Thoughtful Thursday: Camp
June 30, 2011
Calliope at Creating Motherhood has declared the month of July to be Blog Summer Camp! She has offered a prompt for each day. I plan to participate sometimes, in part to encourage me to write shorter blog posts.
For Calliope, camp means sitting at a long table and getting to know people.
For my husband, camp meant “lots of Judaism.”
For my college roommate, camp meant unsupervised time alone with boys.
For the camp counselor I had when I was 9, camp meant humiliation. She got her period in the pool, and everyone saw the cloud of blood, and everyone gossiped about it, and everyone gave her funny looks, every day, until camp was over. The rejection trickled down to her campers; I remember some kid saying to me, “Wait, you’re in Julie’s cabin? Ugh!” and then walking away. At the time, I only vaguely understood that my counselor’s embarrassment had something to do with her vagina.
For a close friend of mine, camp meant getting molested by the assistant director of the camp. He was not fired, but instead confined to desk duty with no contact with the children. He continued to glare at her through the window of his office.
For one of my sisters-in-law, camp meant another social world in which, unlike school, she had real friends. It is telling that her first email address incorporated the name of her summer camp. Through all of her tween years, she would talk all year long about the birthday party she’d have at camp, the activities she couldn’t wait to do, and the friends she couldn’t wait to see who were so much better than anyone at her stupid school. In her wildest dreams, camp would have meant home.
For me, camp meant getting the hell away from my parents. And mosquito bites.
What does/did camp mean to you?