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Winter Camp Universe

Still a tradition despite being ruined hundreds of times since 1977

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Winter Camp / Media / Poetry / Traditions


Most of the poems in this section are whimsical and they tell the tale of the things that make Winter Camp great


Define us
Refine us
Confine us

Create us
relate us
Don’t hate us

Enjoy us
Deploy us
annoy us

You make us
You take us
don’t break us

The Night Before Winter Camp
(Donohue, with apologies)

‘twas the night before winter camp, and all through the house
You could here my mom screaming "You can’t take that you louse!"
The boxes were stacked by the doorway with care
In hopes a huge vehicle would take them up there.

I went over my checklist and looked at my gear
a few things were missing but I had no fear
I looked at the clock, it was near three am.
"Oh well, I’ll get gloves at K-mart again".

Finally I slipped up and made such a clatter
My father came out to see what was the matter
"It’s four in the morning you unprepared Scout.
so go to bed now or I won’t let you out!"

He then made a face and ‘twas one that I knew
‘twas the one that says "Do it, and do not argue!"
I headed to bed mentally checking my list
But I did not say a word for my dad was quite pissed.

I woke up with a start at quarter past six
realizing I hadn’t packed snake hockey sticks.
I ran to the back and grabbed an old pole
My mom said "Wear shoes you little asshole"

My breakfast was bleak for their moods were black,
I just hoped they hadn’t checked over my pack.
They’d said no to the microwave and the TV set too
but once I was gone there’d be naught they could do.

I sat at the table across from my brother
who was sucking up hard to my father and mother
"Of gear I have none, just the clothes on my back
so of course it took me much less time to pack."

He sat there and basked in their glowing approval,
I sat there and plotted his quiet removal.
Finally! a horn, a very good sign
that I would be rescued by something divine

I gulped down my OJ and ran to the door
hoping to miss the usual "last chore".
I looked out the glass window and the street across
(since my father was there’d be no heat loss)

What to my wondering eyes should appear
but a rusty suburban with only one gear.
The driver emerged not quite lively or quick
and I knew in a twinkling it must be young Mick.

Ozzie they call him or Charlie some say
I hoped he could fit all my gear in today.
He took a hard look and then began clucking
Soon into the crannies my gear he was tucking.

A half hour for loading, a new speed record set
Hurry up Ozzie, ‘ere suspicious they get.
Off to Winter Camp go Ron, Ozzie, and I
By mile 23, I’m the laugingest guy.

Mike asks why I’m laughing since he’s become curious
The answer I give leaves the Beast feeling furious
Two gear lists I made: one for me, one for him
I left both at the house, though not on a whim.

The microwave’s gone and the TV set too
When my parent’s find out there’ll be only one clue
My gear list is out, it says "two pots and a pan"
but Ron’s says "Microwave? Why yes I can!"

The Caveman Dinner

Oft served meal oh Caveman Dinner
theme that makes Tom Achatz a sinner
Good son, choir boy, Oatley child
fingered spaghetti makes him run wild.

Noodles sans plates make him unstable
Next thing you know he's tromping on a table
Boot prints prove his walk is no fake
caps it off by sitting on a cake.

Food fight, big mess, lots of spillin'
caveman dinner is corrupting good chillun'
Achatz, Oatley-child, never quite the same
Wildest of cavemen his claim to fame.

The Blind Hike

Darkness, blindfolds, blind hike time
bound in brotherhood most sublime.
Once a challenge to find a leader
now just listen and track a cheater.

All hike together and none can see
we have no concern for our safety
Hike the road or use a trail
just pray to God you're not too frail.

First group, front-runners, see the light
last group, blindfolded, morally right.
Doesn't really matter if you've had fun,
it's the only activity started at One.

Conglomerate Lunch

The last day of camp sees a bizarre ritual
as Jeff & the Beast prepare our noon victual
There isn't a recipe or much of a plan
Just fill a big pot as high as you can.

Oft-heard cry as our meals we cater
"You can eat it now, or else eat it later"
Conglomerate lunch makes that no lie
as lids from leftovers they do pry.

It starts off with meat, potatoes too,
add some carrots and red dye number two
Pig balls and worse things make our final repast
for Conglomerate Stew must one whole year last.

The Burger

All-American meal, the junk food diet
If you want one, at McDonalds you’ll buy it.
We had them at One but never again
They’ll be off the menu ‘til I don’t know when.

It’s not because they’re bad or hard to make,
it’s just hard to toss meat on a bun that you bake
They’re really too simple; too plain a meal
We’d have ‘em if they were harder, like Alfredo veal

If Popeye’s Friend Wimpy were here we’d say
"We have no burgers, please pass the pate’
So stock up on burgers ‘ere to Camp you come
cuz while you’re at Camp we’ll be cooking none.

Little Ozzie’s Pizza

We had pizza for dinner at One
But baking them wasn’t much fun
So they were moved back
and became a snack
and that seemed to please everyone.

At first we used some dumb name
"Pizza smorg" or equally lame
But that wasn’t strange
so there was a change
And Little Ozzie staked out his claim.

The wedding proceeded bizarrely
As the priest called Ozzie Charlie
Father was quite old
and the story was told
that he didn’t the registrar see.

When this story was declaimed
our pizza parlor was renamed,
There was no doubt,
that Ozzie was out
as Charlie became more famed.

Opening Prayer 2000

We are congregated in unison
In the midst of this concrete jungle
underneath our sacred ceiling
protected from the elements
as our emitted gamma radiation curls upward
may our analyzations and deductions rising
remain unaltered
in our play this evening.

