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2005 Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!

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Elmer Fudd 06 Sep 06 - 01:40 AM
Joe Offer 06 Sep 06 - 04:00 AM
DADGBE 06 Sep 06 - 04:26 PM
Janice in NJ 06 Sep 06 - 06:19 PM
Jeri 06 Sep 06 - 06:40 PM
Elmer Fudd 06 Sep 06 - 06:44 PM
Joe Offer 06 Sep 06 - 06:56 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 06 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,a visitor 07 Sep 06 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,another visitor 07 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Bee 07 Sep 06 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Lori 07 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM
GUEST 07 Sep 06 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Been there, done that 07 Sep 06 - 05:54 PM
Jeri 07 Sep 06 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,ben 07 Sep 06 - 06:24 PM
Elmer Fudd 07 Sep 06 - 06:49 PM
sharyn 07 Sep 06 - 08:46 PM
Big Mick 07 Sep 06 - 08:49 PM
Elmer Fudd 07 Sep 06 - 09:07 PM
Joe Offer 07 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Sep 06 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,elainebelkind 07 Sep 06 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Bee 07 Sep 06 - 11:06 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 06 - 10:39 AM
Joe Offer 08 Sep 06 - 01:37 PM
Bev and Jerry 08 Sep 06 - 03:15 PM
DADGBE 08 Sep 06 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,visitor 08 Sep 06 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Lori 08 Sep 06 - 08:37 PM
GUEST 08 Sep 06 - 08:45 PM
DADGBE 08 Sep 06 - 08:49 PM
Big Mick 08 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM
Elmer Fudd 08 Sep 06 - 09:25 PM
Joe Offer 08 Sep 06 - 09:29 PM
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Subject: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 01:40 AM

It appears that the powers that be at the San Francisco Folk Music Club, in order to attract people to this year's camp, are attempting to whitewash the fact that there were juuuust a few teensie-weensie little problems at last winter's Camp Harmony. Knowing how successful such tactics are when employed by governments, a passel of members think they ought to re-think their strategy. A number of us have been discussing the matter, and we think it would be better to address it head on. One survivor--er--participant, suggested a tee-shirt with the slogan, "Camp Harmony 2006: Nobody Died." In the spirit of that apt sound bite, I offer the following promotional song:

To the tune of "Okie from Muskogee:"

Camp Harmony's the best thing since sliced wheat bread.
You couldn't have a bad time if you tried.
Half the camp got sick last year, but so what?
It ain't Altamont and no one died.

Quiet Camp lost power last year, it's true,
Just when folks were barfing far and wide.
An' the septic system shut down for good measure,
But we ain't Woodstock and nobody died.

The honor system took a beating last year.
"Someone stole my money!" so they cried.
"Never trust a folkie" is our new motto,
But that don't mean that anybody died.

Yes, I'm proud to be a Harmony survivor
A place where even grumps are satisfied.
Sickness, theft, no power, rain, no toilets,
But what the hell? At least nobody died.

Mission statement:

No Animals were harmed to make this folk camp.
We don't get our kicks cutting down trees.
We're a bunch of peaceful, blissed-out folkies,
Makin' music midst the birdies and the bees.

Elmer Fudd


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 04:00 AM

Well, it was really a fun camp until the power went out and people started getting sick.....

-Joe, one of those who struggled to keep the kitchen going-


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: DADGBE
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 04:26 PM

An interesting perspective indeed! Tell me, Elmer, have you ever been to other festivals? Have you seen or smelled the overflowing porta-potties? Did you ever sit outdoors in torential rains to try to hear your favorite performers?

I've been going to festivals and folk music camps for many years and part of the experience is dealing with the environment. For example, the Fox Hollow festival in upstate New York was one of the great music events ever. There's even a song about it.

"The thunderheads were talking to the Berkshires down below,
   It was raining in Fox Hollow but the people wouldn't go."...

At the Newport festival there used to be fences patrolled by guards with dogs who enforced the separation between performers and audience.

In the last 25 years that I've been at Camp Harmony, I remember many years in which the rains came down, a year in which all the pipes froze and we had no water, a year in which the food truck broke down and the food didn't get there on time. Ultimately, none of that mattered. Since the camp is billed as a do-it-yourself camp, everybody's input is what makes it happen. We solved the problems and went on to create our community and make our music.

Through it all, year after year, Camp Harmony has continued to supply me with musical experiences and a sense of community which enrich my life. No other event that I've ever attended broke the barrier between performer and audience as effectively.

Elmer, this year you might want to try a comfy resort in Baja somewhere and leave Camp Harmony for the folks who want to be there.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:19 PM

Gee, it sounds like the fun we had in Resurrection City, May-June 1968.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:40 PM

I believe there was some mention of the food or waterborne disease that hit so many festival attendees last year. Maybe on the threads, but maybe elsewhere. I liked the lyrics.

