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(Today)   CSB Sunday Morning: That one time at summer camp   (today.com) divider line
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2240 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 May 2020 at 9:00 AM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-24 6:34:29 AM  
Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv
 
2020-05-24 7:47:40 AM  
I never went to an "overnight" summer camp. All of my overnight camping was in the Boy Scouts. Anyway, the summer day camp I did go to, even though it was in the city, had cabins with bunk beds. They were where we took shelter during summer storms.
One time at camp, we were bored, and took turns jumping from the upper bunk. The counselor was off doing counselor stuff, probably smoking (cigarettes). One kid jumped, fell and probably broke his nose, because there were screams and lots of blood from his face and mouth, just as the counselor came in the door.
I'm kind of jealous of summer camp options for kids these days.
 
2020-05-24 7:51:32 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


Just about everyone who joined the Boy Scouts when I was a kid. Maybe that has changed since the 80s.
 
2020-05-24 7:57:29 AM  

Exluddite: leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv

Just about everyone who joined the Boy Scouts when I was a kid. Maybe that has changed since the 80s.


My parents never let me go to summer camp like my sisters. Part of it was money. Part was my drunken mother's insistence I be at her beck and call.

My kids did do Boy Scout camp. Did everyone a world of good. They got to do stupid kid stuff and my wife and got a quiet house for a week.
 
2020-05-24 8:00:07 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


I ran a summer camp for three years as part of a non-profit organization devoted to seniors and economically challenged parents.  It was tuition free and we qualified for government lunches (they were pretty gross). We also received the gift of an old passenger van that had been retired from the city's juvenile detention center.

Just me, a chaperone and 15 or 16 kids tooling around in a van that still had the cage-work inside (including a locking door).  I took them everywhere we could go on a tiny, tiny budget and we had some good times.

cs - One trip I took them to a local "farm". The owner is an old hippy who, over the course of time, bought all the homes on a city block. Some he rented and all the open spaces he converted to animal pens and wood deck walkways. He had goats and llamas, couple of pigs, chickens, a pair of mangy parrots, like that.

The next day someone's Grandma stopped in, furious. "I want to know where you took little Johnny yesterday. He CLAIMS you took him to some zoo but the only zoo I know of is hours away and there was NOTHING on the schedule about THAT!"

She refused to believe it until I gave her the address and directions. It became her new spot to take Johnny and she told EVERYONE about this zoo - right in the city! Who knew?

cs 2 - Took them all to a historic home - we were comped after begging - the kids were bored, drag-a**ing and silent, nearing rebellion as we stood in the formal dining room and the tour guide droned on about the details of construction.  Then, like the sounds of bells, one of the kids said "HEY! There's naked ladies carved in this door!"  I hustled them out to the gardens and later had to pull two of them out of a fountain.

cs 3 - Ran into one of those kids this past February. Got a pre-flu hug and a cheery "Don't you remember me?"

nope. But she remembered camp :)
 
2020-05-24 8:03:53 AM  
Well, long story but let me tell you those flautists had nothing on that girl who played bassoon
 
2020-05-24 8:05:50 AM  
Summer camp? Is that a northern thing?
 
2020-05-24 8:13:00 AM  

Exluddite: leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv

Just about everyone who joined the Boy Scouts when I was a kid. Maybe that has changed since the 80s.


I went up through '93. Won best shot and qualified as a prone sharpshooter on .22 rifles that year. (And yet I'm not a MAGAt or a gun nut... go figure.)

