Twas the Night Before the Holidays – Wanapitei Style


Twas the night before the holidays, and all through the camp
Not a camper in sight, not a single headlamp
The paddles were hung on the cabins with care
In hopes that next summer soon would be there

The campers were nestled all snug in their tents,
With big dreams of swifties and regatta events.
And Woody in his flannel, and JJ in her brown cap,
Had just settled Charlie for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the river there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cabin to see what was the matter.
Away past Sangego I flew like a flash,
Ran up on the Bridge when I heard a splash.

The moon on the lake gave a beautiful glow
Casting eerie dark shadows on the Chateau.
When, what should I see, coming right out of the blue
But a group of paddlers in wood canvas canoes

With one old sterner, so lively and sage,
I knew in a moment it must be Bruce H.
More rapid than R4s his paddlers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Temags! now, CdeBs! now, River Ads and Juniors!
On, Pions! On, WLITs! VII and Bay Trippers!
To the top of the Office! To the top of the D-Hall!
Now paddle away! Paddle away! Paddle away all!”

As campers paddling rivers just seem to fly,
When they meet with tailwinds, lift sails to the sky.
So up to Red Squirrel the paddlers they flew,
With the boats full of campers, and Bruce Hodgins too.

I hid by the sauna so as not to hamper
The drawing and prying of each little camper.
As I drew back my head, and was turning around,
Under the Bridge Bruce H. came with a bound.

He was dressed all in plaid, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with campfire soot.
A bundle of gear he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a Leader, just opening his pack.

The palms of his hands he held tight to his chest
His fingers just hiding the Wanapitei crest.
He gave a broad grin and had a quick snack,
That, judging by his smile, was the cheesiest of mac!

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the barrels, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up Ferguson he rose!

He sprang to his boat, to his group gave a whistle,
And away they all paddled as fast as a missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he floated out of sight,
“Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night!”
Happy holidays everyone!