I went to Fox Hollow. I think I would have been pissed if I was vomiting for a couple of days because of it.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:44 PM

Howdy there, DADGBE! Nice to see a friendly face in the neighborhood. Just a minute while I get myself out of the tanning bed, put down this here martini, and turn the air conditioning up a tad. There, that's better.

Now. All I meant was that a little humor goes a long way when doing damage control--much more than pretending there were no problems at all.

I had fun at the camp too--undoubtedly at sessions where you were singing and playing. You might have even enjoyed a few of mine.

And I had fun making up that song.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Sep 06 - 06:56 PM

Hey, remember the last year that we had the Getaway in Virginia? That was when the sewers backed up and we had to abandon half the camp. No vomiting, but it was a hassle - but we still had a great time.
We had a great time at Harmony last year, too - until the vomiting started.
Such is life. This year's Harmony will no doubt be wonderul.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 10:44 AM

I love the song! DADGBE's defensiveness is so human, but misses the point that a lot of people would love to be there but can't dedicate weeks of their life to getting seriously collectively sick in freezing temperatures with no way to wash, deal with vomit, etc. Some of us have kids, so come on. I assumed the next folknic would at least plead with people to wash their hands and explain why. My cabin was full of people who didn't wash their hands, and at a certain point you couldn't get near a sink anyway.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,a visitor
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 01:55 PM

Loved the camp; it just needs some additional workshops:
New Workshops for the 2007 Harmony camp:
"Vomiting with Style" especially recommended for those who haven't yet learned how to projectile vomit while continuing to play their instrument

"We Don't Need No Stinking Plastic Gloves", a musical review composed entirely of the volunteer kitchen crew

"Packing for Disaster ? What to Bring?", a how-to for people who aren't yet accustomed to packing for a vacation which requires hip waders and gallons of Purell

"No Toilets? Let's Get Creative!" recommended for everybody, for all the obvious reasons


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,another visitor
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

Let's see, so we have the great survivors' song, the helpful additional workshops, and I suggest memorial plaques through the forest commemorating truly memorable upheavals, places where people spent sometimes hours in the dark in the rain in intimate communion with the accommodating forest floor or with special trees. And don't forget the opportunity for memorial plaques at the turnouts off the roads leaving the camp, which were consistently decorated with people bent at the waist relinquishing their latest meal from one orifice or another.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 03:00 PM

Luvvamike, folkies, didn't your mothers teach you to wash your hands? Especially where large numbers of folk gather to exchange bugs!

On the up side, you've given me a reason to reassess a song I've always loathed. Good one Mr. Fudd! ;-D


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,Lori
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 03:53 PM

Bay Area Ralphing Fiddlers, or BARF for short, would love to come to this camp. It sounds right up our alley.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 05:21 PM

Our group, Singers Punctuating Every Word (SPEW) would like to sign up.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,Been there, done that
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 05:54 PM

But you know, it helps to wash your hands in hot water (oh thats right, no power, no hot water), so lets all use the same bathroom and help prepare the meals. This is an easy epidemiological study.

I've been to Fox Hollow during bad storms, and most people either go home or make their own meals.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 06:18 PM

Wow, were you there this year, Been There? I don't seem to recall hot water.

Hand sanitizer is quite easy to find, and it's impossible to tell what caused a foodborne illness or even determine it wasn't caused by something else without trained professionals doing an investigation.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,ben
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 06:24 PM

There's an idea: a squadron of trained professionals to analyze the vomit concentrated around the harmony camp, trails of which lead off in several directions as crazed, terrified campers, at least those fortunate enough to be able to ambulate, flee for their lives?.I'm sure all the survivors would like a detailed analysis?.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 06:49 PM

When you're lost in the rain in Harmon, and it's New Year's time too,
And the toilets all fail and the beer tasting just goes right through,
Be sure to wear gloves when it's your turn on the kitchen crew,
They've got some hungry campers there, and if you don't the place will be a zoo.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: sharyn
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 08:46 PM

I just want to say, I always wear gloves and I've washed dishes there for fourteen years and I haven't been sick there (or following camp) for years. I know that many others were stricken though.

Elmer, I like the latest parody.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 08:49 PM

Could someone explain to me the relationship of Camp Harmony to the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:07 PM

Hey there, Mick. I think they are third cousins, twice removed. Actually, Camp Harmony is a get-together sponsored by the San Francisco Folk Music Club. It takes place in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Camp Harmon and Camp Campbell, nowhere near Cazadero. The next one will take place Dec. 27, 2006 through January 1, 2007. You can attend the entire camp, go for some of the days, or stay elsewhere and come as a day participant.

