Not really, but I’m going to Maine for a week for a residency at the Institute for Humane Education in Surry, Maine for my doctoral program. Fourteen (yes, 14) of us will be staying in a cabin with bunk beds and 1 (yes, one) bathroom. Am I excited? Anxious, more like.
As a child, I NEVER wanted to go to summer camp. EVER. My siblings were of a more “joining” nature–sports, after school activities, student government, scouts (ugh). I was not of this nature. In the least. I much preferred the solitude of a good book in a quiet place ALONE.
Mom signed me up for Brownies. I was okay with that. Brownies is basically craft time with snacks, things I love (still).
Then came Girl Scouts. I was an awful Girl Scout. Sell cookies and earn badges and make camp stoves out of tin cans? Exactly what were the tin can stoves for? CAMPING! I played hookey from troop meetings until Mom caught on and then she let me drop out. Thank you, Mom!
She know better than to propose summer camp. I spent my summersreading books, drawing pictures, and watching way too much television. I was so happy!
My vision of summer camp is of mean girls, being humiliated and probably drowning, awful food, and bug bites and sunburn. The word rustic should be applied to expensive artisanal foods, not living arrangements.
When I was about 10 or 11, in an effort to get us out of the house, my stepfather gave my brother money to take me to the movies. He took me to see the double feature of Butterflies are Free and Bless the Beasts and the Children. Probably not appropriate for my age. Have you seen Bless the Beasts and the Children? (Get the Carpenters song out of your head.) Summer camp is not a nice place. People and animals DIE.
How I imagine myself at summer camp:
The letter I would write to my mother (soaked in tears):
I am sure the house will be very nice and surprise me. The 14 of us will become good friends (we’ll for sure get to know each other), have a good time, and learn a lot from our instructors and mentors. That part I am excited about. I have a feeling I’ll be taking showers at weird hours and mostly avoiding the bathroom as much as possible. I will post updates, no worries about that! And if anyone pushes me in any body of water, maybe I’ll finally learn to swim.