Our camp - Cachalot Scout Reservation - was out in Myles Standish State Forest out near Plymouth. We did swimming, hiking, the works, with merit badge classes and stuff mixed in. Some of the highlights/lowlights:

-Listening to The Wall-Live in Berlin on a radio as it happened

-Getting stuck in the mess hall during a tornado watch/thunderstorm the night of the '92 ASG (which is how I remember when it happened)

-The time all of a dorky kid's stuff got pissed on (well beyond not cool, even if he was the least socially adjusted kid imaginable)

-Either the year of the Pissening or the year before, we were set up with a different troop (they expanded our site out so it was bigger than it had been). They were full of the bad influence crowd (surprise, surprise) and one night they went out after curfew to mess around in the woods. Anyways, somehow (possibly the dork? don't remember) it was found out that they were out, and counselors/staff went looking for them. Apparently they almost got back, but when one of them went into their tent (we had surplus army tents on wooden cradles), the head of the camp was in his tent, waiting in the dark, and just said "Son, I'm very disappointed in you." Well since he didn't see him he jumped and snapped his back tent post, bringing the tent down on him. They all got busted somehow from it; don't remember the details.

I know I enjoyed it but I don't remember many more specific things that stood out as CSB worthy there. The camp is still out there, though last year (and I assume this year) they weren't open for full camp due to budget cuts.

I can't imagine what camp would be like now; we didn't have power at the site that I can remember, so it'd be an entire 6 night stay with no phones/tablets/etc. Kids would probably hate it.
 
2020-05-24 8:31:22 AM  
I went away to summer camp, 3 times, 4 if you include the week spent on a 50 mile hike. Yes, it was Boy Scouts. We had to find ways to try to pay for it ourselves so would do things like going door to door offering to paint your street address on the curb for about $3. If the person agreed we'd paint a white background on their curb that day and then come back in about a day or two and assemble their address on some stencils then spray paint their address on the background we'd painted. I think we also sold chocolate bars.

Twice camp was at a lake in the Sierras, once on Catalina Island. I was able to go water skiing at Catalina which was nice when we were on the bay then we went a bit further out and the ocean swells were about 6 foot. So the small boat would slow going up then speed up going down. I didn't slow down at the same rate as the boat so the tow rope would go slack and dip into the water by the time the boat hit the top of a swell and then jerk tight as it went down. Not sure what was going on in the boat driver's head but if anything was he had to be trying to mess with me because that just isn't what you would call ideal conditions for water skiing. But at 12 years old I was too stubborn to give up even if my arms were just about ripped out of their sockets. Not sure anymore how long that went on but know it was too long. None of the other skiers were taken outside the calmer bay. I did get airborne coming off a swell or two but as far as I know didn't jump over any sharks.
 
2020-05-24 8:35:30 AM  
I really dug my summer camp days. I remember hiking over a ridge to an abandoned camp that was nearby with another guy from my troop. We were near the fireplace in what looked like it used to be the mess hall, hard to say since only the stone piers and the fireplace were still there. We heard something rustling through the bushes at the edge of the clearing
Racoon? No, too big.
Deer? Maybe.
Then it came into the clearing about 40 yards from us. BEAR!
Hiking up took about 30 minutes. Getting back took about 10. In retrospect, I don't think the bear really gave a damn about us.

Same camp different year. Me and another guy in our troop decided to stay an extra week, so we were the only Scouts in the camp over that weekend. We went with the camp councilors to see Purple Rain.

We had a thing in our troop where we'd dress in black and go out at night to pull various pranks. At that camp, removing someone's tent from above them was popular (they were canvas tents over wood platforms, so it was also possible) as was moving stuff around. One day we were talking to a younger kid from one of the troops who was complaining about how the older kids in his troop were assholes. They made the younger guys do everything while they sat on their asses. Basically they were hazing the kids.
Every troop had an entry gate that they made out of fallen trees/branches and lashed together. They usually had the troop number on them, and some were fancier than others. These guys were really proud of theirs. It had four tripods that held a platform suspended from them, sort of an entry bridge.
We got our ninja gear on (we were kids, of course we called it that) and went to work. We carried the gate to the assembly field, sat it in the middle of the four flagpoles, tied it to the ropes, and hoisted it into the air. When the troops assembled in the morning to raise the flags, there it was. The kids in their troop that they were hazing were giving us subtle thumbs up.

