Happy Labor Day everyone! Let’s celebrate with our stories of summers past – specifically, your stories about (and photos of!) Summer Camp. Band camp, sports camp, nerd camp, whatever!
I went to three kinds of camp but the one I remember best is the ultimate nerd camp, CTY, this one at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. There was a dance every night, and every night they would end the dance with – for some reason – American Pie by Don McClean. One night it began to rain and they started to pack up early and there was damn near a teenage riot because they hadn’t played American Pie yet. (Please note the irony of the song title matching the decades later movie that would inspire this thread title, thank you.)
Here’s a picture of three of my dearest, closest, most important friends… for about three weeks.
Surely you all have better stories than that, so let’s hear 'em!
And don’t call me Shirley
My fave things about summer camp in the Poconos were catching frogs, and getting to eat cereal from those tiny boxes which converted into a bowl-- we weren’t allowed to have those at home.
Even then… I was not a people person.
(Oh, and we never did anything worse to the frogs than stressing them out for a minute or two before setting them free.)
This lady. This lady had her priorities straight.
Happy Cake Day @Dr_Phantom !
In 1999 I was at Boy Scout summer camp when a scout was mauled by a black bear. Not my most pleasant summer camp memory but certainly the most memorable.
I pretty much hated the only camp experience I had… Was a school thing… whole class field trip from Hell…
Most memorable/enjoyable part was seeing my first aurora? The photography unit was fun… I pretty much never gave my Dad back his 35mm camera after that? I wish they’d let us spend more time shooting? I’d never shot anything before in my life, and shocked everyone by cleaning the center of every target I got to shoot at? I was a better shot than any of the “avid hunters” in the class… If that had been the whole trip? Great… but… ugh.
Besides that? Ugh… Just miserable… Just… awful… The bad outweighed the good by… a lot…
I hated spending the hours I was legally required to spend with my bullies/sociopaths, but a trip where I had to spend days with them? With no break? Um, how do I get out of this??? How sick do I have to pretend to be to get out of this… no, seriously… Just tell me… please…
I’ve successfully blocked out most of it from memory.
My summer “camp” was getting hauled off to the Maine coast and then getting hauled out of bed at 4am to work on my cousins’ lobster boats. The town is exactly nowheresville, and there wasn’t much else for a kid to do anyway. I learned a lot of knots, I still don’t get seasick, and I can probably still bean a seal with a sea urchin at 30 ft.
It did occur to me eventually that this was a fairly unique experience, and I did occasionally get paid, which was nice.
I never went to summer camp. The closest I got was 3 days at ‘Bible’ camp (Bible in quotes because we didn’t actually do anything biblical - we were encouraged to read ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’ and were told repeatedly that rock’n’roll was of the devil (and that the world would end in 1987).
And my mom came up on day 2 to check on me.
It’s OK, I got over it real quick.
I don’t want to rat out your parents or anything, but “child labor” and “summer camp” are technically two different things
Ok, but did the world end in 1987???
Take one surly child, remove from summer vacation and friends for 3 weeks, drop into Dogpatch, Maine, then ask whether going out to stern on a lobster boat sounds “fun.” That’s a yes.
I mean, a Godzilla attack would also have been a yes. But it was fun. Interesting, at the least.
The Mets lost the division to the Cards, so yes.
It’s also the year I had to leave Wisconsin, so another vote for yes.
I only went to summer camp once and hated it.
It was a Girl Scout camp and everyone else knew everyone else so the cliques were thick on the ground and I didn’t belong to any of them. This was also the year Central Texas received a record amount of rain and the camp spent most of its second week on alert in case we had to evac at a moment’s notice. (oh and I almost drowned in the aforementioned river about to flood the camp… while wearing a life vest).
All in all, I did not get the romanticised summer camp experience. LOL!
When I was 14, being a tall lass, I went to a summer basketball camp for teen girls at West Point (yes, the military academy). I don’t have fond memories or recall any of the other girls there; my primary memories were getting up very early, and being yelled at by a counselor for singing a Guns N Roses song because didn’t I know they were homophobic jerks? (Keep in mind I am just barely a teenager in the 1980s here and the person yelling at me is voluntarily joining the Army even before the days of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. So.)
But I did get to bring home a West Point Lady Knights (barf!) basketball, which I kept for decades, until about two years ago when I let my dog play with it.
His version of playing:
So long, basketball that was old enough to vote in the previous eight presidential elections.