Hey kids, do you know what time it is? That’s right…it’s camp time! Hooray! Yes, it’s time to leave all of your clunky, burdensome electronics behind for a couple of weeks and get back to nature. Your tastebuds will come alive and then suddenly die when you sink your teeth into the camp favorite: Floating Fish served on a bed of Algae. Bon Appetite!
I spent parts of three summers at Camp Wegotseaweedandmuck and I can still recall that repulsive aroma that came from the mess hall every morning. To this day, no one has ever been able to pinpoint that smell but our best guess was nightcrawlers boiled in a vat of spoiled milk and strained into a large can of WD-40 using old sweat socks.
For those of us who were boy scouts, we were excited to learn that we could get our swimming merit badge by successfully negotiating an obstacle course in Lake Water Moccasin. All we had to do was jump off the pier, swim under the fallen tree trunk then between the discarded truck tires and back to the dock without swallowing the massive amount of grease dumped in there from the mess hall clean-up crew. What a gas, kids. I remember the bears used to salivate just seeing us emerge from the water all shiny and slippery, smelling like the world’s biggest bacon strip. We were taught, however, that if we ever did encounter a bear up close and personal, to do the camp yodel. This would alert the nearest adult who would then come running with a slingshot and a butter knife. Yes, you heard correctly: we were supposed to break into a happy yodel as the bear came racing towards us exposing teeth the size of steak knives. Neat, huh? Here was my yodel kids: JESUS H. CHRIST!!! MOTHER@$!#$@! HELP! YODEL-EH-E-HOO!
Yeah, if we had cell phones back then, trust me, we would have worked our little fingers to the nub informing everyone in the world of our intention to ‘bust outta here.’ Of course, our only real means of communication came from smoke signals which we were forced to use after the head counselor fell asleep while smoking a Camel, igniting his liquor stash and then burning up his entire collection of Playboy magazines. I’m guessing that the newspaper reporters were happy not to have taken that day off.
Yes, make no mistake about it. Camp is a great learning experience for you. You’ll discover that starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together can be considerably more challenging that using your Bic lighter. You’ll also learn that no matter how hard they try, nobody ever looks fashionable wearing a Smokey Bear hat, and sadly, you’ll discover that some of your bunkmates don’t change their underwear every day. Just think of the stories you’ll be able to tell. Oh, and please remember, your counselors are fully trained to react and treat any cases of social media withdrawal that may sometimes arise. Now, lights out, kids!