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After 42 years of service – Suck Wind moves on from North Point

By #11264 Mark Davenport

“The best ever summer” is certainly an ideal worthy of pursuit, but perhaps a little difficult for us to imagine given the recent end of our virtual summer. We promise that once back in residence, you will see that the stars occasionally all fall on our collective summer community and a united voice will declare that a particular season was one for the ages. Such was the summer of 1978 – a season of outstanding campers, outstanding leadership, and outstanding creativity.

For 42 years, one of that summer’s most notable creations had remained an iconic symbol of Camp Dudley. Every camper, staff member, and alum who has ever seen this idol has touched it and probably taken a picture of it. For more than four decades it has welcomed Senior Campers to Council Ring, gazed down on Cabin Suppers, and been a meeting point for countless extravaganzas. But with a smile and perhaps a tear, we must report that the Suck Wind Totem Pole has been removed from its perch at North Point due to its age and condition.

Still, there is GREAT news to report. The artisan, carver who created that cherished symbol of the Dudley Spirit has just finished installing its replacement. Bob “Hot Daddy Wags” Wagner is a builder and designer of sophisticated North Country structures and the “father” of The Suck Wind Totem Pole. His workmanship and attention to detail are evident in his many completed Camp projects on both sides of the lake. It was his undertaking in that summer of ‘78 that forever changed the landscape at North Point and made us appreciate his gift as an artist and a storyteller. (see a related article from the ‘78 Last Whistle below)

A close friend of Hot Daddy’s and another member of the Leadership Class of ‘78, Tom Canning, gave us the following color on the origin of the phrase suck wind.

“ ‘Suck wind’ was one of those Dudley expressions of the era that came into being by degrees. Impressive things first were “awesome”; then one might be awed; then one might be rendered speechless, the only sound being the dramatic inhalation of air; finally a summing up — suck wind — was coined.
‘Yay, we’ve got a baseball game as our morning activity!’
‘Ooh, suck wind!’ “

When Matt approached Wags with the opportunity to perform another discovery, he was all in. He had the block selected. He had the time. He finished way ahead of schedule. His new creation can be seen pictured here and of course, in person at North Point in what we hope for each of you is the very near future.

Fear not for the inspiration that is The Suck Wind Totem Pole lives on. Suck Wind will take his retirement repose out of the elements in The Poler Leadership Center. He will be there to cast an approving eye on future Leaders, campers, and Boards of Managers who make up some of the souls who pass through The Hank. As for the new guy (yet unnamed) we wish him a long and purposeful life out there on North Point. May his tenure be every bit as meaningful as was that of his predecessor.

Click below to read about Suck Wind’s first summer at Dudley in 1978.

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"Thank you, Camp Dudley"

Can you believe it? My boy is in college! You guys first got him when he was 10 and now he’s 18! I remember dropping him off at Camp Dudley eight years ago, absolutely loving the camp grounds and how friendly and welcoming you all were! READ MORE …

Suck Wind at his new home!

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