All of this happened at NoBeBoSco, which you've probably seen as Camp Crystal Lake. Yes, I get nostalgic watching a horror movie sometimes.
 
2020-05-24 9:05:18 AM  
I was able to go to a pretty fun camp in the Puget Sound when I was a young teenager.
Being that it was churchy, it was a wild scene but yeah it definitely left some good memories. Good and bad
From learning to water ski in waters filled with jelly fish, to putting icy hot inside of a kids biking shorts...it had it all.
 
2020-05-24 9:09:25 AM  
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2020-05-24 9:19:15 AM  
Camp Singing Waters, Holden, Louisiana, summer of 1976 & 77.


/no CSBs
 
2020-05-24 9:23:19 AM  
I used to spend 2 weeks every summer at a Boy Scout camp in SW Ohio where the rifle and archery ranges were at the bottom of a hill across a small creek. This created a steep rock face of shale that was between 80 and 120 feet high that one day I decided to climb when I was about 14. The layered rock was fairly easy until I got to the top of it and realized there was about 30 more feet of topsoil and very little vegetation. No way to go up and going down seemed even worse. Finally I decided to work my way sideways until I reached some honeysuckle that would support my weight. 46 years later I remember it as the first time I probably should have died.
 
2020-05-24 9:26:36 AM  
My summer camp, from age 8ish to 11ish, was wandering around the woods up in the Virginia or West Virginia mountains near either of my grandparents houses. I'd go miles in any direction, eating berries or honeysuckles, climbing trees or small cliffs and playing in streams, throwing rocks at snakes and trying to sneak up on rabbits. I may not have slept in a bunkhouse, but 8 year old me knew how good it feels to step, barefoot, into a warm cow patty and then wash it off in the Shenandoah while seeing if you could skip a rock across the river.
 
2020-05-24 9:27:55 AM  
My son was in scouting for a while.  He didn't give two shiats about getting merit badges, he was in it for the hiking, canoeing, swimming, and, of course, building fires.
 
2020-05-24 9:31:07 AM  
That psycho in green has the nail polish remover. So checks out. I nearly burned down my dorm by lightning deodorant on fire. Luckily was also good at putting out fires, just threw my coat on top of it.

What were we talking about again?
 
2020-05-24 9:32:31 AM  
We were too poor to ever go. Dad took us to state parks for day trips sometimes and I loved that.  I wound up being too poor to send any of my kids to camp either, but when two of them wanted to go on a mission trip, I managed to score a second job to cover their expenses.  They went for two years,  not knocking on doors trying to convert people or anything but basically doing Habitat for humanity clean-up and home repair work for the elderly in places where people were poorer than us. They got a lot out of the experience. Except that they never cared to do that same kinda work around our house, lol.
 
2020-05-24 9:35:19 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


My kids all went to a YMCA camp and 2 of them worked as counselors. It was the highlight of their childhoods, an extremely positive experience from the point of view of the kids and the parents.
 
2020-05-24 9:38:26 AM  
Boy Scout camp, a buddy and I spending most of our time at the rifle range, my stocking up on candy and soda at the canteen every day: it was unlike my mother to not just allow it, but to keep visiting with more money for my ammo and grub spending. She must have been especially motivated that I enjoy myself and stay at camp...

My tentmate, that turned out to be a 40-yr buddy, woke me up in the middle of the night, shouting and bouncing around in his cot that there were raccoons under my cot. All my grub was gone, every bit, even the wrappers and soda. I was puzzled for years how they got the full cans back to their home, how they knew what was in them, why the coons would still be under the cot after the grub was all gone--until my buddy stole a girlfriend of mine--albeit  their relationship short-lived. Then it all made sense. That SOB stole my munch stash at camp!

After stealing my girl I'd told him for years I'd get him back and steal a girl of his. I watched and bided my time waiting for the right girl. But alas, when I finally saw a motivating candidate that was clearly interested herself, she had three demonic children I couldn't bear. But karma got him. She, and her demons, hurt him more than I'd have ever been able to bring myself to do...
 
