“Camping: nature’s way of promoting the motel industry.”
— Dave Barry
After 3 days with 120 middles schoolers at camp, here are a few random reflections, in no particular order.
- ‘Camp’ is a four letter word. But then again, so is ‘good.’
- Teachers are amazing in so many ways, especially in the realms of organization, patience, and sleep deprivation.
The mirrors of a UHaul on an interstate packed with camp gear shouldn’t spin, Exorcist-style.
- Under the right circumstances, UHaul trucks can eat orange pylons.
- Eighth grade mustaches are not sexy, unless you are in eighth grade and you deem it so.
- One pancake is inadequate.
- Heavy rain on a metal roof is loud. So is heavy metal.
- Your fellow parent chaperones deserve more praise than you can give them.
- Mud can be slippery. Especially when wet.
- Muddy paths are fun with waders. They are not fun with tennis shoes.
- A camp fire on concrete is not the same as in a pit.
- Quality outdoor gear is worth every penny, maybe two, perhaps three.
- Camp mattresses are squeaky. So are mice. The latter makes girls scream.
- A dead mouse causes less uproar than a live one.
- Pink stuffed animals can be amusing in a cabin of 8th grade boys.
- At camp, children don’t need their parents. Sorry.
- Children deprived of electronic stimulation act like children and that’s a good thing.
- Coffee should be available to chaperones at all times. No exceptions.
- Camp counselors always have proper rain gear. Campers do not.
- Rain is overrated unless only moss is voting.
- A human knot quickly becomes a human ‘not.’
- The game, 1-fish, 2-fish, red-fish, blue-fish, is both fun and confounding to 6th graders.
- There is only one middle in middle school. It is called 7th grade.
- Screaming is contagious.
- A GMC Denali is more comfortable than a 15-passenger camp van.
- Good company when driving to camp is valuable. Good company on the return trip is priceless.
- Everyone has a story. However, they should not be told all at once.
- A chance to spend 3 days in the woods with your son and daughter and 118 of their close friends is a chance that shouldn’t be missed. Even if you miss a few hours of sleep.
The last 3 days’ gift of time … Gave 3 days to 120 great kids who could drive us crazy, drive us to drink, and drive us out of our mind. But we’d never want to drive them out of our hearts.
Thank you to all the volunteers who gave up three days to the 2012 Whitford Summa Outdoor School. It’s was a pleasure to get wet with you!