Sunscreen, Silly Songs, Color War and Counselors

There’s three feet of snow on the ground where I live, but today I’ve dreamt of camp.

Summer camp has an incredibly special place in my heart and with good reason ~ I spent seven years at sleepaway camp in the North Woods of Wisconsin as a camper and counselor and countless other summers before those as a day camper through the local Jewish Community Center.

I loved everything about camp and even the things I didn’t like then I love now that I look back on it as an adult/parent and have a better understanding of why we did things certain ways.  I love that camp MADE me try all activities, especially those I was POSITIVE I was terrible at.  Sometimes I was right – I never could hit the target on the archery field.  But others I was very wrong about and learned that while I might not be able to sing or act very well in a musical, there was a great place for me behind the scenes painting sets and creating playbills and I loved being a part of an ensemble.  At the time, I complained like crazy about the bare-boned cabins where you had to walk across a field to a toilet or often cold shower, but I know I went home at the end of the summer much more appreciative of everything I had at home and in my life and always seemed to get along with my parents better than when I left in June.

Last summer my camp had a special anniversary and after “regular” camp ended for the season all the former campers were invited back for four days to play at camp.  My mom {who attended the camp and was a counselor there as well ~ in fact my name is the very first one on the large “Their Mothers Were Campers Too!” plaque in the Mess Hall} and I went together and shared a cabin with eight of my girlfriends I’d gone to camp with for years.  I was in heaven.  We giggled.  We played.  We sang silly songs.  We did arts and crafts.  It was like nothing had changed.  Except there were cocktails.  😉

So why am I sharing this with you?  Well, sleepaway camp IS simply a big part of who I am, but also because today I registered The Cuties for another summer of day camp at the JCC.  And as I signed on the dotted line and sealed the envelope, a smile crept over my face as I thought about both of their names being added to a certain plaque in a couple of years.  I have a few wishes for them:  that they love camp as much as I did; that they learn the secret to raiding an entire industrial-sized tray of Rice Krispie treats from the kitchen; and they too get to experience a green team Color War victory!  🙂

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One Response to Sunscreen, Silly Songs, Color War and Counselors

  1. Marli says:

    Hi, I had to comment because I know exactly where you are coming from. If you haven’t done camp, you just may not “get it”. My little one is going back for his 4th summer at our JCC camp and my big girl is returning to her 3rd summer at the same sleepaway camp her father and aunt and uncle went to, in the Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts. We are in the Northeast and thankfully some of the snow is starting to melt! PS. My daughter’s team won her color war last summer… 🙂

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