Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Summer Camp


Did you ever get to go to summer camp? I was very fortunate that each summer from 5th grade through the 9th grade, I was shipped off for two weeks to a very rustic camp in Arkansas. I loved Camp Wyldewood. It lies at the foothills of the Ozarks and it is beautiful! Of course, as an adult I found it to be much more attractive in the spring and the fall when the temperatures do not require ingesting a daily salt tablet. I can remember how hot we campers were during those summer months. There was no electricity in the cabins which meant the only air conditioning was from the random breeze that blew through the screened-in windows on three sides. At the front of the cabin was the only door and on each side of the door were built in closets. With fourteen girls per cabin there was very little room for hanging many clothes. We kept everything else in footlockers that slid under the bunks.
If you hurried through lunch you had a little time to grab a somewhat private shower which was my goal. I was a skinny, flat-chested 11 year old who absolutely dreaded the communal showers even worse than the cold-water-only plumbing. I assume the boys had the same accommodations although their daily swims more than likely constituted the extent of their concern for personal hygiene. As hot as we were you would think we would have been happy for the cold water. Not!
But it was fun and in spite of some mild homesickness each year, those two weeks were the high point of my summers. My family always took vacations as well but those were typically spent in a car with my younger brother and sister arguing over who got to sit next to the window. My time at Wyldewood was a close as I got to freedom and independence until I went off to college. I made some great friends in Session V and each year we left with full autograph books and addresses for pen pals that usually lasted until Christmas.
In addition to daily devotionals and Bible study, there was softball, hiking in some of God's most beautiful country, swimming, canteen and crafts. We had Sadie Hawkins Day, lots of singing and a big night out where we dressed up, paired up and were given a tour of the nearby university which was the alma mater of all the counselors. Years later I would see many of those same campers when I chose to attend that same college.
Those were the days. Before curling irons and blow dryers. Before cell phones and texting. Before the internet and emails. Before Tivo and 500 channel choices. It was a simpler time and brings back a lot of happy memories.

6 comments:

Donna said...

You perfectly described my church camp at Pershing State Park, cold water and all. Only mine was just a week.

Missie said...

I never got to go to a summer camp and till this day, I regret not having that experience.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Sounds like fun, I only got to do one summer camp, but we had a campsite with a trailer that we went to during the summers as often as we could. Fishing, rowboating, golf, swimming. It was fun.

Carlene Noggle said...

I got to go to 4-H camp one year and I was home sick a little. I went with my friend and we ended up having seperate cabins because of a years difference in age! So I had no one there I knew and was too shy to make new friends! I did enjoy the crafts and all.
First time I ever got to see a real swimming pool too!
love ya,
carlene

Leigh said...

I went to Girl Scout summer camp for 3 years. I always loved it!
Thanks for jogging a few of those memories!

:) Leigh

a corgi said...

great memories! life was much more simpler back then and I think more enjoyable; you really felt like you got away from it all in that rustic setting; nowadays the young ones would be wondering if there was cell service and probably would revolt and not want to go to a place without it.

thanks for sharing :)

betty