Info here:

Camp Harmony information

Elmer


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM

You know, if you want to diss Camp Harmony, why don't you have the courage to give your name?
It's true that the kitchen was staffed by volunteers - most of us like it that way, and it helps keep costs down. DADGBE and Debby McClatchy hire a number of people who have had lots of institutional kitchen experience, and I think we do a pretty good job of directing the volunteers and ensuring proper sanitation.
The same kind of flu broke out all over Calfornia during the time of last year's Camp Harmony - so don't blame it all on the San Francisco Folk Music club. It would have been nice if we could have sent the sick people home - but the roads were closed because of the storm.
But nonetheless, it sure was a hell of a job to keep that kitchen going with only limited power. I don't think I want to go through THAT again.
-Joe Offer, Kitchen Cleanup Manager-


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:23 PM

Sounds like Camp Inferno. I've slogged through the rain at Fox Hollow and survived the first Woodstock, but somehow vomitting is less romantic in retrospect than getting muddy. The worst experience I've had as a performer was getting food poisoning an hour before I was due to start a concert. I spent my own time in the woods, getting a close up look of the flora on the floor of the woods. I was so cramped up that I was crawling on all fours. When somebody asked what they could do for me, I asked them "Do you have a gun?" Fortunately, my friends The Beans were the opening act, and they stood in for me. After spending an hour or so crawling around on my hands and knees in the "Green Room," (Man, was it green!) I managed to drive back home, just in time to cook chili for several hundred people the following morning. Who says being a performer isn't fun?

Nice pair a Dees, Elmer

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,elainebelkind
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 09:32 PM

I was there and also have gone for 20 or so years. Great things happen at Harmony tht happen nowhere else. It is not clear what caused the illness, but it wouldn't hurt to review rules with kitchen staff. Though we haven't had this sort of thing before, we can always improve our precautions. This was the worst series of problems I've ever encountered at camp, but I have to add that the days leading up to it were wonderful. The storms and power problems were out of our control.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 07 Sep 06 - 11:06 PM

Unless you know that people who didn't eat didn't get sick (at Harmony), I wouldn't be too quick to blame it on the food. Many, if not most bacteria pass from hand to hand to mouth and nose to hand and so on, and with so many ill at once it sounds to me like bacteria, as opposed to a virus, which usually incubates for a few days.

I'm not a doctor, but I've worked for years in settings where preventing the spread of just such mini-epidemics was important, and watched for all the time.

And it's really true, soap and water are your friends. Someone mentioned no hot water, but cold water and a good ten second soap lathering will do the trick.

Okay, sanitation lecture mode off. Sorry, reflexive response.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 10:39 AM

There were two different dishwashing stations, and I can only speak about the one next to the back door, but I worked at that one and personally saw the no-glove policy and was personally directed to dip dishes in utterly filthy lukewarm water. I know the kitchen people worked hard and are feeling defensive, but we all worked our tails off (I did twice the required amount of shifts as I always do) and people's health is on the line. I would be more inclined to identify myself if I saw anything but a shoot-the-messenger attitude happening. The problem isn't the volunteers.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 01:37 PM

Can't say I've ever heard that plastic gloves did anything for the cleanliness of dishes. They help protect hands from getting chapped, and they were available for those who wanted them. The lukewarm rinse contained a sanitizer that was supposed to compensate for the lack of hot water, and the rinse water was generally quite clean. When volunteers screwed up and got the rinse water dirty, I washed the pots again after they left. I re-check all the pots and pans before they're put away - and I do end up washing a number of them over again, rinsing them in water I've heated on the stove. That's why I rarely get to go to the evening concert.

I'd have to admit that kitchen conditions at Camp Harmony were on the primitive side, but I think we generally do a pretty good job of cleanliness. I was trained in kitchen work in high school by a four-foot-ten-inch dynamo named Sister Kathleen, and she had tough standards.

We did have an impossible situation after the power went out, but we were extremely careful to use dishes and cookware that had been thoroughly washed. After the power went out, we rinsed and stored most used dishes, since we weren't able to do a good job of cleaning them. And the few pots and pans we had to use again, were washed in water we heated on the stove.

Sorry about the shoot-the-messenger tone. It wasn't intended, but anonymous critical messages have a spooky element to them that tends to amplify the critical tone - and then the response also ends up sounding strained.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 03:15 PM

It is unlikely that food poisoning was the problem because some of us didn't get sick until several days after the initial outbreak. In our case, we stayed at camp until the bitter end and then left feeling smug that we hadn't been affected. Bev got sick the night we got home and Jerry got it the following night. And, by the way, since we live 100 miles south of camp, we got to experience the storm a second time.

