Paul B. Selz
Paul Selz was born January 24, 1905 and attended Camp Ozone/Kern
teens and twenties. Letters that he wrote as a camper, plus Y.M.C.A.
membership cards from 1916 and 1917 signed by Carl B. Kern, are
stored in the Camp Kern historical archives. His two younger brothers,
Louis and Charles, also attended Camp Ozone/Kern. Two
nephews, Thomas and Richard Wetzel, continued the
tradition as campers and staff members in later years.
As preparations for Camp Kern's 75th Anniversary took
shape in 1985, Paul shared his memories of Carl B. Kern, the Dayton
Y.M.C.A., and camping near the Little Miami in a letter dated May 13,
1985. Paul Selz passed away July 17, 1994, after contributing to The Carl
B. Kern Fund for six consecutive years (1988-1993). The following excerpts
from his letter provide valuable historical insights:
Carl B. Kern
"I knew Mr. C.B. Kern and remember how devastated we felt as we attended
his funeral. A vivid memory of him includes his putting medication around
my eyes for poison ivy during a camp period about 1915. We were in tents
at that time. He assured my mother that I would be properly cared for so
my parents allowed me to remain in camp for the remainder of the period."
Camp Kern and the Dayton Y.M.C.A.
"It was my privilege to represent the Y.M.C.A. along with 5 other Dayton
men in June of 1926 at a World Conference of the Y.M.C.A. held in Helsinki,
Finland.... Camp Kern and the Dayton Y.M.C.A. had a very strong influence
in my life, especially the "Leaders' Club" and "D" club of the late teens
and early 1920's.... Finding the cement platform of the Yukis Lodge reminds
me of the summer Mr. Britton and others built the Lodge framework.
I later occupied the Yukis Lodge both as a camper and cabin leader....
Mr. Kern, Mr. S.C. Britton, Mr. C.E. Allen, and "Jobby" Johnson's brother
Harry, were all Y staff members that I admired.... The cannon shot to
get us up in the morning, the clean-up duties, the games, the swimming in
the fast flowing and always muddy Little Miami, the songs and stories
around campfires, and the plentiful food cooked by "Buff" and his wife
are all fond memories."
A Graveyard Story
"One incident involving my brother, Charles, has never faded from memory.
I was a cabin leader and he a camper when we took the boys to the old
graveyard and "haunted" church at the top of the hill one dark night.
After a visit to the church with the appropriate chain rattling and
groans, we took the boys for a walk through the graveyard. Charles held
one of my hands and another camper held the other. We stopped and leaned
back against a flat head stone. Many graves were sunken perhaps a foot
or so and were overgrown with ivy. Our stone fell backward into the grave
depression and the three of us on top of it. I shall never forget the
sensation as the ivy closed over us! Believe me, there was a mad scramble
to get out!"
Placed on the WWW: January 20, 1996