HERE'S A NOTE FROM A FORMER WOODCRAFT RANGER
Ray and Joanne (Jan) Reed
I was a single mom in 1963 when I moved to live closer to my brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Stella Jillson. They were involved with their son in Woodcraft Rangers, and they got my four children and me involved, too. We were quite a bunch going to meetings and doing fun things together.
February 1964 found us at Prado Dam for a weekend congregation of Woodcraft tribes. We camped and competed in Indian-style games and contests, such as Fire-by-Flint, Water Boiling, Chicken Fights, Board Balancing, Indian Leg Wrestling, Sand Painting, Track and Trail, and Cow Horn Blowing. For the last one, we even made our own horns. Winners and runners-up were awarded coup feathers and other prizes.
During the weekend, I went with my son to meet his partner for the Track and Trail competition, which started under an old bridge in the park. It was here that i met a fellow named Ray, who had a small son and daughter. While our kids were gone on the trail, we shared a nice chat. That night around the campfire, I pointed out Ray to my sister-in-law and told Stella about how his wife had died and he wsa raising his children alone. "Wow," she said. "What a good looking guy." And it wasn't until that moment that I realized she was right! All I noticed when we met was that I enjoyed talking with him.
Ray and I soon became co-leaders along with Jim and Stella. We went to all Woodcraft events together for the next 4 years, and eventually got married. Our memorable experiences from that time include making a float in Jim and Stella's backyard for the Temple City Camellia Festival, selling fireworks one July 4th, and camping at Stanley Ranch. Thank goodness Ray was already an experienced camper. If not for him, I think the children would have starved waiting for me to cook something over an open fire.
Ray and I are still together, and it's a joy to recall our adventures with Woodcraft Rangers. Our children are all grown now, but they remember Woodcraft Rangers proudly, including the "Yo Hay, Yo Hay" call that began each meeting.
Thank you to Jan Reed for telling her story. Would you like to share your memories? Contact Laurie Miller at email@example.com