Camp AmbassadorThe camp I grew up at was Camp Ambassador near Owen Sound.  There was an old story we told the campers during sleep outs called, The Legend of Smokey Hollow. Campers rode out to the Hollow on a wagon ride with evening snacks and food for breakfast (driven by Burt Elliott, the best wagon ride driver ever).

Once we got to the “old house” site, we set up camp for the night, campers laid out their sleeping bags, food was stored for breakfast, a campfire was built (usually a big one), snack was eaten and everyone laid down to go to sleep. About that time the cabin leaders started to tell the story of Smokey Hollow, the very pit they were sleeping in. 

About three quarters of the way through the story, apples would mysteriously start flying into the hollow scaring the campers. As a camper it was truly frightening (in my personal experience). 

Legend has it that in the late 1800’s a family, with a very mysterious past, lived in the old farmhouse beside the crab apple orchard at the top of the hill. When storms came up and the winds blew hard, the apples would blow from the orchard with great  ferocity at the old house. The family would batten down the windows and doors to protect themselves from whatever came at them. It was left abandoned after the family moved or passed away, fell into disrepair and eventually fell into the hole of the foundation and eventually, nothing was left behind. 

Now for the rest of the story…

As I said, we used the crater for camper sleep outs. Nice big fire in the middle with campers sleeping around it. When I got to be on staff I discovered that it was the barn staff and maintenance boys tossing the apples after they snuck up the property line right of way. I loved participating in the prank as barn staff. What a great camp memory that has so many more with it. 

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