Lone Ranger’s nickname derived from Michigan summer camp

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A new film version of The Lone Ranger is coming to theaters on July 3 with Johnny Depp portraying the ranger’s trusty sidekick Tonto so now is as good a time as any to brush up on some Lone Ranger trivia. As you may recall watching reruns of the old serials as a kid, Tonto refers to the Lone Ranger as Ke-mo sah-bee to mean “trusty scout” or “faithful friend.”

The nickname came from a summer camp in Michigan, Camp Kee-Mo Sah-Bee.

Jim Jewell, director of The Lone Ranger radio show from 1933 to 1939, took the phrase from the Mullett Lake boys’ camp established by his father-in-law, Charles W. Yeager, in 1911.

The camp operated from 1911 to 1941. After the radio show became popular, Yeager held Lone Ranger-themed camps there.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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