Freddie's Matchbook Trail
Sometimes Camp Rising Sun becomes not just one camper’s experience, but a whole family’s experience. Sometimes passing on the lessons, joy, experiences, and possible, memorabilia from Camp becomes a part of a family and their traditions. CRS is happy to hold such a place in families through generations.
Glen Steenblik was introduced to Camp via his brother Gerrit, CRS ‘64. Glen was Waterfront & First Aid Counselor from 1971-1972, and Assistant Camp Director in 1973. He continued to maintain a close relationship with Freddie, who would visit him on his travels. Freddy frequently came to Utah to recruit campers and first met Glen when he was about 15. Glen has passed down the importance of Camp to his children through stories, memorabilia, and through experiences. His sons Peter & Jeffrey were able to attend Camp as a legacy campers in 1994 & 2004, respectively. Legacy campers can join the CRS community for one or two weeks during the summer. They take part in all camp activities and are an important part of our community that helps to strengthen intergenerational ties. Three of Glen’s 5 children have worked for CRS campuses. Amy was the Music Counselor at Clinton in 1995, then returned with her husband, Kyle Oswald, who was the Camping & Canoeing counselor in 1998. Maren followed her father’s footsteps by becoming the Clinton Waterfront Counselor in 2004. Peter was the Hiking Counselor at Red Hook in 2000, 2001, 2002, & 2004, and returned as Program Director in 2006.
Glen has shared his collection of Freddie memorabilia with the Louis August Jonas Foundation. He included many more matchbooks than would fit in the display along with an inventory of his “Freddie Matchbook Collection.” The collection includes matchbooks from New York City and Rhinebeck in New York along with many other states in the U.S. and a few international locations. Below are his words about them.
During the late 1960’s and continuing through the 70’s and 80’s, “Freddie,” George E. Jonas, would come through Salt Lake City each February while on the western U.S. portion of his annual world tour selecting campers for C.R.S. Generally he came from the south (South Carolina- Mississippi) and was on the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had usually already been abroad; Japan, Denmark, Holland, France, etc. and whenever he had made arrangements for selections of BFAs in other regions of the world.
On one of these early trips through Utah, he reached into his suit coat pocket and pulled out a large handful of matchbooks, giving them to me and stated, “These are for your matchbook collection.” The first time this happened, I was a little surprised, taken back, because I did not, at the time, have a collection of matchbooks. Over the next several years when visiting Salt Lake City the ritual was regularly repeated - cleaning out his coat pocket of matchbooks. One year he pulled out his suitcase a small box stuffed full of matchbooks!
Why did he do it? Perhaps to humor me, confuse me (as he was prone to do), lighten his suit, or perhaps to leave a tail of footprints of his travels. Whatever the reason, a very large box has raised to the surface, ascending from my basement. A well springing forth of Freddie’s journeys, favorite restaurants, Hotels, and meeting places.
In sorting through the assortment, the thought struck me that Freddie touched each one of those matchbooks and has been in each of these places in his selection/search to help young men (and young women) develop, learn tolerance, service, respect, cooperation, along the path of leadership in making our world a better place for all.