cooking was on the lower portion of the building. They would set the hot meals on a dumb waiter to reach our level. Later, the kitchen was located on the upper level and the food was passed over a counter. Kitchen duty was assigned, so we each had a turn at it, set up tables, obtain the eats and clean up afterwards. This, of course, is still done today.
When the Bugler called for the different meals, a member of the staff was at the entrance door of the mess hall. You had to extend your hands and flip them over going in, to make sure that they were clean. Each Thursday was mail day; you had to have a piece of mail to send home before entering. I guess some are the same today. They forget to let the folks at home know they are having a good time at camp.
One staff job I would never apply for was the Camp Bugler. He had to be the first up in order to interrupt our dreams. I never had to worry about it because I didn't know how to blow the thing anyway. After hearing "I can't get them up, I can't get them up," you washed, dressed and formed with your unit for the flag raising. Just before your main meal at night, you would wash, dress in uniform, and form with your unit to the parade field for the lowing of Colors. Here they would make announcements for events to happen that night or next day. Reporting for Colors in uniform was a must.
Swimming was in the afternoon, using the buddy system, just as is done today. Canoes and rowboats could be used after dinner until dark. You must be a swimmer in order to use them.
September 12, 1999