Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Your Turn

Did you go to summer camp? Overnight? Weeks on end? Away from home? Was Bill Murray one of your camp counselors?

58 comments:

Vicki Cupper said...

Went to church camp every summer for years. Loved being away from home, but hated being around my brother and sister.

OMAMA is BROKO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EmEyeKay said...

Church camp! Hated being away from my family, not a happy camper.

rejectedcarebear said...

My family was poor and being the youngest, I got the shaft so not really. I did go to weekend camping trips once a year with my girl scout troop.
I have a relative that looks so much like Bill Murray, people stop him in the street and ask.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I did a YMCA camp one time for a week when I was about 7, but after the poison ivy episode, that was the last time.

Del Riser said...

I think it was a girl scout camp for a week. Lot's of fun.

figgy said...

Fortune Lake Lutheran Church Camp. Wonderful place! Went for a week every summer for years and LOVED it! Even now just thinking back on it fills me with the warm fuzzies.

car54 said...

Even as a child I was NOT an outdoor person.

I went to Girl Scout camp once and we had to volunteer for chores and I put my hand up for Latrine duty because I didn't know what a latrine was and I thought it sounded like a pretty french word it must be something good.

When I found out what they wanted me to do I marched straight to the camp office and demanded that they call my mom to come get me and I never went back.

I just am not into the great outdoors and never have been.

Texshan said...

I went to Baptist church camp for two weeks every summer for about five years. Cement dorms, lots of Jesus, scorpions, and really awful food. It was in the Texas hill country, and they hiked our asses all over the place going on "nature walks" to learn about the "beauty of God's creation." When you are about to pass out from heat stroke, sweating like a pig, getting stung by every insect in the world, exhausted, and trying to avoid LOTS of poison ivy, it's hard to appreciate God's creation.

On the plus side, the counselors were always nice and there was a pool (no bikinis allowed).

Connie151 said...

I went to a Methodist church camp for a week during two summers in junior high. Fortunately it was one of the most non-churchy church camps ever and it was located in beautiful Marin County, CA. Loved it and think fondly of those times!

katsm0711 said...

In the 1980s I went to the park everyday. It was organized by the town with counselors but lots of kids and teens would show up usually to hit on the counselors. It was a free for all. I rode my bike age 7 no helmet about a mile or two to it. We would all decide what game I play, capture the flag, four square, crafts, duck duck goose. Whatever we thought of. It was the best! I got in trouble for swearing bc I was a kid n had to run laps but we all got along n even went to the kids who lived adjacents pools. Those were the days! And I did soccer camp where I got sun poisoning.

mynerva said...

I went to Pony Club camp every summer until I was 14. Brilliant fun and lots of boldness!

Barton Fink said...

I went to a Lutheran summer camp several times as a child, where I learned the evil secret of the Lutherans! Namely, that they are only mildly committed to religion, most of the time. It's hard to be a firebreathing hell-and-brimstone Lutheran.

Angelina said...

I always wanted to go to camp, but my mom said that if she sent me, she'd have to send my brother and sister. So she told me to get a job-- which I did, at age 8. After collecting enough bottles and cans and recycling them (this is obvs before those handy machines at the supermarket) all summer, I made $150-- enough to go to camp. "Ah, too bad," she said. "Summer is over next week." This happened for a couple more years until I figured it out. Me, my bro and sis live on different continents from my parents now. Hmm.

Mhdz said...

My poor minority self went to day camp. It was pretty cool though, run by liberal nuns and we had a lot of activities and took trips to the beach, zoo, etc.

NapAssasin said...

Day camp & sleep away camp. It was awesome - broke my arm, played flashlight tag, hiking, zip lining & did a whole gymnastics routine to "I've had the time of my life". Our team was called the Muffs & the older counselors made us change it. Friend got kicked in the face by a horse. Fell off a ropes course. Went into a real haunted graveyard. IT WAS THE BEST EXPERIENCE.

OMAMA is BROKO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amh.producer said...

I can't believe how many went to Lutheran church camps! Camp Lutherhoma here and I LOVED it. Also did Red Cross camp one summer. ahhh, the joys of youth.

Maja. With a J. said...

