Letter from DAVID FIELD, INTERN, MAJOR, ASSISTANT CAMP DIRECTOR, CAMP DIRECTOR, read at the Reunion Round Robin of sharing Shady Trails memories, August 11, 2012

Many of you former campers may not have known this, but there was a sterling tradition at Camp Shady Trails called Snack. Long after you all were tucked safely in your bunks, staff would gather in the Lodge at 10:00 to review the day's activities, plan for the next day and relax with leftovers from Ruthie's cooking and desserts of that day.

One evening a group of us were sitting together discussing movies and monsters that had particularly scared us as kids growing up. Among those present were Mr. Bishop, Mr. Fox and Mr. Carter from the counseling staff and Miss Allen, Mr. Clark and myself from the speech staff. I related to the group that

The Curse of the Mummy

was by far the most frightening of all to me. The memory of King Tut staggering stiff-legged, wrapped head to toe in rags, tracking down those who had violated his tomb, still caused chills to run up and down my spine.

When Snack ended and it was time to return to our cabins, I confessed to Miss Allen and Mr. Clark that I was a wee bit nervous about walking home by myself to my cabin which was up on the hill. They happily agreed to go with me and off we went. We joked and laughed our way across the pitch dark athletic field occasionally stoping to yell "boo" at each other. When we reached the path at the end of the basketball court, we began our climb with me bravely in the front followed by Miss Allen in the middle with Mr. Clark bringing up the rear.

We were progressing well, still laughing and chattering, nearly to the top, when suddenly the path ahead was illuminated by a brilliant light and there at the top of the hill stood

King Tut

himself, wrapped in his mummy casings, looming over me with his arms raised above his head, a strangled, gurgling death growl emitting from his bandaged-covered lips.

Screaming in terror, I lunged backward, slipping on the sand-covered path, tripping on a root, sending me into a back flip which caused me to land directly on top of Miss Allen who was knocked backward landing on top of Mr. Clark. Miss Allen immediately grabbed me by the throat, shaking and choking me, shouting, "You knew about this! You planned this!" Mr. Clark was mumbling, "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" I had indeed NOT planned this and tried to tell Miss Allen as much; however, all that came out of my mouth were whimpers of fear as I struggled to regain my footing and flee for my life.

When it was apparent that no one had been seriously injured, hysterical laughter filled the night air as Mr. Bishop and Mr. Carter emerged from the darkness from either side of the path and Mr. Fox, all 6' 4" of him, began peeling off his costume of toilet paper.

Miss Allen continued to try to do me great bodily harm still convinced that I was in on the plot. Mr. Clark persisted in babbling, "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!" For the rest of that summer, I was forever wary of the nightly walk up the hill and of the chance that I may once again encounter THE MUMMY. And by the way, Miss Allen and Mr. Clark never walked me home again.}

added March 17, 2012