My nieces are posting stories of their children heading off to summer camp and it has brought back many memories for me. They aren’t all good memories, but regardless they are once again fresh in my mind.
To me summer camp was a part of summer. I was in foster care during school, but most of the summer lived with my Grandmother. That was no way a hardship for me as my Grandmother lived at the beach. My normal routine was to get up and have breakfast, then make my bed, change into my swim suit and head off to the beach. I knew I had to be home and changed into something proper before the church bells chimed at 6 or I would be in trouble, and I usually was. (Usually was home and not in trouble!)
When I wasn’t at my Grandmother’s at the beach I was in summer camp. Now I know I enjoyed summer camp, and I appreciated being there most of the time. I even had to “work” to get to one of them, learning bible verses etc, but it was worth it. One camp was close to where we lived, but there was never anyone I knew from school there. I had to make all new friends, which back then wasn’t hard for me.
The second camp was pretty far away, several hours by car and even longer if my Grandmother was driving. We got lost going there every year for about three years, no GPS back then. This camp was very special, in the Poconos and away from civilization which included city lights. I think it was there I saw my first shooting stars, from the top of a hill in the darkness… we were told to lie on our backs and look up.. odd but we did as instructed and were rewarded with a meteor shower which lasted for hours (past curfew but it was OK that night)
It was at that camp I started to realize I was different than most girls, I didn’t care what I wore and I certainly wasn’t into boys…. Well not at the beginning of camp but I seem to remember I was deeply in like by the end of one summer… It was there I learned how to dive properly and not just do belly flops. And it was there I broke my two front teeth and smashed my face on the bottom of the pool when I did a perfect dive off the board… I forgot to break and hit the bottom face first. FYI, it was the lifeguard who was resuscitating me who I had the big crush on… wonder why?