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Edith Lauer: Our first visit to Scout Camp

Dear All,

We had a FANTASTIC visit to the Hungarian Scouts’ Jubi Camp last Sunday. The place is HARD to find, and after several wrong turns, it was a RELIEF to see Nádas Kuni and Lendvai Imre waving us to turn into the camp entrance. Imre has problems with sciatica; I am still not supposed to walk a lot on my fractured left ankle, so I was squired around this beautiful LARGE park by Imre on a golf cart. John walked (a lot) with Kuni, János Pintér and several other fine “Scout escorts.”

It was a treat to see the lovely wooden buildings of the Peacock Tower, the Dance Barn and other buildings from the Smithsonian Hungarian Festival here, all in full use by the more than 700 Scouts present.

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As we toured the park, at each turn a friend popped out of the woods:
Julika Gulden the PR guru, Reka P., rushing on a bike to meet a filming deadline, Katica A. giving us a tour of the historic costume collection, John saw Botond Szekeres, I saw a lot of Cleveland Scouts incl. Bea Tabor, Laci Tomaschek just arriving for the weekend, B. Anita and daughter Vivian making their way toward the “gyengélkedő,” (infirmary), P. Eszti working on the “historic backstory “/ keretmese of Rákóczi Ferenc), Kozmon Gyuri, the artist who painted the medieval castle walls on 2 story tall canvas for the central camp square, the professional dancers from Hungary who each day instruct a different group in folk dancing, Miklós and Ferenc Gy. from the Boston HATOG, who surprised us with a kürtös kalács, camp commander, Szentkirályi Endre, who hosted us to a dinner of delicious stuffed cabbage, served on a table made of (shifting) wooden boards, while we delicately balanced on tree limbs with styrofoam squares for seats…and many others.

The beautiful woods were noisy with groups of children singing folk-songs, girls building their beds in treetops, a troop having a water/balloon battle on a slippery plastic sheet, kids helping each other to fix tents, cook, say grace together as they prepared for the evening’s campfire. And, of course, ALL this was taking place in Hungarian!

Earlier, on the first day of camp a large grove of tall pine trees served as the natural cathedral for the opening church service. A brass plate attached to each tree trunk provides posthumous recognition of Hungarian Scouts who in the past attended, organized or otherwise contributed to the long tradition of Hungarian Scouting at this remarkable site. We also saw many adult Scouts who enthusiastically return each year for Scout camp – from Shanghai, Argentina, Venezuela, Canada and all over the U.S. – saying they wouldn’t miss this inspiring experience for the world!

What makes the Scouts a great organization was very much in evidence at every turn: celebrating Hungarian traditions/history; working together with respect in nature; teaching new skills to build confidence; making new friends and wonderful memories.

It was truly an inspiring experience to be part of the 2015 Jubi Camp for a Sunday afternoon! Congratulations to all whose commitment and hard work provide such outstanding training for future leaders of our Hungarian American community!

John and Edith Lauer
August 13, 2015

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