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DonnaDuck
06-08-2008, 07:14 PM
For a series that I'm outlining, it centers around a summer camp. Having never been to summer camp, I can hazard a guess of what it's like (Salute Your Shorts, anyone?) and probably come up with some pretty accurate things but I'm looking for people that have actually experienced it and can offer first hand accounts of what it's like.

What kind of activities to do you?

What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

I'm looking for anything here. Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this. I just need to get a feel for what summer camp is actually like from first hand accounts. I want the feel to be right for this. Thanks!

Bubastes
06-08-2008, 07:21 PM
Have you heard this piece from "This American Life"? I think it gives a good flavor of what summer camp is like. Good luck!

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=109

Dommo
06-08-2008, 07:28 PM
I guess I could say I've been a kind of a camp counselor, but it's a government run program called Upward Bound.

It's like a cross between being a teacher, prison guard, and counselor. If you've got questions feel free to shoot.

Linda Adams
06-08-2008, 07:45 PM
Let's see--it's been quite a while ...


What kind of activities to do you?

I remember we did craft type projects--macrame and macaroni crafts, outdoors, of course. There was probably sports, though I can't remember what (I was lousy at all of that). It was by a lake, so there was swimming and canoeing.

We also did the Secret Buddy. Everyone drew a name, and you had to leave handmade gifts for your Secret Buddy. Our camp counselor got me. I remember she gave me a cross made out of bark.


What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

My summer camp was a church one that lasted about two weeks. The camp counselors were very nice; never saw anyone who was "the evil one." Cliques might have turned up if we'd been there longer.


Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

Never saw any of them. But then, it was only two weeks and a religious camp. Also all girls.


What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

Basic bunk beds. I don't recall where the counselors sleep, but it seems like it was in a different location. That actually makes sense because it allows the adults to get away from the kids for a sanity break.




Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this.


Two stories for you. The first: We were being given our safety briefing by one of the counselors. She was telling us what to do if the fire alarm went off. One of the girls popped up and asked, "What happens if we're in the shower?" The counselor: "Wrap a towel around your head and run out."

The second: A couple of the girls came back from the bathroom screaming, very upset. Seems they saw a bat in the bathroom. This was very exciting for a lot of us, since we'd never seen a bat before. One of the counselors got a broom and chased the bat out. Not as spectacular as the later bat stories I've run into (my aunt found one hanging upside down in the washing machine).

johnnysannie
06-08-2008, 08:42 PM
I was never shipped off to summer camp as a child but as an adult (about age 30 or so) I was a camp counselor at a church related camp for a week.

My answers come from that experience so they won't be quite the same as that of a camper.

Look for my answers in your quote, different color.



For a series that I'm outlining, it centers around a summer camp. Having never been to summer camp, I can hazard a guess of what it's like (Salute Your Shorts, anyone?) and probably come up with some pretty accurate things but I'm looking for people that have actually experienced it and can offer first hand accounts of what it's like.

What kind of activities to do you?

Swimming, crafts (easy stuff), nature walks, nightly church services, camp fires, hay rides,

What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

I like to recall that I was well liked and popular; the girls liked me anyway and basically treated me like an older sister. Like anything else, though, there were good counselors and some who had no clue what they were doing, some who were very strict, some not so much.

Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

Yes to ghost stories in the bunks (even at a church camp), yes, some pranks, in my experience not so clique-ey

What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

Bunks were hard, very basic, like a cot. I sleep in the cabin with my six campers, same conditions, bathroom up the hill.

I'm looking for anything here. Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this. I just need to get a feel for what summer camp is actually like from first hand accounts. I want the feel to be right for this. Thanks!


Other details - big communal meals in the dining hall (in my experience some of the older kids and counselors helped prepare meals and clean-up), there are going to be sunburns, tummy aches, hurt feelings, confidences, secrets, and intrigue. Older girls are going to have crushes on older guys or young counselors. The kids want to stay up all night which is hard on an adult!!!

I was still single at the time so the girls in my cabin had a desperate urge to try to match make for me.

melaniehoo
06-08-2008, 09:12 PM
I went to a 10-day YMCA camp for years and most of my experiences match up with what's been said.




