Camp meeting has always been a part of my life. Now days it’s called family camp. But it’s the same thing. I’ve been going since I was just a little girl living in Iowa. We started out with a big tent. There were five and later, six of us in my family. One year my grandma went to camp meeting with us! My mother and dad hung sheets as walls for privacy. In the tabernacle the floors had straw to keep the dirt and dust down. I’m sure it attracted many little critters! Finally one year in the late 40’s or early 50’s cement was poured.
Then folks started camping in small trailers. A few cottages were built. Yes, some folks still used tents. It was a favorite two weeks every summer.
But being a young teenager with good friends we decided to stay in a tent by ourselves. Katie and Janice King and me. Barb Brown. The pole and rope, you see, held the awning of our tent up. We had army cots to sleep on. There was no room to move around, the cots took up all the space! But we didn’t care! We had fun being on our own in our tent. You can see another tent beyond ours. The tabernacle is in the background.
Oh, the memories I have of that camp! One in particular that stands out was one night when we were talking, laughing and giggling. It was way past lights out. Of course we didn’t have any lights anyway, except maybe a flash light. One of us got the idea to yell out ‘don ta don don’ at the hour of midnight! If you recall that was the theme song for Dragnet! So at the very stroke of 12:00 at the top of our lungs we shouted “DON TA DON DON.” Then we were deathly quiet… Almost immediately there came a knock on our tent post! “WHO’S IN HERE? WHO LIVES IN HERE?” the man said loudly and angrily! We were scared and very quiet. He repeated his questions. I recognized his voice. Oh dear, it was my friend, Superintendent Olson, the head of the whole camp and the whole Iowa conference! The same man who had become such a friend to me a few years earlier… Oh no… Still we didn’t answer. Then all of a sudden, in a weak voice, “No one but just us chickens!” was heard from my best friend, Janice. I think Supt. Olson wanted to laugh or chuckle but he said softly, “Alright, it’s time you girls went to sleep. Other folks are trying to sleep!” We did and nothing was ever mentioned about this incident! But I’ll never forget it.