2020-05-24 9:38:55 AM  
I will return later with a CSB.
Promise.
 
2020-05-24 9:42:47 AM  
I went to boy scout camp several years - Camp Trexler.  Had alot of fun, lots of the "ninja" kind of stuff that exluddite talks about - dressing in black, sneaking around at night messing with people.

One of the favorites was getting a big #10 can from the mess hall.  You punch a hole in the bottom, run a piece of bailing twine through the hole and knot it on the inside.  The you untwist the twine and pull your fingers along it.  Sounds *exactly* like a bear growling ... or so we told ourselves at 13!  We'd get up in our black gear and sneak around to another troops camp set start going with a "bear".  The older kids and adults generally (but not always) laughed, but if freaked out the young kids.  Then someone would come out to investigate and we'd high tail it through the woods in the dark back to our rendezvous point.

I eventually became a camp counselor - lifeguarding, teaching canoeing and rowing.  A few interesting times then as well.  Like the time the rifle range burned down and a couple of is ran up to help ... and immediately ended up hiding behind trees as all the 22 ammo and cans of black powder cooked off.  And the time some idiot put gasoline on the end of week bonfire stack instead of diesel and it exploded.

Good times!
 
2020-05-24 9:43:57 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


It didn't used to be. Going to camp for the bulk of the summer, maybe, but when I went it was just a bunch of middle class kids. Sunday to Saturday. Out in the woods somewhere northwest of Cleveland. Somewhere-on-the-lake.

It was dreary. Like being in prison. I was 10 and shy and had never played organized sports. So naturally we played baseball every day. [most egregious story of self-pity deleted by the EPA as toxic waste]
 
2020-05-24 9:45:10 AM  
Yeah, I was in Camp Fire Girls - that's how old I am. No boys allowed at Camp Killoqua back then. I got to go for a week every year from 5th grade all the way to being a counselor-in-training. It was the highlight of my summer, and it provided me with skills I still use today. My, the 70's were a different time; when did I get so freeking old?
 
2020-05-24 9:45:36 AM  
I was in cub scouts on an outing and me and friends were doing the usual "pull giant rocks out the ground and toss them in the creek" thing when one of the guys lost control of a boulder and it rolled over my foot and ankle on its way to the water.

I hobbled over to a leather crafting station that had a big sign on it that said "DYE HERE" and sprawled out on the table. It was perhaps my very first dad joke.
 
2020-05-24 9:51:37 AM  
parasol:

That's awesome
 
2020-05-24 9:59:47 AM  
My family never had the money for summer camp. But I my grandfather and my uncles taught me how to camp, hunt and fish starting when I was about 8. So lots of trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains, did a section of the Appalachian Trail with my uncle one summer. So lots of great memories of being outdoors away from mom and dad and my kid brothers.
 
2020-05-24 9:59:55 AM  
okay.

after some thought (and happy memories, tyvm, subby).

My summer camp story - same camp as upthread.

The Miami Marlins front office sent us 30 tickets to an August game (and all we had to do was call and ask!). The game began after regular camp hours and there were days of preparation, permission slips and we encouraged the parents to front their kids some pocket money and chipped in some of our own to boot for those that couldn't. Every camper went in with the same $15. Some of them wide-eyed with folding money.

At the last minute my husband sheepishly asked if he could go, too - which is how he ended up driving  to the stadium, me riding shotgun, the kids bouncing and chattering in the back.

Everyone got a treat or two and we sat, wide open view of that green field as the warm summer night grew blue and the announcer did his thing. None of the kids had been to a "real" baseball game before and I will always be grateful the team's management was so generous - the seats themselves were cheap enough but we were a big group that night. We cheered and danced and it was as close to perfect as could be.

Hubby drove us all back well after dark to waiting parents and we closed up camp that year on a high note.

