The Fuzzy Fanugie is a special creature that you might be able to spot at Camp Riverbend. A Fanugie is shy at first, but very cuddly once it gets to know you. This summer, each camp group will host a Fuzzy Fanugie for a few days. Children will share their camp adventures with one of our three Fuzzy Fanugies!
But how did the Fuzzy Fanugie first come to Camp Riverbend? Here’s the story…
Many years ago, before Camp Riverbend started, Harold Breene came here to look over the land. He was hoping to start a camp of his own and wanted to explore. He brought a tent and sleeping bag because he wanted to walk over every inch of the land and he didn’t know how long it would take him.
During the long day, Mr. Breene saw the Passaic River and how gently it flows. “What a great place for canoeing!” he thought. He saw a large open space where a pool could fit in. He saw the woods and realized that kids would love to climb a high ropes tower there. He planned where to put the sports fields and where to put the crafts cabins.
Finally, it started getting dark and Mr. Breene set up his tent. He kindled the flames and built a campfire, while he sat on a log. He heard rustling behind him but when he turned around, there was nothing there. As he cooked his hot dog, again he heard rustling behind him. He looked again but there was nothing there. So he finished his hot dog and started toasting a marshmallow to make a s’more. Once more he heard more rustling, but this time he didn’t turn around. He just sat there and kept looking at his marshmallow. The noise got louder.
Mr. Breene wasn’t too worried. After all, he was an experienced camper and knew how to behave around wild things. He carefully looked out the side of his eye and he almost fell off the log! There was a small green fuzzy creature, with big black eyes, that was inching closer and closer to the campfire! As Mr. Breene was taking the marshmallow off the stick, to put between two graham crackers, it fell on the ground, and quick as a flash, the creature jumped forward, grabbed the marshmallow and gobbled it up.
“Aha,” thought Mr. Breene, “this fuzzy thing likes marshmallows!” So he quietly slipped another marshmallow out of its wrapper and threw it a few feet away. Again the creature darted out and took the marshmallow. Mr. Breene took another marshmallow and tossed it a little closer. After a few times, he had lured the creature close enough that he could almost touch it. Now the creature was quite happy, having eaten about 10 marshmallows. It closed its eyes and sat comfortably next to Mr. Breene, by the campfire.
Mr. Breene got out his guitar and started singing some camp songs. The creature swayed in time with the music and started humming. After a few songs, Mr. Breene stopped singing. The creature turned and looked up at him with those big black eyes and said “Can you sing another song?” This time, Mr. Breene did fall off the log!
“Who, or what, are you!!” he gasped! “I’m the Fuzzy Fanugie,” the creature said quietly. “I live around here. Its pretty lonely and when I saw your campfire, I couldn’t help myself! I wanted to find out if there was someone here for me to play with.”
“Well, my fuzzy friend,” said Mr. Breene. “Can you guess what this land will become next summer? It will be a camp full of children all day long, playing and running and singing. “
“Oh,” Mr. Breene stopped. “Will you be afraid when all the children come to camp?” “NO
WAY!,” shouted the Fuzzy Fanugie. ‘I LOVE children and can’t wait to play with them.”
And that’s what has happened ever since. The Fuzzy Fanguie and its relatives spend quiet winters, resting and dreaming of the summer. And when summer arrives, they visit with our campers. When a camper celebrates climbing to the top of the tower or earning her deep water bracelet, a Fuzzy Fanugie is there to share the joy. When a camper is low and needs a cuddle, a Fuzzy Fanugie is there to console him. When we sing together each morning, the Fuzzy Fanugies love to join in!
Will you see a Fuzzy Fanugie this summer?