My mom was a teacher and had the whole summer off, plus I had all my grandparents so I never went to camp - I guess my parents thought it was unneccessary since there were people around who could look after me. I was, however, a bit jealous of kids who got to go (plus our summer cabin was in an area near a lot of kids summer camps so I would see them and they looked like they were having so much fun). So one summer, I asked to go to sailing camp. I think it was supposed to be for ten days or two weeks, not long anyway. I made it three nights and then made my dad come pick me up. I hated sleeping in bunk beds with a bunch of other kids, I hated hanging out with kids I didn't know (and they were all kind of cocky) and sailing just wasn't my thing. So I went home, and we never spoke of camp again.

Frufra said...

Texshan - did you go to Alto Frio Baptist Encampment?

If so, we could form a support group. Or was it the HEB camp?

I went to Alto Fro for camp once, summer after third grade. Hated every minute of it - cried all week. Looking back, I don't understand why no one called my mom to come get me - it was that bad.

califblondy said...

I went to cheerleading camp and my squad even got a trophy. Whoopty friggin doo, I know. Rah rah.

Every single day from the time we woke up until the time we went to bed it was cheer cheer cheer. We even practiced our chants in the showers. OMG, it was too much after a while.

I was (still am) a weird eater, so thank goodness the Mum packed me a care package so I didn't starve. She learned her lesson after I went to 4-H camp years before and barely ate anything except for bread and butter.

HudsonJoe said...

I spent 4 summers away at camp. The last was defiantly the best. That year we spent 6 weeks at a sailing camp in the Bahamas. All we did was: Dive; water-ski; swim; sail; and a little tennis to dry off.

I want to go back.

RenoBlondee said...

I went to a week long Seventh Day Adventist summer camp once and I loved it. Swimming, hiking, crafts in NC. It was great!
We moved to NV and I went with my best friend w/ her Mormon group camping. It was very fun. They never tried to "turn" me Mormon or anything, lol. It was very relaxed.
Only those two times though.

luckylass said...

Only once. I went to a friend's missionary camp. I picked weeds the entire time. Worst part though: I learned that even though I went to Catholic mass every week, that I was not saved and going to hell because I never said their exact magic words proclaiming my love for God.

Sorry, I can't remember those exact words, but I was told that unless I said them, no matter all the goodness I had done in my life, I was doomed to hell. Geez, and I thought Catholics were bad!

That was the turning point in my religious upbringing and I started questioning everything.

AndrewBW said...

I went to YMCA Storer Camp in Jackson, MI for a number of years as a kid and loved every minute of it. Being outdoors, in the sun, by a big lake, with horses and animals and a couple hundred other kids. Man what I wouldn't give to be able to do that again!

Texshan said...

Holy crap, Frufra, yes! I was at Alto Frio! When were you there? I was there every summer from 1979-1983. What a small world!

I remember being SO HAPPY I had already been baptized when I went the first time, because there was NO WAY I was going to get immersed in the Frio River. Remember singing "Kumbaya" a million times around the campfire during witness testimony? How about crafts, when practically everything you made had to have a Bible verse on it? When you got mail, did they make you either sing "The Star Spangled Banner" or recite a Bible verse in front of everyone during lunch in the cafeteria? Good times, good times.

Texshan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Texshan said...

Re: the Bible verse recitation, no bullshit like John 3:16 or John 11:35, aka "Jesus wept," either.

HudsonJoe, I am soooo jealous of your last camp experience!

Frufra said...

Texshan - my family had a cabin there, so I was there every summer of my life, from the early '70's through the late '80's. Only officially went to one GA Camp, like I said, after my 3rd grade year, so probably 1981 or so?

I bet you were in the youth camps, eh? They went for two weeks. I have two cousins who were counselors and such there. The youth camps always looked much cooler than the GA Camp that freaked me out.

You did a great job describing Alto Frio, though. Concrete, bugs, heat, and Jesus. And no two-pieces in the pool. Oh, and really bad food. My folks were just there a few weeks ago for a Senior Retreat, and the food's still awful.

Frufra said...

Tex, I know what you mean about the bible verses. I was on Bible Drill Team in my younger days.

