July 1, 2015

Yay! It’s time for summer camp!

Summer CampHey, kids! It’s summer! And that means you’ll soon be heading off to summer camp for a couple of weeks.

Whoopee! Just when you’ve finally finished ten straight months of having to get up early every weekday morning to go to school, guess what? Now you can enjoy the relaxing pleasures of having to get up early every single morning for camp activities!

Even better, at camp you’ll be gently awoken each and every morning at the crack of dawn by the sound of “Reveille,” blasted on the trumpet by a camp counselor who doesn’t really know how to play it, so that it sounds more like the plaintive shriek of a wounded and dying elephant.

And, boy, are there some really fun activities in store for you once you’re up! For example, do you like peeling potatoes? Hey, who doesn’t, right?  Well, you’ll be able to peel them to your heart’s content along with the rest of the kids assigned to morning kitchen duty.

Or maybe you prefer something more physically challenging, like hauling the heavy trash cans full of yesterday’s kitchen waste to the dump, or scrubbing out the kitchen’s enormous cooking pots encrusted with leftover goulash. Cool!

After all that work, you’ll probably have worked up a pretty good thirst. No worries. You can refresh yourself anytime with unlimited refills of bland tea from the camp samovar. Yummy!

But that’s not all. There’s an endless array of camp amenities for you to enjoy. For example, you can relieve yourself in old-fashioned style and comfort in one of the camp’s classic outhouses, none of which has been cleaned for years. It’s your chance to take a magical trip back in time and experience what civilization used to smell like in the Middle Ages.

Other educational opportunities abound, as well. You’ve probably been studying nature science in school, learning about insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths, wasps and hornets. Well, this is your chance to meet those and other fascinating flying creatures up close, as you wake up in the middle of the night to find your tent full of them. Ah, the wonders of God’s creation!

You can also learn more about botany when you take a refreshing swim in what the camp affectionately refers to as “Lake Algae.” You’ll be amazed by the way your body is completely covered in green slime when you step out of the water. You’ll also probably want to take a shower right away. But, hey, this is camp, remember? There are no showers. There’s just a small bathtub where you can rinse your skin off, sort of, with a bucket of cold water.

As fun as camp is during the day, it’s the nighttime when things really get exciting. Every kid gets the chance to pair up with another camper for “night watch,” when they’re assigned to be up while everyone else is asleep and guard the camp against any intruders – human or animal.

Are you afraid of the dark? Well, here’s your chance to finally face your fear and overcome it. To help you even more, one of the counselors might put on a scary mask, sneak up behind you, and yell, “Boo!” You might get scared, but someday years from now you’ll look back on the experience and laugh, assuming of course that you don’t end up suffering a debilitating trauma that haunts you for the rest of your life.

That’s what camp is all about: making memories that will last you a lifetime, and that will also give you something interesting to talk to your therapist about when you’re an adult.

Finally, summer camp is great preparation for life, especially if you expect to be spending some years in prison when you grow up. From dining on inedible slop served in dented metal bowls to going on forced 20-kilometer marches in the blazing sun, camp combines the delights of nature with the rustic ambience of a German stalag during the Second World War.

So, enjoy your stay at camp, kids! You can be sure that your Mom and I will miss you while we’re on vacation at our luxurious hotel on Ibiza.


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