Reliving the joys of camp

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 20, 2001

I’m writing this just after retrieving our daughter from a week of summer


As I made the journey early Tuesday morning through the backroads, hill and hollows that make up this part of the rural South, memories flooded about my experiences at summer camps in years past.

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I think the statute of limitations expired by now, so it’s probably safe to reminisce. As I pulled in the drive to Camp Beckwith

(a wonderfully

run Episcopal Church camp, by the way), I noticed that all camps seem to have the same entrance. Blue Lake, Tukabatchee, Camp Chandlerthey all have that same &uot;abandon hope all ye who enter here&uot; look that quickly transforms into &uot;wow, this is a neat place&uot; feeling.

There were several things that came flooding back to mind as I loaded the car for the return trip. It didn’t matter where you went to camp, but there seemed to be similar experiences for all campers; likethe color of the kool-aid in the dining hall had nothing to do with the flavor. Red tasted like green that tasted like orange.

Likeit didn’t matter where you hung up your

swim suit, it was still wet when you went to put it on again. You then learned to master the &uot;whoo, this is cold run&uot; so you could sprint to the pool, or lake, or whatever body of water so all of you could be the same temperature.

Likecamp food got better, or you got hungrier, as the week went on.

I also remember filling the cabin counselor’s bunk with shaving cream and black pepper, or running somebody’s drawers up a flag pole, and sneaking out to raid another cabin, only to always get caught and wind up doing kitchen patrol.

I remember swim buddies, and arts and crafts where you made key chains and potholders and weird things out of popsicle sticks. I remember the same look on my face some thirty (no way it can be that long) years ago as I saw on my child’s face today: that mixture of &uot;wow, I’m glad to see you&uot; and &uot;I’m sure going to miss my new friends.&uot;

How neatmy daughter goes to camp, but I’m the one who got to relive all the joys of childhood.