That'd be "that one time at summer camp"
 
2020-05-24 10:02:00 AM  
Not much of a CSB - but in the summer of 1980, my best friend was a counselor at Camp Flaming Arrow.  I was just hanging out at home.   Then friend calls me (by payphone, before cell phones) We had both bought the same album - Judas Priest "British Steel" So yesterday was the 38th anniversary of our HS graduation - We took a road trip to Flaming Arrow playing "British Steel"  all the way.   Good time.
 
2020-05-24 10:03:42 AM  
I never went to camp, but every summer my brothers and I would go out into the woods behind the house and climb trees and swing from vines and stuff. I'm still amazed we never killed each other because we figured out that we could climb to the top of the trees and then the vines with support our weight so we'd be 20 feet in the air walking between trees on nothing but vines. Every so often you would take a step and the vines wouldn't hold your weight and You'd fall to the ground but they were still enough vines to slow you down so you never broke anything when you landed. But as an adult, it was dangerous of shiat we never realized it until much later in life.

So much fun, though.
 
2020-05-24 10:05:15 AM  

wademh: I went away to summer camp, 3 times, 4 if you include the week spent on a 50 mile hike. Yes, it was Boy Scouts. We had to find ways to try to pay for it ourselves so would do things like going door to door offering to paint your street address on the curb for about $3. If the person agreed we'd paint a white background on their curb that day and then come back in about a day or two and assemble their address on some stencils then spray paint their address on the background we'd painted. I think we also sold chocolate bars.

Twice camp was at a lake in the Sierras, once on Catalina Island. I was able to go water skiing at Catalina which was nice when we were on the bay then we went a bit further out and the ocean swells were about 6 foot. So the small boat would slow going up then speed up going down. I didn't slow down at the same rate as the boat so the tow rope would go slack and dip into the water by the time the boat hit the top of a swell and then jerk tight as it went down. Not sure what was going on in the boat driver's head but if anything was he had to be trying to mess with me because that just isn't what you would call ideal conditions for water skiing. But at 12 years old I was too stubborn to give up even if my arms were just about ripped out of their sockets. Not sure anymore how long that went on but know it was too long. None of the other skiers were taken outside the calmer bay. I did get airborne coming off a swell or two but as far as I know didn't jump over any sharks.


I've been to that camp at Catalina. I took a marine ecology class in high school and we went there for a weekend field trip. We snorkeled in and around the kelp beds. It was beautiful.
 
2020-05-24 10:05:43 AM  

leeksfromchichis: parasol:

That's awesome


Those were very full years.

Well, I'm headed out - you all have a lovely Sunday :)
 
2020-05-24 10:06:21 AM  

Momzilla59: Yeah, I was in Camp Fire Girls - that's how old I am. No boys allowed at Camp Killoqua back then. I got to go for a week every year from 5th grade all the way to being a counselor-in-training. It was the highlight of my summer, and it provided me with skills I still use today. My, the 70's were a different time; when did I get so freeking old?


So you're saying, if I need  multicolored scoubidou to attach to my key chain, you're the woman for me?
 
2020-05-24 10:07:28 AM  

FriarReb98: Our camp - Cachalot Scout Reservation - was out in Myles Standish State Forest out near Plymouth. We did swimming, hiking, the works, with merit badge classes and stuff mixed in. Some of the highlights/lowlights:


One of my best friends sends her son to that camp.

I was Camp Teetonka and YMCA Storer Camp.
 
2020-05-24 10:13:00 AM  
I never did "summer camp". But summers were still an adventure.

In the summer of '98, my father took my brother, my older half brother, and his wife on a cross-country road trip from Florida to Washington state. We went via Highway 2 once past the Mackinac Bridge.

We stopped at Fort Peck Lake/Dam in Montana, Cut Bank, Glacier National Park, Bemidji, Fargo, Devils Lake. Once we got to Washington, we stayed in a cabin on top of a mountain. No running water. No electricity. No phone. Certainly no computer or internet. Those were the good times, before I knew the stark realities of life. But summers can be magical.

