Camp Big Timber, Elgin, Illinois

P1000939 This is the edge of Camp Big Timber.  I have not seen it since I was a boy in the late 50’s and early 60’s.  It is a Boy Scout camp.  I camped there with our troop.  We went in late fall to get in one last over niter.  When we got there we started to pitch the canvas tents but the scoutmasters stopped us.  They told us that we were going to stay in the lodge this time.  In a way I was disappointed and in another way I was happy as it was starting to get real cold.  We filled the lodge with firewood and went outside to get fresh air but mostly stayed in when it got a little later.  There was plenty to do with stories and a class on knot tying. 

A bunch of us wanted to get out and talk a walk, even though the cold was getting a little bitter.  For a few of us it would be the last time we went camping and we knew it would soon be over.  We were getting older and the time was fast approaching when we would get jobs and cars.  We would soon be teenagers and wanted to spread our wings a little.  Our walk took us to the creek by the railroad tracks where in the summer the The Song of Hiawatha pageant was preformed by authentic players who spent a good deal of their time making real costumes from the period.  After all we were in Indian country.  I had never seen the pageant as tickets were very costly and I could not afford to go.  I heard from the guys who went that it was a spectacular show.  Later on in life I would meet a couple of the players one would be the brother of one of my good friends.  The pageant ended around 1979 the best I remember.

The trees in the photo remind me of the next day when we woke up in the lodge and walked outside to the most beautiful winter wonderland I have ever seen.  The snow was deep all around us and the scout masters were worried about how we would be getting out.  The word was that we would not be staying another night as we had planned.  We walked around, played in the snow laughing with our cheeks turning red, while waiting for the scout masters to make up their mind.  It was decided we would be leaving.  Dejectedly we loaded the cars and all of us participated in the pushing them up the hill so they could get out.  Camp Big Timber a great place from another time. 

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Filed under Camp Big Timber, Camping, Elgin, Illinois, firewood, lodge, Snow, Song of Hiawatha, Trees

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