Friday, May 29, 2009

Were you a camper?

Unlike most kids I dreaded summer. I know, right? It's not that I didn't enjoy slathering myself with OIL and frying like a piece of bacon in the backyard, or having a break from my rigorous studies, but I had to spend my summers a thousand miles away from all my friends. Every year I was a mess wondering what I was missing. Did my boyfriend really make out with that Barbie girl?(Yeah, he totally did!) Will my friends dump me? (As if!) And I can't even tell you how envious I was of some of my friends that spent the summer at camp.
I blame it on bad 80's movies like Meatballs, but I completely romanticized summer camp. Then one summer I was able to fit in a few weeks of summer camp before being shipped off to Colorado. You should know that this wasn't my first time camping. My parents had a camper and a boat and we would spend many weekends at a local campground. So all the bad points of camping (giant mosquitos, poison ivy, completely unhygenic restrooms)I had already dealt with. I was a pro.
I was psyched to bunk down with two of my very good friends. I should explain that we were at 4-H camp and not someplace cool like Camp Wannahockaluge or somewhere. I couldn't wait to lock eyes with the guy I had fantasized being my camp hookup. My mom sent me with plenty of paper and stamps so I could write home. I tried not to roll my eyes as she dropped me off. I was going to be way too busy doing exciting camp stuff to mess with letter writing.

The first day I nearly punched a hole right through my finger by doing some stupid craft punching leather. The second day I burnt(seriously, I had smoke coming off me) off the first layer of skin on my chest and stomach by sliding on a homemade slip n' slide that someone forgot to put water on (way humilitating!). The third day I lost my nametag, which was the ultimate camper no-no. Seriously you would have thought I had stood on a table in the mess hall and mooned everyone. I am fairly certain that the lake we were swimming in was filled with toxic waste and there was zero water pressure so you couldn't even shower it off you. And there was NO ONE crushworthy. So I broke out the paper and pencil and begged my mom to come and get me.
I don't think I've ever been as happy to see someone in my whole life as the day she showed up. The counselors were not happy that I was making a break for it. To this day I'm pretty sure there is a graffiti'd picture of me posted in a musty cabin somewhere. Did you spend your summers at camp? Was it a nightmare like mine or was it the time of your life?
xo,
Stephanie
www.stephaniehale.com

3 comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Steph, I, too, was a Escapee from Summer Camp! Along with my beefs was the fact that I "failed" the swim test by being unfamiliar with the "at rest" inverted breaststroke.

I was docked, told I couldn't swim, even though I tried telling them I was in fact my swim team's #1 swimmer. In fact, the reason I escaped was because the coach sent my mom to get me for a meet and I refused to go back.

Anyway, when I finally was allowed into the water to "learn to swim," I took of like a bat out of hell. Which only infuriated the counselors, and made them hate me as much as I then hated them...

So when my daughter wanted to go to summer camp at about the same age, I BEGGED her not to go! But she did and actually LIKED it. Go figure. =)

Nikki said...

Summer camp was my favorite time of the year, I am actually sad that I am now not only too old to go but too old to be a counselor. Every year when my camp would send my brochure in the spring I would spend a week poring over it, making my choices for the summer. I would pack weeks in advance and cry when I left. To this day summer means camp to me, summer even smells like camp. In fact I loved camp so much that when I have kids if for some reason school conflicts with camp I will homeschool them just so they can go to camp.

Heather Davis said...

OMG, Steph. I thought I was the only one who had such a love/hate relationship with summer camp. I'll tell you more in another post sometime, but let's just say creepy but nice boy gets crush on me and follows me around camp all week, frizzy blond cheerleader sister-twins rule the cabin with an iron fist, homesickness prevails.

Aw... summmer camp!

Heath