What kind of activities to do you?

Sports: archery, swimming, canoeing
Arts & Crafts: lots of weaving (bracelets) and macaroni things
Group/All Camp Things: campfire sing-alongs, flag raising & lowering each day, field day type games where cabins compete against each other, and finally, CAPTURE THE FLAG!!!


What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

I always loved all my counselors, and usually had a crush on at least one male counselor.


Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

I don't remember many cliques. My camp ranged from age 7-14 so kids mainly stuck to other kids their age.


What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

We had cabins with at least over a dozen kids. Maybe 8 bunkbeds? We had two counselors per cabin (one in charge then the other "junior" counselor) and they slept in our cabin. The bathrooms/showers were in a separate building nearby that we shared with other cabins. I hated the communal showers and since we swam everyday, I don't recall bathing a lot.


I'm looking for anything here. Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this. I just need to get a feel for what summer camp is actually like from first hand accounts. I want the feel to be right for this. Thanks!

My first time at camp I developed pink eye and spent half my time in the nurses office. I couldn't go in the water so I did A LOT of arts & crafts. There were always rumors of people dating and panty raids, but I never did that.

Another thing I remember from the dining hall is each cabin sat at a table (perhaps two) and there was always one thing different with each setting and whoever sat there had to clear the table. They changed it up every meal so there could be several things, but you still didn't know which it was. Is it the spot with a serving spoon instead of a regular spoon? Is it the one with an upside-down cup? Fun games. :D

DonnaDuck
06-08-2008, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

Another question for you all--are teenagers every counselors? For whatever reason I was always under the impression that once you reach a certain age, maybe 16 or 17, they're eligible for a sort of counselor position. The adults are the big kahunas, of course, but are the older kids ever in such a position, and a paid position at that?

And along those lines, if they are, are they allowed "breaks" from their duties, like a night to go into town or something like that? Is that something that's feasible and would be allowed? I know the younger kids that'd probably be a no, especially unsupervised but for the younger paid staff, is it within range?

melaniehoo
06-08-2008, 09:39 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

Another question for you all--are teenagers every counselors? For whatever reason I was always under the impression that once you reach a certain age, maybe 16 or 17, they're eligible for a sort of counselor position. The adults are the big kahunas, of course, but are the older kids ever in such a position, and a paid position at that?

And along those lines, if they are, are they allowed "breaks" from their duties, like a night to go into town or something like that? Is that something that's feasible and would be allowed? I know the younger kids that'd probably be a no, especially unsupervised but for the younger paid staff, is it within range?

At the camp I went to, you could become a junior counselor at fifteen. I always wanted to do it but my family moved out of state and I was out of luck. I'm not sure about going out on the town...

StoryG27
06-08-2008, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone!

Another question for you all--are teenagers every counselors? For whatever reason I was always under the impression that once you reach a certain age, maybe 16 or 17, they're eligible for a sort of counselor position. The adults are the big kahunas, of course, but are the older kids ever in such a position, and a paid position at that?

And along those lines, if they are, are they allowed "breaks" from their duties, like a night to go into town or something like that? Is that something that's feasible and would be allowed? I know the younger kids that'd probably be a no, especially unsupervised but for the younger paid staff, is it within range?
I know there are teenage counselors at the camp my kids attend. I honestly have no idea if they are paid. They should be! I have found them to be wonderful, responsible, and truly great with the kids. The camp my kids go to is only a week, so they don't take any nights off that I know of. But my brother worked at a dude ranch as a guide and they had Monday nights off I think. Oh, talk about ill behaved guides. :D They were a lot of fun.

Zodiea
06-08-2008, 11:18 PM
I went to sixth grade camp for a week… not all summer, but the experience is VERY vivid still, so maybe that is worth something.

What kind of activities to do you?

Sports: They were different from the standard, because camps like to be original. Specifically, I remember Steal the Bacon (equivalent to Capture the Flag).

