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Alley Almanac – From the 1941 Last Whistle

Ed Note: The following article is edited and excerpted from the 1941 Last Whistle. It documents the early days of the Cub Division before the first Last Whistle was published in 1938. As such, written references to events before that time offer a glimpse at our early history. (Cubs have not always been part of our camping tradition.)

Over 20 years ago (circa 1920), a big brown tent known as the B. B. T. was erected on the Dudley campus. Its purpose was to house a new and younger group of boys who proved to be the original Cubs of Camp Dudley. As the years rolled on, the B. B. T. was abolished but the Cubs remained scattered throughout the campus. Then, ten years ago (circa 1930), realizing the special athletic needs of this group, they were organized into two clubs – the Barksdales and the Ludlows. More specially organized Cub activities such as council fires and hikes were soon instituted.

At the end of the summer of 1932, #4616 Bob Cushman, chief leader of the Cubs, held the first mass Cub get-together on North Point. The occasion was a monster hot dog roast; the Cubs all got their fill, but an anticlimax to the proceedings was that they all got sick.

In spite of this unfortunate ending, they all came back, and to their delight found that a special section of camp had been set aside for them—cabins Burr, Poly, and Adirondack in the far southwestern corner of the campus. The place was immediately dubbed “Cub Alley” and was headed by Bob Cushman and other Dudley notables including Bill Gillespie, Bill Draper, Al Cornish and Bud Austin.

In 1935 the Alley almost doubled in size with some 40 Cubs in several extra cabins. At the summer’s end, it was decided that four Cub cabins would be best. Onondaga Lodge was built in Cub Alley as the fourth cabin. (Ed Note: Onondaga was renamed Rensselaer Lodge in 1947.)

Thus the unit was complete, and to this set-up Al Cornish returned as chief leader in 1936 along with a Cub council ring and a new Cub Institute. With an able staff of leaders, junior leaders, and aides, the Alley thrived. Boat and canoe regattas, woods games, and other Cub thrillers were instituted into the daily schedule.

The 1940 season witnessed a young but determined group of Cub Alley leaders, with Olly Quayle in charge and Monk Sweetman, Sandy Duncombe, Bogota Philipp, Mac Roach and Ralph Davis included. All threw their hearts into the carrying-on of Cub Alley traditions. Cub basketball and a National Fish Day on North Point were added and proved to be stupendous.

This year, due to an overpopulation of cubs, Cutler Lodge was added to the alley’s four cabins. Olly Quayle remained head of the alley and of Adirondack Lodge. With over 30 Cubs, the season got off to a flying start and kept soaring. The first big event was a Cub baseball game on July 4th. Wallace’s Walloping Wildcats played Bogota’s Bungling Bashers. Chief threw in the first ball of a thrilling contest which was won by the Bashers.

The summer progressed merrily with such activities as woods games, boxing, riflery, swimming, and track meets contributing to the enjoyment of each day. The last week in July featured the second annual Fish Day. The afternoon before, all Cubs went on a worm hunt and collected over a thousand of them for bait. Early the next morning the Cubs set out for North Point. Stretched along a mile of shoreline, the Cubs caught about 75 fish.

The second half was marked by a new project—the building of a Cub-sized basketball court on the beach below Cub Alley. Cubs and leaders went to work spading and rolling until a really first-rate court was shaped. When finally completed, Chief tossed in the first basketball for a grand inaugural inter-cabin contest on the newly-named Bennett Beach and Coliseum.

One of the big events in the lives of the Cubs was winning the grand prize in the carnival parade. Jack Burger and Sandy Duncombe fashioned a handsome armored tank for the central float of “Cub Alley Hit by the Draft.” All 32 Cubs participated as sign bearers, infantry, cavalry, and Red Cross units placed fore-and-aft of the tank. 

The closing days of Camp went quickly, with much enthusiasm for the Big Show, in which a number of Cub Alley members were participating. The farewell banquet was given Wednesday night, and the next day all packed up and left for home. But many happy memories of this summer remain in the hearts of the Cubs who, at an extremely young age, have learned to love Camp as members of the Dudley family. 






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