Summer Camp

 

A couple of years ago while Spring cleaning, I found notebooks with poems written by John’s mother, Bettie Lou. After losing both her husband and son in 1985, Bettie Lou wrote poetry as a type of therapy. She later inquired about publishing some of her work, but in the 1990s blogs were not an option and we failed to find a  an outlet for her work. It seems like this is the perfect venue.

Summer Camp

Every woman should go back to summer camp.

Eat, sleep, dance, and play games with the group.

Have a teenage romance again.

Fall in and out of love with no regard for others.

I long for those days; I need to go to summer camp.

I need to feel free and less defensive.

Select my partner before the caller says, “Swing…”

I will dance and enjoy without a care.

How did I get so involved with the feelings of others?

Why did things change?

Am I responsible for the others of the world?

I need to go back to summer camp.blou

While this picture of Bettie Lou was not taken at summer camp, it was taken when she was in high school during her “camp years”.

With so many pictures being posted of summer camp experiences, Bettie Lou’s poem seems to be appropriate. It was originally posted in June of 2013.

Letters to Campers

July was always the time of year when one or more of the girls spent a week at summer camp and even though camp only lasted a week, I was expected to write letters so my child would receive mail each day.

What do you say to a child at camp, less than two hours from home? Asking about the camp experience seemed pointless since I’d be picking my camper up before a return letter would be received.

I guess I could send news from home, but what would I say? We went out to dinner last night at your favorite restaurant while you endured camp food, or maybe, your sister loves having a room to herself. I thought “news” from home could cause problems and may even encourage homesickness.

Finally, I came up with a plan. Letters from home would include riddles and jokes with a quick message about enjoying your time at camp and see you at the end of the week. I bought joke and riddle books at the school book fair so I’d have plenty of material for my letters.

One remaining joke book on the shelf.
One remaining joke book on the shelf.

Here’s a few riddles for old time sake:

Why did the fly never land on the computer?

~He was afraid of the world wide web.

Why was the ant so confused?

~Because all of his uncles were ants.

What do you get when you cross a pig and a centipede?

~Bacon and legs.

How do fleas get from place to place?

~By itch hiking.

What do you give a sick snake?

~Asp-irin

Why are ghosts bad liars?

~Because you can see right through them.

What did zero say to eight?

~Nice belt.

And some knock knock jokes:

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

Who.

Who who?

What are you an owl or something?

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

Nobody

Nobody, who?

(Don’t say anything…stay silent.)

Looking for some more jokes and riddles? Try Funology, or Squigly’s Riddles, or Enchanted Learning, or Childhood Beckons.

Best of all, these letters could be written and mailed before we left for camp insuring that mail from home would arrive daily and inspire a couple of groans and a roll of the eyes.

 

No News from Summer Camp

campI guess I grew up deprived. I’d never heard of summer camp until I was in 7th grade. I remember asking my parents about going to camp that year, and they did not even entertain the idea. No discussion.

Only a couple of years later, my younger sister did go to summer camp. One year she went to a primitive church camp and another year she went to gymnastics camp. I know she left gymnastics camp early. She couldn’t wait to leave and claimed to be starving. She was a picky eater and would not eat the meals served, instead waiting for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That was the end to her camp experience.

When my daughters were in elementary school the summer camp discussions began. Camp Kiwanis information was distributed at school and Camp Montgomery brochures were picked up at church. Friends were going to camp so of course, they wanted to go. Meghan and Emily both attended Camp Montgomery, the Presbyterian Church camp; but not together. Sarah spent a summer at Camp Kiwanis.Welcoming_all_people_to_experience_Christ_and_creation_in_ways_that_deepen_faith_and_strengthen_relationships.1333117598

From my experience, I strongly suggest that parents forbid their children from communicating with them while they’re away at camp. Most camps don’t allow phone calls, email, or texts so electronic communication shouldn’t be a problem; but I believe no letters should be allowed as well.

Do not pack stationary, envelopes, pencils, pens, and stamps.

Let the camp counselor know that you do not want your child to write letters home.

Nothing good can come from these letters. If your child writes that he or she is having a wonderful time, you’ll wonder why you’re not missed. On the other hand, if you receive a letter detailing your child’s misery, you’ll also be miserable. The best solution…no communication whatsoever.

Here’s a letter I received from Meghan that proves this point:

Dear Yall,

I love you very much and I miss you. I’m crying right now. I just finished reading your leters. I want you to pick me up. We’re having terrible weather. Dad I’m burnt to the crisp. Holly has not rolled off the bed yet and it’s hard to keep both of them out of trouble. Sarah & Emily I’m going to try to bring you back something. I love you.

Love,

Meghan

P.S. Dad I can’t wait to go biking.

campkSarah’s camp experience ended a day early when I got a call that she was sick and needed to be picked up. This after receiving the letter she’d written detailing how much she hated camp and wanted to come home despite the fact that her older sister was her counselor and that her aunt and uncle worked at the camp and that her cousins were fellow campers.

I remember being disappointed when I didn’t receive a letter from Emily when she was at camp, but later I realized that was a much better plan. No letter. No bad news. No worry.

I’ve always heard no news is good news, and I’d say that’s the best plan when kids go to camp.