There were a ton of teambuilding ones of course, including: Spider web (bungee cords make a spider web between two trees, each person must pass through, but each opening/hole can only be went through once, so some people were lifted through); Balance Board (giant teeter totter we couldn't let hit the ground, good fifteen people sitting on it); we built a shelter with some rope, sticks, and a blanket; helped out a councilor with an "injury"; and tons more. Then there were the environment awareness classes about water types, distances in space, yada yada yada.

We also had archery (traditional and modern bows), a 40 ft rock climbing wall, canoeing in the summer (I was there in the winter).

What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

I didn't have any evil ones, but mine were all pretty quirky. Like the rest of my information, feel free to take any of it without any credit if you want the characters.

Main councilor I remember for wearing a different hat each day, all odd hats. One councilor was supposedly hit by lightning, and I'll tell you he sure looked it. One was always talking about orientation, but he just wanted to have a thing. The councilors weren't too clique-y, occasionally sitting with students rather than each other.

Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

Pretty clique-y, especially at first. Being the nerd (which I loved) I was one of the last to get into the cabin and choose a bunk. Luckily I had a buddy save me the bunk under her. The biggest prank was the boys crossing the woods between the cabins 'No Man's Land', and trying to scare us. Our resident tough girl grabbed a flashlight and asked our cabin councilor if she could go outside and beat them.

Our camp did have one ghost story that was seriously there for all generations (as in, told more than once). "Seaweed Sally" She was a camper a while back who went canoeing in the lake with a friend. Her friend started goofing off shaking the boat because Sally couldn't swim. Sally freaked out, stood up and screamed, fell out, and was never seen again, even after they drained the lake. The morning after it happened Sally's friend woke up and saw seaweed dripping off the top bunk and wet footprints on the ground. Other than that there weren't many ghost stories.


What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

There were three cabins for each gender at mine, all named after Native American tribes. (My cabin loved making jokes at Kikapoo) In each cabin there were about 12 sets of bunk beds. The mattresses were three inches thick, and lessened to one when sat on. I seriously thought about sleeping on the floor most nights.

The councilors had some bigger building in the back to use, but of course, we never got to see it. I assume it's pretty nice.

What it's like stories:

Mine has a anti-foodwaste program. They weighed our trash after each meal and calculated it. If it was low enough, our senior councilors would jump in the lake for us. (It was winter ;))

We did have one kid sent home over a misunderstanding. He and a girl got into a small fight, she cried and went into the bathroom. He waited outside to apologize, and the girls friend tried to wave her out of the bathroom. He mistakenly thought he was supposed to go in and say sorry, and was sent home for going a foot into the girl's bathroom. For the rest of the day we chanted his name instead of singing, but it didn't work, his mom picked him up the next morning.

Funny Stories:

To begin, I got two concussions in that week. One minor, the other I felt numb for a couple hours. The first one (worse) we were doing a triathlon and I insisted I could run backward fast. At the time, I had forgotten how uncoordinated I was. The second was the next morning when I seen others adding sugar to their cereal, wanted to try, got a packet from the buffet like counter, turned around and went face first into a support beam.

There were some contests, mostly the 'I am third' badge. Three were given out each day. First thing when we got to camp was the 'I am third' plaque on the grand fireplace in the main lodge. God is first, others are second, I am third. That ticked me off, not being a religious person personally. The other contest was the cleanest cabin. My English teacher (who went to camp with us) but on a wig and became Molly Mop, the judge.

Teenage councilors:

It was a school trip, but yes, two seniors were assigned for each cabin. They were allowed to use phones, but there weren't too many other advantages for them. I had some nice ones. They broke the rules themselves and brought candy to share with all of us when it wasn't allowed. :D

Wow, *looks up at size of post* that was more vivid than I thought it would be. If you have any more questions be sure to ask.

melaniehoo
06-08-2008, 11:26 PM
Our camp did have one ghost story that was seriously there for all generations (as in, told more than once). "Seaweed Sally" She was a camper a while back who went canoeing in the lake with a friend. Her friend started goofing off shaking the boat because Sally couldn't swim. Sally freaked out, stood up and screamed, fell out, and was never seen again, even after they drained the lake. The morning after it happened Sally's friend woke up and saw seaweed dripping off the top bunk and wet footprints on the ground. Other than that there weren't many ghost stories.


