Hand-Me-Down Traditions

Putting my hand on my son's shoulder, I watched the muddy waters of the engorged creek behind our house carry sticks and other natural debris to the tributaries and streams headed for Lake Erie and remembered years gone by.

Back then we knew spring had arrived for good when all the kids on my cul-de-sac headed for the culvert at the end of the street and the season's first official boat race.

At first, our "boats" were just sticks and twigs that would float. First one to the end of the block won and best of three races was champion.

As we got older, the twigs and sticks were discarded and homemade wooden boats, complete with painted numbers and names, were used and the contest was upped from best of three to best of five.

Like all good games, the fun was fast and furious, usually ending with wet clothes, muddy sneakers and a grin that just wouldn't quit.

Today was no different. Looking down at my son I said, "Let's have a boat race."

"Yeah," he yells, and together we pick out our sticks and head upstream to get above the first small waterfall.

As per usual, halfway through the race, both of our boats get hung up on the other side of the creek. My son, ever the adventurer, tries to cross the creek on an old, moss-covered log and, you guessed it, falls in. When he comes up for air, he's sporting the grin I remember from so long ago.

Ahh… Like father, like son.

No doubt, as you head into the summer camping season, you're going to be working to pass down traditions to your staffers and campers.

And, no doubt, you'll get as much enjoyment out of passing those traditions along as you did helping to create them years ago.

In this issue, Jeff Merhige talks a little bit about how to effectively hand-down your camp's traditions and, if you're new to the particular camp, how to steep yourself in the culture the camp has created and get the rest of your staff on board (see Traditional Programs, page 24).

Moving forward we're working to make Camp Business part of your camping tradition.

Thanks for continuing to choose and, as always, please feel free to contact me with any suggestions on how we can improve the magazine.


Rodney J. Auth

President & Publisher

Bryan BuchkoComment