When I look back on childhood, I realize that some of the best memories I have are from summer camp. There were the pillow fights, the scavenger hunts, the dance at the girls’ camp across the lake, and the zany hijinks we pulled during arts ‘n crafts. The look on the counselor’s face that time! And then, of course, there was my bunk-mate Rudy, who spent the first half of the summer dragging me along on zany escape attempts, but by Family Visiting Day, we realized we were having the best summer of our lives!
Of course, it’s possible that I am remembering my repeated readings of the children’s novel I Want To Go Home by Gordon Korman, a Canadian author whose books were all I wanted to read as a kid. That seemed like a fun camp.
As for my other camp memories, I recall a bench outside the mess hall that I always stuck my face up against because it kind of smelled like pancake syrup. There was a swimming hole I never wanted to go in, although it occurred to me some time later that it was probably named the “Meese Hole” after the owners of the adjacent piece of land and not because of some infestation of grammatically incorrect plural mice. I remember an eleven year-old who was said to give out handjobs to younger boys who inchwormed their sleeping bags over next to hers, although I don’t think I knew what a handjob was at the time. That might be about all I’ve got, despite having returned to the same YMCA camp year after year. But, this stands to reason, as I only got one-third of the true camp experience, anyway. See, I was a day-camper.