I was a weird farking 13 year old. Not surprised I became a Farker lol.
 
2020-05-24 10:16:22 AM  
I lost something at summer camp, but I can't type about it online or I'll be arrested.
 
2020-05-24 10:18:31 AM  
Went a few times as a kid.  My parents couldn't afford it normally, so I'm not sure how I got to go the first time.  But what I do recall vividly is meeting Henry Winkler.  Guy really liked visiting summer camps, and talking with kids.

The other times I went were church camp, and wasn't all that much like summer camp.
 
2020-05-24 10:20:29 AM  
I spent many weeks at both church camp (Wanake, Asbury, Otterbein, Augsburg, Wesley) and scout camp (Buckeye, Butler) from grades 6-12, (1969-75) as both a camper and a counselor. I was already a woods rat, having learned hunting, trapping and tracking from my father and uncles from about age 7-8.
 
2020-05-24 10:20:41 AM  
Went to a 4-H camp for two weeks one summer. Wasn't a bad camp, had all the classic hiking / fishing / shooting stuff, but my parents sent me with all of $5 in pocket money to last two weeks. That was less than 1/4 of what other kids seemed to have.

Would have sucked except for one thing. Did you know most kids don't know how to play 7-card stud poker? And that even in a nickle game you can rake in quite a bit of change in a single hand with gormless cabin-mates?

Came home with $10 and had been buying sodas all week.
 
2020-05-24 10:22:27 AM  
My parents were lower middle-class and definitely sent me to summer camp to get a little more peace and quiet. Strangely, I have no memory of what arrangements (if any) they made for my sister, who was a couple years older than me.  We were in a large city and any place with huge stretches of natural forest were a long way off, and would require camping/boarding costs, so that wasn't an option.  So for the first couple of years it was a day-camp in a large area of accesible urban parkland.

It was ok, but largely boring, counsellors trying to fill the day with various activities. 20-minute walk to a spot to get picked up by a school bus, then another 45 minutes to pick up other kids going to several urban camps. Oh man, I wish mp3 players and earbud headphones had been around, I would have loved to tune everyone out. I was one of those socially awkward kids - got by somehow, but I think my brain was on autopilot a lot of the time. I wasn't really cut out for camp.

I did that camp for three or four years.  It was where I met my first bully.  Another year, the whole group I was with were (mild) bullies and all called me "farked-up-s***-head". Stepped on glass on the beach one time.  One year was actually good, had a good group, a counsellor who was a storyteller, had some mini-adventures - still, nothing that would approach "that one time" level.

So I wanted a change, but that didn't work out well.  First attempt was a sports camp near where my dad worked out in the suburbs, because I'd shown no interest in sports. Most of the kids there knew each other from previous years. I was pegged as the kid to be bullied on the first day - one kid was deliberately searching out potential targets to report back to the group. Every shower room experience was a nightmare. The counsellors would break things up, but would otherwise never do anything.

The two highlights for me were escaping for about 15 minutes during lunch to watch college kids play on arcade machines. And there was one of the few girls at the camp - she was some kid's cousin who was stuck visiting her relatives, so we hung out and chatted, both with a kind of "why are we here?" attitude. This pissed off her cousin, who was also at the camp, because it made him look bad that she was hanging out with the camp's bullying target, so he ramped up his name-calling. One lunch I was carrying some sunflower seed shells to the garbage, and he knocked them out of my hand - that was the last straw, and one of the few times I ever stood up for myself as a kid. I balled my hands into fists and drummed them on top of his head like I was button-mashing.  Turns out he started crying later and I was made to apologize to him. I don't think I've ever hated camp admins more. The last day of camp was supposed to be "no sports, all fun and games", but I knew it would be the last day that all the bullies would go into overdrive. The day before, as my dad drove me home, I broke out crying and refused to go because of the bullying.  He'd had no idea; I don't think I'd ever seen him look so chagrinned.