Also, don't be to quick to attribute the problem to happenings in the kitchen. Remember that tables were set by kids who may or may not have washed their hands. In addition, we observed teenagers playing with the flatware and plastic cups after the tables had been set.

We'll never know what happened but in the thirty years we have been attending this camp, this is the first time we got sick.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: DADGBE
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 05:58 PM

We've had some postings here from folks who anonymousously assure us that they know just what happened.

'GUEST Been there, done that' states, "This is an easy epidemiological study."

Is it, Guest? Are you an epidemiologist? Since I don't know who you are, were actually there? The doctors we consulted with asked some penetrating questions and concluded that the problem was most likely not food borne. The folks who got sick included some who ate the food and some who didn't. It was also observed that some who didn't become sick ate the food and some didn't. Additionally, similar outbreaks were occurring in other locations around the state with no obvious food connection.

Another anonymous GUEST states that there was, ..."no way to wash." This GUEST also states, "Some of us have kids, so come on." GUEST finds that my "..defensiveness is so human."

Hi GUEST. I don't remember seeing you at camp but perhaps I would if I knew your name. If you were there, then you'll remember that hot water, sanitation facilities and showers were constantly available on the other side of camp. That's why we closed the affected side.

You're also quite right that some of us have kids. One of mine was there and the other two have been there in other years, starting at age 2.

As for my defensiveness, you don't know a tenth of it. There are many folks who keep Camp Harmony functioning by going to meetings and organizing the event. It's an all year commitment of time, money and hard work. Often we have to deal with difficult situations and every time we do, the Monday morning quarterbacks are quick to criticize but never seem to volunteer to do any of the work.

Then there are folks like Joe Offer, Sharyn and many others who put in long hours at camp to help assure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

If you find that the camp isn't for you, that's perfectly understandable. But, clever disses don't cut it. Too many good folks work too hard to make this special event happen.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,visitor
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 06:58 PM

I worked double shifts, too AND volunteer with the kids, and still you're treated like the enemy if you point out that people were handing out dinner rolls with their bare hands, which is what the gloves are for, Joe, which everybody who was there knows nobody wore. If people aren't going to meetings it's because they get these personal attacks by humorless people for pointing out the obvious. It doesn't take a genius or cost any money to keep clean, but it does take leadership the group doesn't have right now, and some of us don't have the stamina to retch all night in the rain in the woods. You're lucky your kids didn't get sick, plenty did.
    I was addressing a comment about not using gloves for dishwashing, which is a different matter. Certainly, every person who is touching food, should use gloves. I'd question the need for using gloves if the server is using a spoon or spatula - but in the situation you describe, gloves or tongs are required. We'll watch that closer next year.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST,Lori
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 08:37 PM

Our instrumental group, Vehement Optimists Managing Intermittent Tunes (VOMIT), will keep coming. We have that projectile vomiting thing down.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 08:45 PM

If the Mudcat ever needed proof that Guest posting should be abolished, this thread is it.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: DADGBE
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 08:49 PM

It really is wonderfully ironic that the San Francisco Folk Music Club honorary member who is never seen and does all the work is named Ralph!


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:09 PM

GUEST Lori Ben Visitor Another Visitor, you are getting very tiresome. OK, so they had a rough year. Fair enough. OK, you got sick. I am sorry to hear it. OK, they need to make changes. Got it.

But if horses patoots like you had your way, all you would do is bitch. In the meantime you kill the desire of volunteers who run folk societies, and their events. It is obvious there was a problem. You made your point. Now either work with the club to fix things, or go grab a Coke and shut the hell up. We get it.

Will you be happier when you kill this event, and others like it?

If this thread doesn't turn in a more constructive direction fairly clearly, I will shut it down. If Joe wants to re-open it, that is his call, but it will be over my protest. Enough already.


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:25 PM

Hell's bells. I am dreadfully sorry I started this mess. It was intended to give a chuckle to other folks who were at camp last year, then drop out of sight. If anyone was intending to go to Camp Harmony and is having second thoughts because of this thread, please go and I'll do your KP shifts for you. I'll even wear a (sterilized) hair shirt while doing them, if someone knows where to find such a thing.

Elmer


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Subject: RE: Camp Harmony cover-up exposed!!!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Sep 06 - 09:29 PM

Well, it was a bad situation, and people do need to vent. Nonetheless, I'm closing this thread to give a chance for a new start with a more constructive approach. The anonymous people aren't being fair. If and when a new thread is started on this subject, if you wish to comment any further, please give your name or Mudcat user name in your post. Otherwise, your message may be deleted.
Debby and Ray and I have not been known to inflict physical harm on anybody who complains - although at times we have been sorely tempted. It's not fair to expect us to respond to anonymous complaints.
-Joe Offer-


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