Don't want to give too much away, but my cousins were brothers named Mark and Mike - probably around your age, too.

Frufra said...

And Tex, I'm a fully committed backslider now. The Southern Baptists would not approve AT ALL :-).

B. Profane said...

Only went to camp once as a kid, but I was a camp counselor for three summers in college. Woo hoo, nothing like facing a gym-full of screaming kids with a hangover...

trogdor said...

I always wanted to go to camp with my friends. My birthday is in the middle of July, so when we would have a party, no one was ever in town :(

Parents didn't understand summer camp, so my sister and I were usually left alone all summer. She'd bolt as soon as they left for work and so it was usually myself, my bike, a book and the open road. By 12, I felt like I knew London and Kerouac personally. At 13, I got a job out of sheer boredom and that pretty much took care of every summer until I started college.

canthia said...

Farm and Wilderness, Plymouth, VT

Overnight for two of the best summers in a row. Very rustic - no electricity in the cabins and they have outhouses. Certainly made me appreciate the little things. Plus it was a blast going backpacking!

May Flower said...

I went to Girl Scout camp for two weeks every summer for years in eastern PA. No weird counselors. All girls. It was my first exposure to African American kids and girls from the inner-city (I came from a very white, suburban world). I loved camp. I loved being away from home. I don't have any exciting camp stories, alas.

luckylass said...

@trogdor (the burninator) - with the exception of my crappy mission, I too was left alone to my own devices. Didn't read as much as you and rotted my brain with more TV than I should have. I wished we weren't too poor for camp.

old ;ady said...

Only went to Camp once and never again. YMCA and my couseler and the girls did the harassment and you have to sleep over in that corner. All shit camp I called it too my Brothers. When I got older and the world got smarter, I became a Girl Scout Leader and sent my junors all to Horse Camp for a week. I forced all my coworkers to buy cookies so I sold over 700 boxes. All my girls went free. A week at Horse Camp and assigned to there own Horse. I had to drive them there in it was like 5 hours away. They cried on the way home they wanted to stay. Priceless

Texshan said...

Frufra, that is hilarious. Yes, I was at the youth camp. I don't remember anyone from the camp, really, except for the other kids from my church. I just turned 43 on Sunday, so if Mike and Mark are about my age, we probably knew each other back in the day!

Camp was OK, except that I really hate the heat and, being a super-pale person, burn in 10 minutes flat. So the nature hikes sucked for me. I would have much rather been swimming or doing crafts in the assembly room. And, like you said, the food was disgusting. Seriously, the food at college was like Michellin 4 star stuff compared to the swill they served at Frio.

I'm still a Baptist, but I'm not a fire-and-brimstone person who takes every word in the Old Testament as the gospel truth (pun intended).

Roman Holiday said...

I never went to camp but I sent my son and i used to count down the days until he left! He was a handful.....

trogdor said...

@luckylass - Thanks for understanding the pain. I used to go crazy during the day. There is only so much Heathcliff, Voltron, Go-Bots, Small World, Silver Spoons, Thunder Cats I could squeeze into my head every day. By mid-summer it would get to the point where I'd do stupid things like sit on the curb in front of my house, trying to see how much heat I could take from the Sun before passing out, figured my parents with feel sorry for me and at least send me to my cousin's houses for the summer. Never passed out though, damn East-Indian sun tolerance. Instead I would get chewed out for being sun-burned when the folks came home from work. lol...

Pogue Mahone said...

Every summer from age 6 to 12 I went to camp for 6 weeks. In grade 7 I also went for 2 weeks.

Frufra said...

@trogdor - I couldn't help but laugh at your "hobby" of sitting on the curb. Man, that is classic kid shit, huh? But I hear how much it sucked for you to be alone all day. My mom was left alone all summer for many years, and I really think the loneliness had a lifelong impact.

Hope you are surrounded by more excitement now :-).

Henriette said...

I did not go to summer camp! I will not let my mother forget it either. My older cousins complained about it so much that my mother said I would hate it and never let me go.

Summer camp is the one experience that I really regret about not doing as a child. The kids use to come back in the fall all excited about summer camp, and I would have no tales to tell :(

Henriette said...

