Thoughtful Thursday: Camp

June 30, 2011

Thoughtful ThursdayCalliope 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?

11 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Camp”

  1. TwoKayaks Says:

    I’ve never been to camp. Ever. What does that say about me?

  2. a Says:

    TwoKayaks – me either! Our camp was 2 weeks at my aunt’s farm.

  3. Elana Kahn Says:

    Camp was good times with good friends. I *loved* it!!

  4. Kristin Says:

    Camp was a place I felt like I belonged. I never truly felt like I belonged in middle school or high school but camp, camp was different. I was there with people like me and it was wonderful.

  5. St. Elsewhere Says:

    Have been to only one proper camp. The vacations were otherwise spent doing other random things.

    That one camp did not start well, end well or go well.

    I forgot my utensils and blanket. I missed home. I hated the other people in my tent, and I was cold. The one *friend* I made, this girl who took me in, did not turn out as nice as I thought of, once we were in the outside world.

    I used to crawl under the fences at night, and walked to home every night, and would get back at the break of dawn.

  6. I’ve never been to camp and the thought of it makes me shiver – I don’t think I would have liked it… (and I’m not sure it exists in Holland – summer school holidays for elementary school are 6 weeks, so long, but not as long as in the US or in France, where of course they do have the ‘colonies de vacances’). We did take long family holidays of about 4 weeks each summer though, which I loved.

  7. strongblonde Says:

    when i was little camp meant “daycamp” which was fun days away filled with rollerskating, a “field trip” to see temple of doom (seriously), and playing on my elementary school’s playground. when i got older i went to a pretty intense music camp. i was away from my family for 2 months. no TV. no radio. i took classes: art, beginning winds, and piano. and i had to practice piano more than 2 hours a day. we required to go to concerts a few times a week. and i had to wear a uniform. i still have an aversion to navy blue cordoroy knickers. no 13 year old should have to wear them!! i had a good time, learned how to fake piano practice, learned how to fold a flag, make a drink that mixed all of the fountain sodas, and learned to sail. i also had my first real experiences with mean girls. i’m not friends with anyone that i went to camp with…..but i think it was still a good experience. it definitely helped me to be more independent.

  8. celiadelia Says:

    I HATED CAMP. I hate nature, bugs, sweat, dirt, not using my own bathroom, and also BUGS. I don’t like team sports or nature walks or swimming- ESPECIALLY in raw aka non-chlorinated water. Just ugh.


  9. BB Says:

    I have been to one camp… that too in college – because it was required for me to graduate! It was a field camp and one of the roughest 6 weeks I have ever spent. I hated every day of it and couldn’t wait for it to be over. The food sucked and people were crazy! 🙂 But, by the end of it, it was one of the best expereinces and it probably shaped my career! I am glad it was mandatory!

  10. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    Camp for me was Girl Scout day camp, for the entire summer. I loved it. Over a period of 7 summers, I went from being a camper to a Junior Counselor. The JCs ruled the camp so I was for once the “cool kid”. I wish I kept in touch with some of my friends from those summers. Strangely, we were best buddies over the summer but never kept in contact throughout the school year. I miss those carefree days.

  11. Photogrl Says:

    Camp for me was swim camp.

    I loved being on the swim team. I was good at it. I wanted to be better.

    So, every summer my parents would send me to “Swim Camp”.

    For 1 week, I lived on a college campus with my cousin as my roommie. We were in the dorms, we ate at the cafeteria. Hours were spent swimming laps in the pool. More hours were spent watching videos and learned to perfect the four strokes.

    Doesn’t sound like much fun, but I loved it.

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