Towering Pines Blog

Searching for the Mother Lode….as told by a Camp Dad

Posted by on July 13, 2018

Behold…the Mother Lode!!!

Camp is a magical place! Filled with friends!! New experiences!!! Delightful memories, blah, blah blah…


At TP, we strive to educate the lads on the nuances of a gold-based economy

Sorry, you were saying something Mr. Boring Camp Guy? I dozed off in the middle of your pontificating.

Ah, I do go on, don’t I?  But camp really is a cool place for kids to spend a summer.

And there is a dark side, but you wouldn’t be interested in hearing about that.

No, no, yes I would!

I am honor-bound to warn you though, it ain’t pretty.

You’ve throughly piqued my curiosity. Go on…

Well then, let me horrify you with tales about TP Gold Rush Day

Gold Rush Day?  It sounds like a great way to spend a summer afternoon…

Ha! So one might believe.  But in fact, the infamous TP Gold Rush event is chock-full of unsavory activities, including;

  • Villainous claim-jumping
  • Rigorous hole-digging
  • Brazen gold-hoarding
  • Brain-stumping clues

    This is what Gold Fever looks like!

  • Sheriff-evading
  • Red-Eye chugging

 A whole afternoon of this unwholesome kind of thing!

Well, I have to admit that I was a bit of a rogue myself as a child, and enjoyed some healthy competition. But now that I’m a responsible adult…

Well then, as a decent parent you’ll be mortified to learn that your boys, along with their flagrantly-covetous cabinmates, run around camp grabbing as much TP gold as they can!

Actually, it sounds fun. Good exercise, spending time outside, working with your buddies as part of a team…

Yes, but along the way, each greed-stricken cabin group follows camp-related hints in an attempt to find THE MOTHER LODE!

Ah, so then the event also includes strategy and problem solving?

Move along boys, nothing to see here…

Well, yes, I suppose so. But you’re missing my point.

The gold, it’s real gold?

No, of course not, just painted rocks, but …

And the “Red-Eye” beverage they guzzle?

Just a fun name for red Kool-Aid…

Ah, then the boys are actually engaging their own imaginations for this Gold Rush thing, not just mindlessly looking at computer screens?

That’s right, but still ….

…if you’re quite done interrupting my indignant rant, I should point out that, at Towering Pines, “Everybody plays and everybody is supposed to win.”

But in fact, only the disreputable rapscallions of Cabin 5 and Cabin 7 – no doubt employing nefarious means and dubious sportsmanship – formed an alliance to simultaneously uncover the Mother Lode.

So there was cooperation involved? Hmm.

The Mother Lode or… fool’s gold?!!

 The other boys, I assume they were ridiculed for not winning?

Well no actually, they were applauded for their efforts and for being good sportsmen.

And then they were punished?

And then we packed them off to Lake Nokomis for a free swim to cool off before lunch.

Lunch was stale bread and a cup of water?

Um, no, we had baked chicken, scalloped potatoes, and a veggie mix.  Cookies for dessert.

Yes, yes, it all sounds quite terrible indeed.  

Hey, you don’t suppose that I could go TP, as a camper? I know I’m an adult, but….


Hey! For a Mother’s point of view on TP Gold Rush Day, check out the “Towering Pines Blog Mom” a.k.a.


Brought in a little hired muscle to keep things under control…