Holy crap! I wouldn't have slept the entire time!

dirtsider
06-09-2008, 06:56 PM
It's been a long time since I've been to overnight camp. Huh - we had some crafts and stuff. But most of the time, my parents sent me to 2-week camps that had specific goals. One was horseback riding, another was canoeing, yet another was sailing. We learned the different skills for the "course". Also, depending on the camp I went to, we also had singing around the campfire (hey we were girls), some campfire cooking (I remember raspberry ice cream and raspberry pie. The counsellors also did a haunted trail since there was a cemetary on the property.

There was a nature center across the street from one camp I went to. Every session the councellors would arrange a "wolf hunt" with the ranger there. I remember him telling us about his night vision (probably as much because he was used to working in the dark as anything else). So basically, the wolf hunt was basically a sort of hide and seek with a little blind's man bluff thrown in. He'd take us into the woods at night, tell us to count to 100, then try and find him. To make it easier on us, he'd howl like a wolf.

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-09-2008, 07:46 PM
I'm looking for people that have actually experienced it and can offer first hand accounts of what it's like.

I was both camper and counselor for a non-profit camp way back in the 1960s


What kind of activities to do you?

The usual, hiking, crafts, hanging out, religious discussions, trying to plot pranks against the counselors (or the campers). We also did camp maintenance and improvement work as campers - fixing trails, making benches.

We had no lake or water. It was just 2 weeks in the woods.


What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y?

Evil, no. But we were strict. You can't be clique-y because the campers outnumber you.

Because we had "middle school" campers (summer after their 6th, 7th, 8th grade), the girls were socially more mature, and lusted after the HS-age male counselors.

When I was a camper, in high school, the counselors were mid-20s to 30s ... way too old to be interesting.


Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)?

Horribly so, and part of the counselor's task was to break them up if possible and get the energy refocused into something more socially useful.


Do they play pranks on each other over night?

Yes, if they can sneak past the counselors, who are usually up late chatting. The best time for pranks was during the hikes - drop out without being seen and cut back off the trail. Most of the campers were afraid to do this because the counselors emphasized the dangers of the woods to keep us in line. I grew up in the woods, and was unimpressed by their tales.

As a counselor, I found it very easy to track the kids who tried this and catch them in the middle of the prank.


Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks?

Counselors kept them too tired to stay away aftre lights out. They mostlry talked about the opposite sex, not ghosts.


What are the bunks like? Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's?

That varies. The camp had been a TB sanitarium, so there were large dorms that had been the wards and smaller canvas-topped platforms and a few true cabins.

We had old military surplus metal 2-level with springs.

Counselors slept with the campers, a few of the married staff had hteir own tiny cabins.


I'm looking for anything here. Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this. I just need to get a feel for what summer camp is actually like from first hand accounts. I want the feel to be right for this. Thanks!

Interesting psych thing: all but one year there were five really strict rules, having to do with safety: no setting fires outside designated campfire times and places, smoking only on the concrete slab, no leaving the grounds, no leaving cabins after lights out, no entering the spaces of the opposite sex. Penalty was immediate expulsion, they called your parents and you were GONE! I don't remember anyone breaking them.

One year a real idjit of a camp supervisor handed down 3-pages of rules ... incredibly nit-picking rules with petty penalties like "must go to bed 1 hour early". We took extreme pleasure in breaking every single rule except the "big five", and even lured skunks to his cabin by smearing peanut butter on rocks and tossing them under the floor.

Kitty Pryde
06-09-2008, 08:58 PM
Five years as a camper, and four years as a counselor/lifeguard. I have to say it's not really like 'Salute Your Shorts.' I recommend you read "The Acorn People" by Ron Jones. It's about special needs camp, but it really captures the intensity of the bonds people form at camp. The camp I worked at divided activities in 6 categories: swimming, sports, arts n crafts, outdoor living skills (camping), nature education, music n drama. Outside of that the counselors put on special events for the kids like a dance, a talent show, scavenger hunt, camp olympics, etc. When the temperature would go over about 105 degrees, we would basically have water fights all day long.

