Thursday, December 3, 2009

Summer Camp and My Nutcracker - Show and Tell Friday

Show and Tell Friday has come around again, where did the week go?  Join all the party goers over at My Romantic Home.

Nutcrackers and summer camp may not seem to have anything in common, but bear with me and I'll tell you the story of my nutcracker.

Every year as a kid I went to summer camp for two weeks.  I looked forward to it all year long and couldn't wait for school to let out and board the bus for a get away with all my girlfriends.  The first few years we attended the Dad's Club Camp which was just outside of Heidelberg, although for us it seemed a world away from home.

We'd board those huge olive green Army buses and the adventure would begin.  Please note that I am wearing my very favorite striped pedal pushers, which I think were made from an old house dress of my mother's.

We all look mighty glum in this picture, I think the sun must have been shining in our eyes.  We camped in big Army tents with wood platform  floors, regulation cots and linens.  Those wool blankets made me itch all over! Our tents were inspected every morning for tight sheet corners and tidy everything else.  The flag in front of our tent indicates that we had been consistantly the best kept tent for the week.

When we became Girl Scouts we could go further from home and attend Girl Scout camp near Mittenwald, which is south of Munich and about a half day's drive from Heidelberg.  The mountains were beautiful, we swam in the mountain lakes, and hiked far and wide every day.  We lived in barracks inside a guarded base, since a couple of years earlier there had been some sort of incident with a camper being attacked while tent camping in the forest.

We often hiked down the mountain and into the little town of Mittenwald, which is famous for its fine violin makers and houses painted with beautiful murals. Down the steep mountain, over the meadow, and into town to explore and visit the shops.

This is where my nutcracker comes into the story.  I had been saving my allowance for a special purpose all Spring. I had seen this particular nutcracker when my family and I were in that same area for Easter vacation and the shopkeeper had set it aside for me. He cost 40Dm, which was about $9.50US.  That was a lot of money for a kid at the time!  I carried him all the way back up the mountain and then home on the bus. 

The little beekeeper was a gift from a friend back in Illinois, the small music box nutcracker was a gift from my daughter's best friend in high school, and I don't remember when the little plain wood St Nicholas came to live with me. My nutcracker is always around the house somewhere, but at Christmas time he comes out and takes center stage in one of the displays.  He's never had a single nut cracked in his teeth either!


  1. I've always been intrigued with nutcrackers and yours are lovely....interesting story to go with them.
    By the way, I've enjoyed seeing your various headers!

  2. What a wonderful story! I love the old photos! It's so wonderful that you still have the nutcracker!

  3. The reindeer next to the nutcrackers look cool also!

  4. Hello Candy,
    I loved hearing about your girlhood and your camping adventures! How wonderful that you were able to buy your handsome Nutcracker and have him for all of these years! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Blessings to you! Vicki

  5. sweet. I love your Girl Scout memories too.

    Come see what I did with my blue cobalt glass candle holder I found at the antique store...


  6. YOur nutcrackers are just so handsome! Thanks for sharing!

  7. What a great story!!! And the it all!

    Stop by--would love to meet your sweet self!

    love, kelee

  8. A lovely story! Your camp photos are great~what a beautiful place to camp. I have a few nutcrackers, but they sure don't have wonderful stories behind them like yours. My kiddos love them though. Last night my daughter sneaked a peanut home from the restaurant where we ate just to test out one of them to see if it would really crack it. LOL

  9. What a wonderful story and I love the photos too!

  10. Lenore - the "headers" LOL
    I'm still struggling with Blogger's formatting, not happy with the header yet, but good for today! :-)

    Jeanne - Those reindeer are probably 20 years old and came from a "country" decorating shop with lots of geese and roosters, that has since gone to a very upscale decorating shop. They still have wonderful ornaments during the holidays. The deer are made of tightly wrapped and woven hemp type rope that is wound around some sort of framework.

    Thank you all for stopping by!

  11. What wonderful pictures and what a wonderful story. I was born in Germany and left when I was very small, so I don't have the memories you do. Thanks for sharing.



  12. Hello it's my first time to join and I think I will like it. Nutcrackers are always a part of our childhood. I too see lots of them during the Christmas season, your childhood memories seems very interesting. Thanks for sharin.

  13. Lovely story. Those nutcrackers are so pretty.

  14. Great memories and you still have your safe keep

  15. I love your story....sooo sweet! I also love Nutcrackers... my girls each have one in their room. Each year we go to see it together as a family. The fact that you saved so long to buy it and stayed with you in such wonderful condition this long is just wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing! -April

  16. What a beautiful story and I love your petal pushers! Your nutcrackers are so regal! :o)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

  17. I appreaciate your lovely comments, thanks for coming by! I'm fighting time and other commitments, but hope to have more childhood memories up for Show and Tell again this Friday!

    See you all then.


Thank you for your lovely comments.

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