It's just a tale of course, but as
the older campers tell it, every, seventh year on July 12th the ghost of
Mr. Cropsey reappears to haunt Camp Ranger. The legend, and it is only a
legend, has it that 28 years ago the old Bunkhouse 19 burned down with
Mrs. Cropsey inside. Mr. Cropsey rushed in to save her, but the roof
fell in, and their remains were never extracted from the ruins. Seven
years later, the campers rebuilding Bunk 19 heard scraping, then a
scream. That night, "The Cropsey Maniac" picked the fattest kid out of
one of the bunks and tore all his limbs off.
A Fresh Start for Larry
Camp has not always been a storybook
experience for Larry.
His first summer at sleep away camp, five summers ago, it
was a difficult adjustment. "I cried a lot," says, Larry.
The ensuing summers away from home
cured Larry of his self-indulgence. They were rough times. Larry (which
isn't his real name) has always been small for his age, only 4'9" and weighs
but 78 pounds. Larry can't dance, he can't swim, and he isn't a particularly
good athlete, At other camps, he has taken his share of abuse, including
the gamut of camp tortures. Last year, at a different camp, his
counselors blindfolded him, tied a string to his testicles and promised to
pull whenever be answered a question incorrectly; they said it was part of
fraternity initiation rites at college. In his short camp life, Larry has
been through just about all the camp tortures-pink bellies, wedgies, even an
occasional purple nurple.
taken him to the
infirmary for soccer, and I've taken him to the infirmary for capture the
As the finishing touch on a good summer, Larry would like to find a
girlfriend, but he knows that isn't going to be easy. At the last social, he
sat and watched and told the nagging girl counselors, "I can't dance." Larry
says, "Without one (a girlfriend), you feel left out. With one, you feel
part of the crowd."
And there is just one more thing. "I've never been able to get a tan,"
The Reporter, the Photographer, and the Camp Directors' Wives
Running a sleepaway camp is a large
responsibility and Judy Turner has an additional problem on her mind
this week. She and her husband Jerry are co-owners of Camp Ranger, and
she is well aware of how fast bad news travels through the camp circuit.
Jerry Turner welcomed a Newsday reporter and
Photographer to camp, aware of what good publicity could do. But Judy
Turner is skeptical, aware of the adverse effects of publicity. Our
second day there, she asks to meet with Naomi, the photographer, and
myself to get some idea of what we're trying to say about Camp Ranger.
Mrs. Turner explains quite frankly that children are
their product, and the least bit of bad publicity could hurt business
tremendously. She explains