My parents tried sending me to a different sports camp next summer - one more close-by, on the grounds of a high school.  The counsellors' idea of forming competing teams was the 8-to-10 year-olds vs. the 11-to-13 year-olds.  Guess which team won every time?  After a week and a half of that stupidity, I waited until my parents' car drove away, waited five minutes, and then I took a good, relaxing walk home, broke into the house through a back window, and did my own thing.  After a few times coming home and finding me back, my parents eventually caved and let me relax as long as I left them alone. I went on a bike ride most afternoons.

The best summer camp for me?  I kid you not - Dungeons & Dragons camp.  Did that for three years.  These were my people!  Had to sit through that long excruciating bus ride both ways, but the camp itself was worth it.  Lunches were slow, relaxed affairs with sunny walks along the bustling waterfront.  I'm not going to lie - the kids at this camp, myself included, knew jack squat about good role-playing. We were 13-year old munchkin/powergamers who wanted the +4 dancing sword etc. - but fun was had!  Best part of that bus ride was the snotty kids trying to diss us. "You... sit in a room all day and roll dice?"  Ahh, sweet bliss.
 
2020-05-24 10:32:34 AM  
Dear Fark,
I never thought this would happen to me. I was a young virile well muscled 18 year old Virgin when I went off to camp that year...
 
2020-05-24 10:34:14 AM  
Though to follow-up with a "That one time at Dungeons & Dragons camp" story, there was the time when our party was climbing a huge magical spiralling staircase into the sky, encountered a Beholder, and during the fight our paladin accidentally fell off the staircase all the way to the ground, in full plate mail, and to add insult to injury, landed on one of the glyphs of warding that our wizard had set up around the base of the staircase so that no one could follow us from behind. As the fight against the Beholder continued, and wasn't going well, someone in the party decided they might as well try their Wand of Wonder, which summoned a rhinoceros, which also fell off the staircase, and landed on the paladin.  Good times.
 
2020-05-24 10:39:23 AM  
Is church camp the same thing as summer camp? I used to go to Falls Creek Baptist Assembly for one week every summer.

CSB/
One year I met a girl there and we hung out together the whole week. That included spending some alone time in the empty, darkened, open-air class rooms scattered around the camp. She was from Texas and was totally out of my league. When that week was over, we went our separate ways and I figured I'd never see her again.
But I was proven wrong one Sunday later that Fall. I was hanging out with my friends at the church's rec center and we were watching the pregame for the Dallas Cowboy's first game of the season. Now this was back when NFL cheerleaders were a new thing so they were introducing the new line-up of Cowboy's cheer leaders when we all heard a familiar name. There she was. I couldn't believe it. My short-term girlfriend was on the new squad.
/End CSB
 
2020-05-24 10:40:52 AM  
Most of this stuff is hazy do to how freakin' long ago this was.

Mid-70's, Boy Scouts, Shackleford Banks, NC.

The main things I remember are:

- Bus ride from Charlotte, NC to this place (hours long, no air conditioning, summer heat)
- Had to take a boat to the island, and there was no power on that part of the island (probably NO part of the island)
- Digging/assembling, and then crapping into, a latrine (effectively sitting on the cross-bar of a wooden tripod with your ass hanging over the pit)
- Navigating the island, probably for a skill award, and stumbling into a large bowl-shaped area (a football field in size) that turned out to be the nesting ground for some local birds.  They were dive bombing us like crazy to protect their eggs.
- Finding out about the girl scouts camp on another part of the island, going streaking past them, and then being devoured (all over - I mean all over) by the local mosquitos as we tried to put our clothes back on
- Having to pick up, and bury, a few hundred dead fish that washed up on shore one day
- No one got seriously hurt
 
2020-05-24 10:42:39 AM  

runbuh: Most of this stuff is hazy do to how freakin' long ago this was.