Lots of scary stuff happened at my camps:

-As a camper, I woke up one morning and the girl in the bunk above me had a horrible deep scrape under one eye. I said, "Gosh, Shana, what happened? Are you OK?" She stormed off angrily. Turns out she fell out of her bunk in the middle of the night, screamed bloody murder, the counselors turned on the lights and took care of her, and the entire cabin was awakened--except for me! I slept through the whole thing.

-As a lifeguard, I was standing next to a kid about my size and his gigantic counselor. The kid wanted to try a cannonball, but was nervous, so I was right next to him. No one else was in the pool. When he jumped in, he smacked his chest against the surface of the water, which knocked the wind out of him and he started panicking. Giant dumb counselor jumps in to try and rescue him. Kid wraps around him like an octopus and now they are both "active drowners," about three feet from the edge of the pool Genius. Luckily they teach you how to save a pair of drowners in lifeguard training. Everyone was fine.

-As a counselor, I came across a sequoia between a camp building and a camp staff's personal home. Someone had tried to put a cigarette out in the bark, failed, and a one foot by 4 foot section of trunk was smoldering like a hot coal! This was about 11 pm. I sprinted up the maintenance man's porch, threw open his door and shouted "There's a tree on fire!" I've nevere seen him move faster. He put the fire out with a hose, barefoot in his bathrobe, cursing all the counselors who smoke. If it had spread to either building, the whole camp would probably have burned down as it was the height of fire season.

I've seen broken arms, knocked out teeth (three separate teeth-losing incidents in one memorable week!), deep forehead gashes, seizures, bloody noses, scraped-up faces, spider bites, heat stroke (wikipedia it-it's really scary!), MRSA skin infections, strep throat, and human bites. I've been covered in green paint, wrapped in toilet paper, leaped on by a pack of little kids, made one hundred s'mores in an evening, bee-stung, chased by skunks, fended off hungry raccoons, and heard howling packs of coyotes.

Lots of nonprofit camps take volunteers for a week at a time. It's a great way to get a feel for the camp vibe. Summer camps are starting up soon. I have seen volunteers as young as 15 and as old as 60. An Easter Seals camp or another specialty camp would be a great place to check out. OR, if your spiritual community is affiliated with any local summer camps (church camp, jewish camp, atheist camp, whatever), ask if you can
take a tour when camp is in session and see what sorts of things go on and see what it's like.

Mike Martyn
06-09-2008, 09:08 PM
I recall that my older sister went to summer camp in the early sixties. All I can add is that they sang a lot of camp fire songs.

As for me, I never went to summer camp.

I got sent to reform school instead. It was not at all like summer camp unless your summer camp featured scrubbing floors, cleaning barns, beatings by the staff, your fellow campers and other disciplinary procedures featuring lighted cigarrete butts. :(

Jersey Chick
06-09-2008, 09:38 PM
For a series that I'm outlining, it centers around a summer camp. Having never been to summer camp, I can hazard a guess of what it's like (Salute Your Shorts, anyone?) and probably come up with some pretty accurate things but I'm looking for people that have actually experienced it and can offer first hand accounts of what it's like.
I also did a church-related camp - a week in PA in July. The heat was unreal, but we had fun. A lot of fun.


What kind of activities to do you? There were all sorts of things - archery, arts and crafts, games like soccer (Ever play soccer in 90+ degree heat - ugh), swimming, canoeing, organized games. There was a service in the morning, and one in the evening - about 1/2 hour each. We also did a talent/variety show at the end of the week.


What are the counselors like? Is there always that one evil one? Are they clique-y? The counselors were pretty cool - I kept in touch with a few for a long time after. I don't recall there being cliques, everyone seemed to like and get along with everyone else.


Are the kids clique-y (I would assume yes, just out of the nature of the beast)? My first summer there was a clique. But the other years, nope - unless I was part of it. Hmmm...


