Sunday, January 08, 2006

Memory Lane


Something I was looking for on google last night triggered a very strong memory. I crave my dear Readers' indulgence while I wander down Memory Lane.

When I was a little girl I went to Quaker Camp in the summers.

Flash memories:
Communal 'dormitory' tents for the children with a few family tents - being very young I had my own tent with Sister H, but at 12 I went into a group tent. Oh, the excitement!

Elsans - camping toilets with the necessary 'elsan cleaning' duties. Basically buckets with 'elsan fluid' in the bottom and lids. Such roughing it!

Open air worship in the mornings, with dew still on the grass and the blue sky spread out above our heads.

Sasha dolls - they were huge when I was about ten, 'baby' dolls that came in Black or White. My friend Imogen had a Black one, I wanted one!

Penknives - all the boys and most of the girls carried penknives for various whittling purposes. They came in useful when there were storms and guy ropes had to be cut quickly!

Communal food preparation - everyone was broken down into teams and each team had daily chores; vegetable peeling (for 100!), wood collecting (for the nightly bonfire), elsan cleaning, litter picking etc etc.

Injuries - due to the nature of us wild children, there were many small injuries and a few broken bones. My brother J had one of the worst, he was playing with a friend's penknife and almost cut his finger off! There was usually one big incident a year.

Leaving the parents at home! - the biggest thrill for me was getting on that bus with my battered suitcase and leaving Mother and Dad at home.

Boys and Girls - well, even good Quaker children had hormones!

Getting to go very young - I was only 9 when I first went and usually children under 12 had to have their parents there. But my big brave brother A was my guardian at the grand old age of 15!

Being sick one day and not going on the hike, staying in camp lying in a sunkissed field listening to the camp heartthrob play his guitar all afternoon.

The nightly campfire - songs and stories, guitars, flickering firelight, cocoa in plastic cups, and dampers! (dampers - flour and water mixed to dough, wrapped on a stick and dumped in the fire until nicely burnt. Delicious with jam (jelly)!)

And what triggered this flow of memories?

I found this song - which was sung with gusto around the campfire every night with actions!.....

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

[spoken]Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head.
I'll give you three chances,
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

[spoken]Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head.
I'll give you two more chances,
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

[spoken]Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head.
I'll give you one more chance,
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a goon!"

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

[spoken]Down came the good fairy and she said

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head.
I gave you three chances
And you didn't behave
Now I'm gonna turn you into a goon!

POOF!!"

and the moral of the story is:
[yelled] HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW

cq

6 comments:

Juggling Mother said...

We went off to some dodgy religious camp when I was 8 (again too young, but Brother I was guardian aged 11 - yeah right!). All I remember was the coach breaking down and so we didn't arrive till after midnight, and a couple of action songs. That wasn't one of them though:-)

I'd completely forgotten the week had ever happened until you wrote this post:-)

craziequeen said...

Quaker Camp was simply some of my happiest times as a child - probably because my parents weren't there.

And when I was older, I also enjoyed Quaker Summer School, although my mum only let me go once, cos I came home demanding to go to Saffron Walden School as a boarder!

cq

ribbiticus said...

camp isn't done here in our part of the world. the closest i ever got was overnight camping when i was a girl scout. guess the concept never caught on...;(

Tara said...

I NEVER had the opportunity to go to Camp anywhere as a child. Mom didn't even let me go to Brownie camp.

However my younger sister was allowed to go when her turn came round and I yelled and screamed at my mother until I was purple in the face.

However, 3 days later, my sister fell off the top bunk of the Bunk Beds and broke her wrist. So, she got wrapped in plaster. What REALLY made it funny was the fact that she was due to be a bridesmaid. In all the wedding pictures now, there's a picture of two very cute bridesmaids, and one with an arm covered in plaster LOL.

WendyWings said...

Girl guide camp rocked !
I love love love singing little bunny foo foo.
Mr Nineteen had a bunny ( he still does but don't tell him I told you) toy called Foo Foo after the song.
:D
Michele sent me today.

Morganalefay said...

I went to Quaker Summer school last year and it ROCKED!!!!!!!!