Forgot one thing that has never escaped my memory: the smell of slightly moldy, summer-day-hot-as-hell, tent canvas.
 
2020-05-24 10:52:25 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


This.

Camp was for rich kids and kids of divorce.
 
2020-05-24 10:57:03 AM  
Not summer camp, but in a summer camp facility.

CSB: In high school [Puebla, Mexico], we did the Model UN thing, and one of the places we went was the University of Houston. The school superintendent and his wife (who ran the Model UN program) were apparently great friends wit Tom Manison, who ran Camp Manison up in Friendswood, right next to NASA Johnson (the boonies back then, row houses now); they had the bright idea that, since it was April 1988 and the camp was closed, they could host us baboons for a week & earn some green (April 1987 was hosted by other friends of theirs, in their houses, and it didn't go that well). So, it was arranged, and we arrived to spend our spring break at camp and then go play besuited diplomats for 3 days.

NOT a good idea. I told my dear old English teacher/program chief/gadfly that the troop usually did Model UN first, drunken celebration/vacation second, and that inverting the order would attract the revenge of the Aztec gods. In the 80s, getting booze in MEX was as simple as going to the supermarket/corner store and buying it (No national IDs, no ID check), so our suitcases and backpacks bulged with the sweet nectar of the agave and the sugarcane... and a merry time was had by all, for 3 sozzled days, during which we discovered the results of rum and Dr. Pepper, not available south of the border at that time, and volleyball under the influence (the teachers made the mistake of sleeping in Tom's camp house, which isolated them from the raucous teenage alcoholics). We did use the camp facilities by day, to sweat off all that ethanol, and re-hydrated at night.

Waking up on the MUN's first day was something else; we had to carry one of the guys from his bed to the showers to revive him with ice-cold water and heroic doses of caffeine, because he still was in the gray zone between blind drunk and hung over, all this while cursing him and our bursting heads. However, we recovered and managed to win some prizes... which set off the wildest celebration yet. We stayed at a Holiday Inn near the Astrodome, and we climbed down from our first floor rooms, around the building, into the dorkiest girls' room, where we drank everything that hadn't been consumed yet, plus what the one among us with a fake US ID (and his whole Lurch act, being 196 cm, 6'5") had brought along. For 9 of them, the best GPAs in the whole school, it was their first all-out party... with all the usual (for us 3 cholos) shenanigans. The guy with the fake ID cut his leg on a railing, made a mess, had to stay in his room with a bedsheet bandage and a field ice pack (towel + ice from the ice machine), the WC almost overflowed, our climbing almost attracted a cop car, etc.

In the end, we were caught, summarily expelled, and readmitted when the HS principal realized he was gonna lose his best students and very probably his job when the scandal reached the parents, all in 24 hours. Of course, we celebrated again and the nerds became, like us, drunk nerds. 

Loved camp, Mexican stye. Still do.
 
2020-05-24 10:58:14 AM  

runbuh: runbuh: Most of this stuff is hazy do to how freakin' long ago this was.

Forgot one thing that has never escaped my memory: the smell of slightly moldy, summer-day-hot-as-hell, tent canvas.


Smells will bring it all back. I can sit here right now and close my eyes and remember the smell of my buddies basement we spent hundreds of hours rolling dice on D&D campaigns. Old house, dusty just a bit of mildew and old rugs musty furniture smell. Great memories.
 
2020-05-24 10:59:13 AM  

leeksfromchichis: Who actually goes to summer camp?  isn't it like the sweet spot of suburban upper middle class kids with parents who are too busy working for family camping but too poor for crazy shiat like crossing antarctica? I've only seen it in movies  and tv


My EXACT thought! I've never even SEEN one of these camps in real life. I've seen educational summer programs run by schools and churches, but never the adventurous live-in-a-cabin-for-a-month programs that you seen in movies.
 
2020-05-24 11:01:12 AM  
th.bing.comView Full Size

Camp counselors were really nice.
 
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