By Jay and Sandee Brown
In 1975, Colonel John Hill, a member of the Mowglis Board, initiated a “Trustees Work Weekend” to help Mr. Hart prepare for the opening of Camp. The weekend was enormously successful and, without exception, has since been held every year on the first weekend in June. In the early going, the participants were largely Trustees. Over time, the effort has evolved to include alumni, staff, older boys, parents and friends. Twenty-five years ago, Bob Bengtson proposed a resolution, unanimously approved by the Board, to formally name this annual event “The Colonel John F.P. Hill Work Weekend.”
This year, as every year, an incredible group of loyal Mowglis showed up—over 45 alumni, staff, and parents—ready for the hundreds of jobs and projects that needed to get done.
The Waterfront was abuzz with activity, as boats were launched, swim lines and moorings set, and canoes readied for the Red-Ribboners. Sailboats were moved out of Lower Gray Brothers and set afloat, and Baloo Cove tidied up with newly planted grass seed.
The Lodge was renewed with freshly painted screens. All the tables in the dining room were repainted, as well! A new hydro was installed by Baloo. Akela got a fresh coat of stain (all 27 gallons of it!). Chapel benches were moved into place, and the sound system for the organ was updated. Up on Cub Field, a new gaga ball court was built.
Off the main path, trees and bushes were trimmed back, and leaves blown. One could picture campers hiking eagerly to their industries on these freshly cleared paths. All of that brush was fed into a rented wood chipper, filling the air with the scent of fresh pine.
Even the Cub and Pack Libraries got some much-needed attention. The Cub Library in Kipling Hall was completely cleaned out, some older books removed, and the remaining books were relabeled and reshelved to create easy and inviting access for the boys.
After a day of hard work, the group surrounded a campfire, renewing old friendships, and remembering those special times at Mowglis. It was agreed that the Work Weekend which has become such a special and integral part of Mowglis be renamed in honor of Col. John Hill.
Despite the scattered rain on Sunday morning, the dedicated crew attacked the remaining projects with renewed vigor. Soon it was time to depart. But we could almost hear the voices of energetic campers soon to be echoing throughout these woods.
Every year, we are amazed by the dedication of these loyal Mowglis. What a difference a Col. Hill Work Weekend filled with Mowglis Spirit can make!