Easter 2024

12 August 2004
Camp - Lake Delaware Boys'

I am sure this will be frowned upon by the cult that is Lake Delaware Boys' Camp, but I thought it might be best it the outside world knew what went on every summer in upstate New York (from an organist's perspective anyway).

6:50 a.m. - Boom. The cannon has just gone off, and a very sleepy bugler is blowing reveille. It's time to roll out of bed and stumble outside of my civil-war style canvas tent.

7:00 a.m. - Bugler blows a first call and the entire camp must "fall in" (stand at attention in ranks while attendance is taken by older campers). The "battalion" faces the flag and says the Pledge of Allegiance. Then an about face to recite the Lord's Prayer. Jumping jacks and/or general calisthenics follow. Then a lap around the tents.

7:20 a.m. - The chapel bell rings. Most of the camp is already inside. Hopefully, I have already managed a quick prelude. Then I start the opening hymn: probably Holy, Holy, Holy or something like it from the 1940 Hymnal. A sung, high Anglican Mass (with incense) follows. My musical responsibilities in this service include Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual hymn, Creed (in a semi-operatic setting by Caeleb Semper), offertory hymn (incense), Sanctus, Agnus Dei, communion hymn, post-communion hymn and a brief postlude.

Other things that fascinate me about the liturgy:

8:25 a.m. - Breakfast. Yum. So far the only thing I have eaten is Jesus Christ.

9:15 a.m. - Drill. Campers grab fake wooden rifles and learn how to take orders from slightly older campers.

10:00 a.m. - Various and sundry sports and other activities are attempted. Croquet anyone?

12:00 p.m. - The chapel bell rings Angelus. (Three rings, pause, three rings, pause, three rings, pause, nine rings). Activity stops all over the camp, from the baseball field to the pool. Football plays halt mid-field; arguments cease midsentence (and usually don't resume afterward). Everyone is silent, and hopefully thinking quasi-religious thoughts.

12:10 p.m. - a bit of Free Time

12:45 p.m. - fall in for lunch.

12:55 p.m. - Lunch.

1:30 p.m. - Rest. Go to your tents and lie down (at least that's what the campers are supposed to do)

2:30 p.m. - More games and activities are attempted.

4:30 p.m. - more Free Time is had by all

5:15 p.m. - Police Call. Everyone is called back to Company Street (where the tents are) by the bugle. Campers are supposed to clean up their spot in the tent and wash their hands in preparation for evening inspection.

5:45 p.m. - Retreat. Campers fall in by the flagpole. The cannon is blown off again, just for kicks, and the flag is taken down. Then we march to the Mess Hall for dinner.

6:00 p.m. - Dinner. Yum.

6:45 p.m. - Evening games, unless the grass is still wet from all the rain, in which case we'll be watching a movie in the Field House.

8:30 p.m. - Bugle blows "cots up," signaling everyone to get ready for bed.

9:00 p.m. - Tattoo. All campers are to be in their tents.

9:08 p.m. - Angelus is rung, followed by taps. Then lights are shut off and Company Street is closed.

Labels: , ,

Re: the LDBC profile...right on, with even the proper dose of cynicism.

Do you think that blurb would sell potential campers, or is that the reality you find when you show up?

Not much has changed in 50 years. Ray Donahue was a camper with me in the 50s. I pumped that wheezy organ many a Sunday morning after I ended my choir days; my grafitti was up there with that of all the other slaves.
WHo is the author of this umm, I'm a camper @ LDBC too, I would like to kno who wrote this. EMail me @ "DIVA"
I take it you won't be going back this year. And the first post is a fraud.
Are you kidding? Of course I'm going back this year. Now that I know about LDBC, how could I not want to?
hey dave, how are you my friend?

its laurence, goin back this year? hope you are man it'd be great to see you, i miss our conversations (that sounds like something you hear in movies when a dead friend is talking to his buddy from beyond the grave in a spooky voice-over) but i do.

love the typical camp day walkthrough my man, i can honestly say to anyone reading this that its entirely accurate. though i wouldnt miss it for the world.

got my visa this week, so you americans will let me pass outside JFK airport...

see ya buddy

laurence x
Aaron Palm / Grad 1991
I thought the description was very accurate, even though I left over 15 years ago. Some things have changed. First, rain never stopped evening games. Movies were only on Fridays, and until 1989, the camp only had three movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Bridge on the River Kwai; and The French Connection Part II (not Part I...). All of the films were on old reels. Second, Father Donohue was never a camper...not that it really matters though.
As far as getting campers to drink motor oil...we never did that, but many beleived Palmolive Shaving Cream in a squeeze tube was actually toothpaste, because we said it was. :)

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