I do a lot of reminiscing at camp. Can’t help it because what we do this session reflects what we did in previous years. Take today’s Corn Roast, for example.
Our first Greystone Corn Roast was presented to the campers by my father in the ’70s. He loved Native American Lore and thought it would be fun to replicate an ancient feast for the girls. This was not an easy thing to do… probably one of the reasons he got so excited about it!
First, we excavated a giant pit. Twelve feet long, four feet wide, three feet deep, lined with river rocks. This job required the maintenance crew to work two days in the July heat first digging the pit and then gathering and placing the large, flat, and very heavy river rocks around the new pit. This process was watched with great interest by the entire camp (the pit was behind the archery range just behind the Pavilion… the very center of camp). Drama was increased as we didn’t inform anyone of the purpose for all this work.
The anticipation grew as we stacked a huge supply of hardwood next to the pit then finally built an enormous bonfire that was lit with great ceremony and the feast was announced at the evening program. The girls went to bed with the memory of a dramatic fire and the men established an all-night watch to keep the fire going. We could see the glow of this fire from the tentalows that night and our expectations for the feast were at a fever pitch the next day as the preparations continued.
At morning assembly we removed the coals from the pit and dumped in about 1000 ears of water-soaked corn (we put the corn in the lake the previous day for this purpose) with huge clouds of steam erupting from the hot rocks. While the steam was filling the air we covered the corn with a thick blanket of soaked burlap sacks and then buried the sacks under 6 inches of dirt to slowly roast all day long. At dinner that night we gathered by the pit and uncovered the fragrant ears. A team of workers would shuck the corn, dip each ear in a tub of melted butter, shake a bit of salt on top, and hand it to a wide-eyed camper. Eat as much as you want, we got plenty!
Needless to say, it was a big hit. While we don’t do it “the right way” anymore (we just put the wet corn in hot ovens… serve freshly shucked and dripping with butter), the girls still love celebrating the Corn Roast at Main Camp.
Everything begins as we gather for flag (dressed up in “country” outfits). A local clogging group will regale us with an impressive demonstration before dinner. Food tents and carnival rides will be set up at the softball and soccer fields. Mazes, games, music, dancing, a petting zoo, and a big show put on by a reptile educator. What a blast!
Rain is in the forecast, but we think that it will have moved out before dinner.
The Daily Details:
One last thing
Our Skip Year girls are coming to camp this afternoon! These are the Rising College Freshmen who are taking their year off before they can return as counselors. We always offer these girls a chance to stop by camp and enjoy a little reunion. They have been hiking with one of our favorite Alums, Jennifer Pharr Davis, and will now have a little “Glamping” exclamation point ending at Greystone. They love coming to Corn Roast and are looking forward to breakfast club tomorrow. These friendships that were forged at camp remain strong and will endure the test of time. Camp friends are the best friends!