Do they play pranks on each other over night? Do they really tell ghost stories in their bunks? No pranks. No ghost stories. We talked about the cute boys - campers, couselors, and staff. It was a co-ed camp.


What are the bunks like? Picture a broom closet. Stick two sets of bunk beds in it. Add a tiny mirror and shelf for toiletries (who did the builders think they were kidding?) and that was what our dorms looked like. If you turned too fast, you knocked someone out of their bed.


Do the counselors get special places to sleep or are their quarters like everyone else's? A little bit bigger broom closet.


I'm looking for anything here. Standard "what it's like" stories to funny stories that happened to you to bad things that have happened so anything that can happen in a setting like this. I just need to get a feel for what summer camp is actually like from first hand accounts. I want the feel to be right for this. Thanks!

There were a lot of crushes, a lot of couples sneaking off for some alone time, a lot of fun and there were a bit of tears when the week was over and we all had to go.

It was a great time. It's bringing back a lot of good memories!

dirtsider
06-10-2008, 12:44 AM
I forgot the rest.

We were usually in tents, four bunks to a tent.
The counsellors had their own tents.

One time there was a lunar eclipse. Since I was part of the older group of campers, we were given the option to be woken up for it (it was pretty late in the evening/early morning-ish) which we did.

DonnaDuck
06-10-2008, 03:03 AM
This is a great help! Keep the stories coming, everyone!

Kitty Pryde
06-10-2008, 03:37 AM
ooh! I just have to share The Legend of Mudboy. TLOM was a scary story told to me as a little camper that ended up being SO terrifying that the camp director banned the counselors from telling it. You may laugh, but picture hearing it as a skinny ten-year-old kid beside a campfire, listening to weird night noises in the woods.

About twenty years back, this camp used to be a boy scout camp. Some of you may know that behind [one of the camp buildings] there are some nature trails. Well, one day a boy scout was out hiking one of the trails. He was crossing over a rickety little wooden bridge over a flooded muddy creek. Then suddenly, he slipped and fell into the stream! He was never seen again, but his footprints ended right in the middle of that bridge.

Anyway, a few years later, another boy attended boy scout camp. He hated it at camp, he couldn't make friends, he was lousy at sports, and he didn't care for any of the camp activities. Well, when he should have been heading to dinner, he just took off running down the trail. He couldn't face another evening with his fellow campers that he despised. He headed down that same trail. It had been closed following the first boy's death, but he just climbed over the barrier and hiked on.

It had been another year of heavy rain, so the stream was muddy and fast-moving. He approached the bridge. It looked like it might collapse, but the boy didn't want to turn back. He tentatively placed one boot on the bridge's first plank...and it held. He grabbed the handrail, which gave way. He almost fell head-first into the stream! Luckily he caught his balance. He took another cautious step. The bridge groaned under the strain of his weight. [At this point in the story, all the counselors have wiggled their way over to sit beside the children of more delicate constitution and frail will.]

Suddenly, a muddy arm reached out of the stream and grabbed him by the ankle and pulled him into the water! [At this point in the story the counselors all grab a different kid's ankle. Much shrieking in horror ensues. Several children are hiked back to their cabins to change their pants. Many of them will refuse to venture onto a trail for the rest of the summer.] They searched the whole camp grounds, but the boy was never seen again. They say Mudboy still haunts that creek, waiting for campers to cross that bridge.

slcboston
06-10-2008, 04:07 AM
Am I the *only* one here who went to a camp where one of the time-honored rituals was tying the new kids into their bunks, hauling them out into the middle of the campground, and leaving them there until they woke?

Anyone else?

(Hey, it was *educational.* We were Boy Scouts. Knot practice, lashings, etc. :D)

I wasn't tied down myself, nor was my tent mate that first year. But he slept with a heavy flashlight and smashed the fingers of one of the older boys who was trying to haul his bunk out of the tent. Lots of cursing, some bruised fingers, but they left us alone the rest of the week.

