Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camped out

 Did you hear This American Life's show, Notes on Camp, this weekend?  "Stories of summer camp. People who love camp say that non-camp people simply don't understand what's so amazing about camp."  It was completely delightful- whether you went to camp or not.

I laughed out loud when one girl talked about "home friends" who just didn't understand because I am certain a good friend growing up felt exactly that way.  (I was one of her "home friends".)

I think I loved the show so much because I will readily admit to being one of those people who didn't understand what's so amazing about camp, even though I went to camp one summer.

I hated it.


Most of the campers had been coming for years and years and I was new and really shy.  I did learn to shoot a bow and arrow and to water ski, but I was pretty miserable all 4 weeks.

I sent my parents letters that started out as pleas to come home and ended up as hate mail for sending me.  And you can find letters just like mine, and letters a whole lot funnier than mine in the hilarious book, P.S I Hate it Here!: Kids Letters from Camp.


Any of you camp people? 

images here and here.

11 comments:

Noodles and Waffles said...

I never went to camp but knew some kids in high school that did. And just like they mention on This American Life - all they talked about was camp.

hip hip gin gin said...

That letter from Josh is hysterical! Poor kid. I never went to camp, but I'm quite sure I would have hated it. I was so shy as a little kid I probably would have cried the whole time.

chiara said...

hilarious letters!

I was not a camp kid. The one week they sent me to music camp (dork), I cried the whole time and offered to pay my dad to come get me. (He declined - I probably wasn't matching the cost of the week of camp).

owl and peacock : melina said...

Ah! I DID listen to that TAL! Normally I miss it, but the boy and I were driving to Wisconsin and there it was! I was so enchanted by it, because I've always been so obsessed with camp culture - I was a home kid, too, for I never ever went to camp as a kid. I finally got to go to snowboard camp in Oregon at the ages of 16 and 17. A different kind of camp, and I was older, but I loved it so very much that I herald it as one of the best times of my life. I wish so much that I had been raised from an early age going to camp...

Erin said...

I always wanted to go to camp, but never did. Perhaps it's for the best. I probably would have cried myself to sleep every night!

Loved camping with my family. We would go for weeks on end and have the most wonderful time swimming and hiking and roasting marshmallows. Those were the days...

Meghan said...

Oh wow! So cute. I've always wanted to go away to camp growing up, and now I wonder if I would have enjoyed it!

Christina said...

I am more of a camping person. Not necessarily going to camp. I love camping, but I don't have that much experience with going to camp.

Brandi said...

Abigail, I love this post. I actually never went away to camp when I was young, but I always wanted to. There was even one year I nearly convinced my parents to send me to a theater camp but there wasn't enough money to do so. Even if I had gone, I probably would have hated it -- there's no escaping roommates if you don't get along well.

wishful nals said...

i went to a few summer camps, but they weren't your typical. a few theatre camps, girl scout camps, and who could forget the marine biology camp with a research paper. :)

Melissa Blake said...

Oh, those letters are priceless! Makes me wish I went to camp as a kid!

Bryce said...

I heard the show even though I listen very rarely. Good stuff.

The only camp I went to was a kind of nerd camp between 8th and 9th grade where we stayed in dorms at a nearby college and took classes like "Cartooning 101" and "Chaos Theory and Fractals". It was pretty fun, actually.

I'm pretty sure I would have hated regular camp. My family camped during every vacation when I was growing up and, although I liked it, I'm burned out in it.