One of the super fun things about perusing our old Rattler archives is finding just how creative campers were over the years. It’s also so interesting — and fun — to unearth information about the culture of their times.
I got a big hoot out of reading the August 17, 1928 edition because of two poems submitted by campers.
The first one — “In Grandma’s Day” — purports to be so MODERN and yet it was written in 1928! The second — “Changes” — is just a sweet take on different years at camp.
Here they are:
In Grandma’s Day
In Grandma’s Day the bathing suits
Were laughable to see,
A middy blouse and funny pants
That came below the knee.
One dainty toe was thrust into
The stream, and squealingly
She jerked it out and, “Oh it’s cold!”
She cried quite feelingly.
And last she waded in, and then
Began, she thought, to swim;
A plain dog-paddle, we would say
She splashed with every limb.
But things have changed since Grandma’s day : —
In nineteen twenty-eight
Long bathing suits and ruffled caps
Are wholly out of date.
Our modern camper’s bathing suit
Is sensible and light,
And after she has put it on
She is quite a comely sight.
She does not stop as Grandma did
For shivers, grunts and squeals,
But dives in quite regardless
Of how cold the water feels.
Her stroke is straight and swift and sure,
With very little splashing,
Quite easily she could outstrip
The girls Grandma thought dashing.
Ferry Drennen, Blues
We’ve always come to camp before
Wearing ties of deepest blue;
We’ve played on teams and fought to win,
And had a grand time, too.
Instead, we are at camp this year
Wearing ties of pearly grey;
Others have come to take our place —
The campers of today.
–Ruth Jung and Marjorie Japp
Maybe we’ll have to have a poetry night or poetry “slam” this year at camp and see what kinds of ideas today’s campers (and their counselors) have about the campers of the past, or what aspects of camp inspire their wordsmithing!
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls