Hortense Camp

in the Wesleyan tradition

100 Years Celebration: 1904 - 2004

Robert C. (Bobby) Cooley

(Son of the late Rev. and Mrs. R.N. Cooley; Youth worker for 4 years; Camp musician 8 years)

Hortense has been a good journey in my life.  My mom and dad pastored the Hortense Wesleyan Church during the 1970's.  I have been to Hortense Camp many times - both as a child with my parents, and later as a camp worker.  My dad was the Camp President at one time, and my mom served as children's worker.

Here are a couple of things that I remember.  One night after service, the Smith girls asked if we could get all the youth together and go sing for Barrett (their brother) who was sick.  We loaded the youth in cars and a van, and we drove to the house.  Everyone got out quickly (and quietly).  Since I was the leader, I moved up close to the house, and I began to lead a chorus.  Suddenly, I realized I was the only one singing; everyone else had left me.  We were at the "wrong" house.  They had tricked me.  (We did, however, go sing for Barrett, and we told him the prank they had played on me.)

Another thing happened when we were having a water balloon fight (boys vs. girls).  After about an hour, we put it to a stop, but one of the older teens (Kathy Hickox) decided it wasn't over.  She sneaked in the boys' dorm about 2:00 a.m. with her girls and was going to attack.  She had a large bucket of water over my head ready to pour it on me when I grabbed her shirt and threw her over the bed and down on the floor.  I yelled, "NOW!" to the other guys, and they charged.  We emptied about ten or twelve cans of shaving cream on her.  She walked out looking like a giant snowman.

Hortense has been very good to me over the past 54 years.  I will cherish all of the memories, especially the ones of people I counseled who are in the ministry now.