Alumnae Stories: The Greystone Pranks that May (or May Not) Have Happened

While so many aspects of Greystone have stayed the same over the years, many alumnae can point to some pretty significant changes at camp. It wasn’t that long ago that girls attended camp for 8 weeks; that’s a long time to be a camper! Evening Programs consisted of things like the Pet Show, where the entire night involved just walking your stuffed animal across the stage. Camp was wonderful, but also simpler without many of the over-the-top-experiences of today.

What did Greystone alumnae do to keep things exciting at camp? They learned to create their own fun. If you get any alumnae group together, you’ll quickly hear stories that often begin with the common refrain of, “remember that time…” What often follows brings a good laugh, but at times should probably not be repeated.

Today, we’re going to dive into some of those “probably should not be repeated” stories. And some of them are oh so good.

Disclaimer: All names of the alumnae who may (or may not) have participated in these following events have been redacted from the following stories to protect the identity of the guilty.

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Departmental fun:

With fewer class options, the staff of decades past were fiercely loyal to their departments and often created some good-natured interdepartmental fun.

While this story cannot be confirmed or denied, there is rumor that one morning, the canoe staff found all of their paddles floating out in a canoe in Lake Edith. In retribution the following morning, the tennis staff found their tennis balls floating in a canoe in the pool. In further retaliation the next morning, the gymnastics staff opened their closet to uncover an avalanche of tennis balls pouring out of a cooler that had been rigged above the door.

Cabin fun:

With many long weeks at camp, campers often found ways to create a little mischief in their cabins.

Alums used to sleep in rickety old metal bunks; many alumnae surely remember getting their hair stuck in the springs of the top bunk when sitting up in a bottom bunk, as there never was enough room. The advantage of the metal bunks was that they were light and easy to move. While we obviously cannot confirm or deny these allegations, there are stories circling about campers who put their counselor’s bed on their cabin’s roof. Other rumors can be heard about girls who would come back to the cabin to find their personal beds in the mulch. And, while I am sure this could not be true, there are stories galore about short sheeting beds when unsuspecting counselors would be out of the cabin.

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Things get a little more suspicious when you hear about the more scandalous pranks pulled on cabin friends during the summer. One alumna (who shall not be named) remembers putting pepper on the pillows of her fellow cabinmates who took naps during Rest Hour to ensure sneezing would disrupt the cabin. Another alumna caught hundreds of lighting bugs to release in her cabin right before devotions at night. And really taking things to the next level is the alleged group of Cabin 4 and Cabin 5 campers who switched places while the counselors were out; when the counselors returned that night, they each thought they had gone into the wrong cabin and could not figure out what happened.

Then, there are the shower stories. Before personal showers were put into each of the cabins, alumnae enjoyed trips to the shower houses, with campers often walking through camp in only their towels. While this cannot be confirmed, you may hear stories of towels mysteriously disappearing while fellow friends were in the shower. To this day, it is still unknown how these girls made it back to their cabins unseen.

And finally, there is nothing quite like finding something unexpected in your cabin to really send you screaming. Many years ago, a life-sized cardboard cutout of a camper made its way to camp and was then found by staff in many unexpected places (in showers, beds, cars, offices). Also, for many years, Peg (a one-legged doll) was supposedly found by staff hiding under covers, in pillowcases, and in backpacks.

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Bugle Fun

Today, we are lucky enough to enjoy bugles played through an electronic device like an iPod, but it wasn’t that long ago that bugles were played on a record player and then on cassette tapes. Alums of the 1970s may (or may not) remember hearing the noise of the speaker coming on and then hearing Reveille blasted across camp at 2 a.m. The next night, the same thing may (or may not) have happened again. After racing to the Dining Hall to try to catch the culprits, the rumor has it that they were hiding unseen in the Kitchen all along, laughing as they heard the chaos ensuing within. These culprits may (or may not) have been from a fellow boys’ camp.

This same bugle prank may (or may not) have been repeated in later years when cassette tapes were used for bugles, as the perpetrators could press “play” on a blank tape that would then play music many minutes later, allowing plenty of time for an escape. Songs like the Smashing Pumpkins “Today is the Greatest” blared over the speakers in the middle of the night. As one unnamed alum pointed out, it turns out that it wasn’t the “greatest day” for those caught the next morning.

Thank goodness for electronic bugles today.

General Camp Fun

And, of course, there are the funny moments that happened all around camp property.

Many campers may (or may not) have woken up one morning to be told that they could not go to Flag because there were bears on the Pageant Court. The campers quickly realized that life-size, realistic decorative bears had been “borrowed” from a nearby home and were set up to look like the real thing.

While this story cannot be confirmed by the cabin involved, there is a rumor that a cabin “borrowed” gallons of leftover rainbow sherbet after Banquet night but were unable to finish these leftovers. To get rid of any melting evidence, they dumped the remaining sherbet in the lake. When parents arrived the next morning to pick up their daughters on Closing Day, it appeared that Lake Edith had a toxic waste spill near the canoe dock.

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Another rumor…many staff members over the years find themselves serving in very unique ways, including when one (unnamed) counselor found herself dying t-shirts green and gold under the Dining Hall. Libby, the camp director at the time, had a beautiful golden retriever named Jubilee who was a prized member of the family. When Jubilee wandered under the Dining Hall during this late-night tie dying event, he may (or may not) have found himself dyed half green to compliment his golden hair, much to the chagrin of the director.

And finally, the Thunderhead Riding program was an alumnae activity favorite, as many horse-loving campers would find themselves spending multiple overnights at the property. While no alumnae are willing to take claim to this scandal, there are rumors that staff members would ride up into the woods surrounding the Thunderhead property. When it was late and very dark, these staff would then run towards the groups of campers with sounds of chainsaws, scaring everyone in attendance.

Well, that wraps up some of the rumors going around the alumnae community about what may (or may not) have happened during their years at camp. Alums, what is actually true? Let us know…