I did hear tales of someone being strapped to the flagpole, but I can't verify that one. :)

aliajohnson
06-10-2008, 04:15 AM
Am I the *only* one here who went to a camp where one of the time-honored rituals was tying the new kids into their bunks, hauling them out into the middle of the campground, and leaving them there until they woke?

Anyone else?



I think you might be the only one. :tongue

Like a previous poster, I went to skill based camps. Horseback riding, tennis camp, music camp--okay, it was band camp. And, yes, I play the flute. And, no, I never did.

I remember our time being very scheduled. Practice, practice, practice. But we did do some fun outdoor stuff like hiking, boating, and singing around the fire.

StephanieFox
06-10-2008, 05:46 AM
I went to Girl Scout camp and loved it. We had canoing, rowboats, swimming, diving from a big platform (there was a great lake for all of these), kid crafts, hiking, archery, horseback riding and a lot more things. We age in a big hall but sat with our cabin mates. If you didn't know how to do any of these things, they taught you. It wasn't really expensive, either. I paid for one of my two weeks at camp by selling Girl Scout cookies – I think I got a nickel a box.

I made some real friends there.

I went there for about six years. During two of those years I stayed in 'primitive' camp. We were about a mile and a half walk through the woods. We lived in a three-sided lean-to (we had the same bunk beds as the regular cabins. We made our own breakfast and lunch and had an open outhouse (yuck). We also had to gather are own fire wood. I had a blast.

My husband went to Boy Scout camp one year. He said that the counselors were sadistic, making the boys have rock fights and making them start the day with a dip in a very cold lake. I think that Boy Scouts are a very different organization than the Girl Scouts.

slcboston
06-10-2008, 05:54 AM
My husband went to Boy Scout camp one year. He said that the counselors were sadistic, making the boys have rock fights and making them start the day with a dip in a very cold lake. I think that Boy Scouts are a very different organization than the Girl Scouts.

Ummm... no. Either you're husband's pulling your leg (and hey, who am I to judge what you do as a married couple) or he was extremely unfortunate.

I'm not one to defend the BSA on principles (and, on principles, have come to disagree with them) but rock fights? Sorry, but that too easily leads to the kind of injury that can't be explained away by "boys will be boys."

Nothing, and I mean *nothing* like that ever happened at any of the camps I went to over the 6 years I went to BSA camp. Sure, kids got hauled out of their tents, but the weather was warm, and the younger kids *knew* it was coming. (Why else do you think my tent-mate slept with his flashlight? :) ) To generalize such a broad organization on one incident...

Well, it would be like me shaking my head at the Girl Scouts over the sexual innuendo laden songs my sister learned when she went. When she was 12.

cookiehead
06-10-2008, 07:20 PM
Loved summer camp. Did lots of crafts, hikes, archery, as well as swimming and sailing. We also did campfires, with songs and s'mores. We would also have "socials" with different cabins, where we did games or other activities -- like the campfires. We also made ice cream, which was fun and tasty.

The cabins were ok... the kids had bunk beds. Usually, the counselors were in the same cabin, but would be in a separate section -- towards the front or whatever. They had the same beds, but they weren't "bunk" style.

There are definitely a lot of cliques as well... I think it's natural that you gravitate to one group. Some were evil, some were not.

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-11-2008, 10:00 PM
My camp being run by the Episcopal church, we had our share of campfire hymns ... the Bishop knew more religious "filk" than any singer I have met since.

I went to a Girl Scout Camp earlier, in Montana. Most of the campers and counselors were from the Chicago area and they didn't know much about the outdoors. They could get lost on a hike between their tent and the mess hall, and were terrified most of the time. It was fun, however, for the locals because we would slip out of our tent-cabins after lights out by untying the canvas at the back. Then we would make "bear tracks" in the mud by the mess hall and scritch and growl at the other tents.

My best prank was filling the bugler's trumpet with Jello. No revielle for us :)

jst5150
06-11-2008, 10:12 PM
Manzanita wood. Thick cement floors. Lots of trees, mountains and realizing as an adult just exactly why I got shipped off to summer camp.

And if you get the Manzanita wood reference, you're probably a southern Californian who got shipped off to summer camp. :)