The Baker’s Dilemma

They tell me that baking is fun,
they’ve tried to convince me since One.
But I challenge their statement with this:
Consider the sleep that you miss
And our annual baking blunder
you can’t help but wonder
though we save lots of dough
I think we all know
saving cash in not paramount,
since most have a fair amount,
so why do we go through the hell
of baking which we don’t do well,
when for just a few pennies more,
we’d bring bread through the door
instead of a bushel of yeast,
we’d have a veritable feast.
I think the truth is quite clear
that we’re all masochists here.
From baking to soccer
we’re all of our rocker
To put it more plain,
we enjoy the pain,
so baking remains in our plan
just to see if survive it we can.

The First Christmas Tree

The very first Winter Camp, we wanted a tree.
So off we were searching Ron, Jeff, and me.
Suddenly Ron just began screaming
he curst and he cussed and he was blaspheming
Jeff and I thought "Oh no, he’s hurt"
Luckily Jeff was a first aid expert.

We arrived to see a very strange show
for the Beast had dropped trou in the snow
"There’s a mouse in there," he solemnly swore,
but we found a branch, and nothing more.
We all learned a valuable lesson that day:
Beware of the field mice at camp D-A.
For they have mastered an amazing trick;
they can use a branch your pockets to pick.

Holiday Lights

Red Lights, green lights a sure Christmas sign
Electrified bunk beds, it’s Winter Camp time!
Gather the lights, the ones that don’t work
the ones that shoot sparks or some other quirk.
Bring them to camp where they’ll be in season
string them up somewhere defying all reason.
"Don’t touch my bunk, or you’ll get a jolt!
You’ll see some lightning, but no thunderbolt."
A tribute to Ozzie, the electrician’s chum
an artist of shocks; they’re his medium.
So bring all your gadgets and some fuses too
You’re sure to need them for the ones that you blew.

Happy Accident

James West is now an also-ran
no longer part of our master plan
We came here and were reassigned,
to a cabin that had been maligned.
We were sent down to Clearwater,
where we became a squatter.
We’ve come back to BC ever since
for a number of weekette long stints
and for now our future seems
to keep BC in it’s dreams.
The subcamp has become
at least for a vocal some:
the place where our flag is unfurled;
the home of the Winter Camp world.

The Mealy
Winter Camp is a very strange place
where they hold a bizarre little race.
Since they consume food so freely,
many of them must take a mealy.
So after they gorge on good eats
There’s a rush for the very best seats.
‘though the practice was started by Rand,
it’s not really something he planned.
For ‘twas once a sign of his prowess
for at eating he’d always out-chow us.
But now everyone’s part of the race,
and that leaves him in search of a place.

The Pot
This pot’s handles are covered with dirt,
said Wilson, our cleaning expert.
He took them off up
and put them back down
and now every year they revert.

Oh wondrous tool, thing without peer,
why is it harder to find you each year?
You’re not just a spoon, a strainer or ladle,
you’re also a chopper, a slicer or cradle.
One look through our Winter Camp kit
by a person of just modest wit
makes the answer quite clear,
for they’ve all come here.
The legends say elephants all
to a graveyard go when they fall.
Kitchamajigs have a graveyard too;
they come to camp when they’re through.

Early to Bed

"Early to bed, early to rise."
Do those words mean much to you guys?
Not at camp it’s plain to see,
where many stay up ‘til 2:30.
The day we’d waste while we were sleepin’
and later our schedule would be creepin’
Eating at midnight made us resolve
a solution to this thing must evolve!
Finally we made a wise choice;
One that made us all rejoice.
We didn’t curfews or some bedtime;
instead our daylight we’d redefine.
When you sleep in ‘til nine or ten
our ad hoc standard strikes again.
Our clock’s ahead seventy and seven,
so you sleep ‘til ten and think it’s heaven
But now because of our savings pact
You’re up at 9 and that’s a fact.

The Marvel

There’s one alarm clock none can stand,
and it’s equipped with just one hand.
It’s been converted to use the jiffy,
but I think that it’s works are iffy.
It’s the loudest clock I’ve ever heard,
once it starts ticking, the sound’s absurd
One night with it is like sleeping hell.
Worse of course is its silly bell.
When it goes off the room seems quiet
so most sleep in, just to defy it.

The Proclamation

"I’m the leader" Jeff declared,
and another tradition was prepared.
Jeff ran the first as part of his dream,
and ever since then in each regime,
The boy leader has said "I’m the one, I’m the man!"
First came Jeff, then Mike, Steve and Dan
Then Mark and Paul and a guy named Doug,
John Howey, Lee Gardy, and then some slug,
Tom Ray left the camp ‘ere it was through
So the following year we had the Lou-ru.
Joe came next and claimed he was king
but Lou outbid him in the year following.
We’ve had many youth leaders but one thing is clear.
A loud voice is the key to leadership here.

Casino Night

Winter Camp Two saw a brand new addiction
as gambling was fact and not fiction.
Bob Stone took an advance
and a really big chance
and used cash ‘stead of fire by friction.


Winter Camp Two saw a great innovation
as computers had just swept the nation
young Ozzie had joined the trend early
and back then his computer was burly.
It had a cassette player for saving
and it left us all raving.
it had a magnificent two color screen
and it’s graphics were truly obscene;
forty-eight by one twenty eight
which even then was not all that great
But it was better than typing by hand
Even if it didn’t work as planned
In our roster for Winter Camp Two
It showed us just how much it knew
for advisers, were all changed en masse
Rather than associate, it just showed ass.