@trogdor
I'm born in August and totally understand the birthday thing. That was my problem too.

auntliddy said...

I was terrified of going to camp, sleepover or day camp. In my mind it was school in the summer! Little did i know my mother never had any intention of sending us to camp! I felt so sorry for camp kids!

Chilie said...

I know a Toronto teacher named Tori who was a camp counselor with Paul Bernardo.

Manda_kitty said...

I went to a Pentecostal church camp in Lufkin (TX). Kids were stealing and fighting, church every night and kids speaking in tongues, craft classes & the boys could play any sport, but us girls were only allowed to play volleyball. I was super upset about that. One night we were playing in the sand at the volleyball court and my friends and I were wondering why everyone was running and screaming until a girl told us there were tornados and we needed to get back to our dorms. Lots of crying and praying. Just like the church service.

Astrid said...

I never went to camp but wanted to be a camp counselor because of the movie "Meatballs". Which is still one of my all-time favorite movies about summertime.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

Yes. Every year until it was time to either become a CIT or say goodbye to camp. I said buh-bye.

You could drop me in the woods without anything and I'd probably make it home just fine.

feraltart said...

Went to camp three times. Two in the bush and one at the snow. Didn't like any really. Being a fat kid is no fun, particularly the snow one was hard as I couldn't ski. It was so bad I walked out of a lesson and just amused myself. Then I decided at almost 40 to do the Inca Trail. Loved South America, but not the trail and not being in a group tour (husband would 't go unless it was a group tour, he hated it as well - the group tour that is). We do love to travel, but we are independent travellers.

Don Incognito said...

Figgy - my family has a cabin in Crystal Falls just down US 2 from Fortune - you and I spent summers in the same place. Small world.

MadLyb said...

I went to a Christian camp once. They made us sleep on a concrete floor in the cold while the youth pastors slept in the heated main house. My sister and I got pneumonia.

During the time we were there, there was a really bad car accident up the road. The people in the Bible camp ran to the accident and told the bleeding victim he needed to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior right then and there, because if he died, he would go to hell.

Selock said...

My sisters went to a bougie sleepaway camp for brown folks, but not me! Jealous.

I was a day camper and dabbled the summers away - YMCA (hated it!), violin, aquatic biology, zoo, and ultimately lots and lots of horse camp while away at the beach - my favorite and the closest I got to sleepaway!

Popnursing said...

I went to church camp once - during high school in the late 80's. Teenage intensity + hormones + religion. What a horrific combo. Imagine Less Than Zero in the woods, with lemonade instead of cocaine.

Looking back as an adult, I was like, wtf?!!

jk said...

Loved it! Started going away at age 8 for 7 weeks per summer---I know it seems young, but my parents told me it'd be fun, and I believed them. I think I continued "sleepaway" camp til I was 14 or 15, when I was a counselor-in-training. I didn't have any brothers or sisters near my age, so it was a great!

tamarind said...

I have a camp story....we went to camp for a week, it was a religious camp, and after a few days the counselors gathered all of us into a room and said they had been opening our mail. they said many of us were complaining about prayer time and said we would not be able to pray anymore. we were forbidden from praying. kids starting crying and they locked us in this "hall" for what seemed an eternity. i just wanted to go back outside to play. after what seemed hours....prob. was only like 45 min, we resumed as scheduled. it was pretty messed up. and one of the relay games we played if you lost-had to bite a raw onion. that's all i remember.

Selock said...

Oh and speaking of church camp, since I don't have any fun camp stories... My mother, raised old-fashioned country Presbyterian, was sent to a Christian sleepaway camp by her oldest brother after he was born again, in the 50s. She was so traumatized by the experience (ie. being singled out as not-saved one night at campfire time among other things), she brings it up regularly even 50 years later, pissed as if it were yesterday. I guess that's why we ended up being raised Unitarian...

Lelaina Pierce said...

I went to a day camp for about 7 years during my Jersey summer years. I didn't love it, but I guess it got me out of my mom's hair. Did the Girl Scout camp thing too. I always wanted to go to a sleepaway camp after watching Camp Cucamonga & Salute Your Shorts.