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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fond memories resurface

The Spokesman-Review

Great memories surfaced when I read Rich Landers’ article on Camp Reed (Outdoors & Travel, Aug. 21).

I was 13 years old in 1946 when I had my first experience at the camp. I used to row around the Lake while Benner Cummings would swim around the lake in training for his athletic future at Washington State College.

I can remember in detail all the scary campfire stories about the Googumhimer and the miner’s cabin. I’m sure the counselors would tell us these stories to help keep us from sneaking out of the cabins at night.

One night in the tent cabin I was startled by a noise outside the front door: “Thump! Thump!” Everyone in the tent said, “What’s that?” Plenty of worst-case scenarios went through our heads before we realized it was a horse stomping on the wooden step.

Going from minnow to shark – that is, working up to swimming around the island at Fan Lake – was a major accomplishment for me and other campers. The Mess Hall used to have awards on the tables for best cabin, horseshoes, etc. The horseshoe award never left my cabin’s table.

The Boy Scouts challenged the Y in rowing one year and the Y beat them even though the scouts had more sophisticated boats that allowed the oars to be turned.

Those were the best times for a young lad to be away from home, to experience and learn a lot about the outdoors, water events, campfire fun, hiking, riding horses, and much more.

Thanks, Rich, for the memory jog.

John R. Tuft


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