This was a nightmare camp run by psychos.
I have stories. Lots of stories.
We survived this camp mostly because we were older and we enjoyed the freedom we had there but, at least the year me and my sister went, this place was the last place anyone should leave their children.
I remember a girl tried to escape but Uncle Buddy got the tractor out and went after her and brought her back.
The saving grace was that we got to go to the mall once a week. They’d load us up and drop us off for a few hours. We’d get chinese food. and we got to go to the bowling alley once a week too and raid the vending machines.
My only memories here were of food because they put me on a diet. Another girl I was friends with.. they told her folks they’d help her lose weight as if it was a fat camp. Which it was not. Then they pretty much just took dessert away from her. and me.
I had my folks call them and insist I get dessert, because I am not on a diet even if they think I’m fat, but they withheld dessert from me anyway. So we’d go buy food when got out and sneak it back to camp and hide it everywhere. I had a huge stash of food in the roof.
It know it’s nearly 40 years later, but don’t send your kids here.
I hated Summer Camp.
This was the one we went to for the most years. I hated Summer Camp but I hated school for the same reason. Kids my age pretty much universally hated me throughout my entire young life and living with them 24/7 was just plain torture and misery.
No one cared if I hated camp. But my sister hated camp and for whatever reason.. i cant recall all the details… she got sick and wasn’t given her medication properly or something and went delirious one night and legend has it, spread out her underwear on a trunk and gave them a stern talking to. I think that was the same year she wrote a letter explaining to the parents that we were in a prison camp and it was so terrible and we were all starving to death and please get us out of here.
I actually had a good experience there. Relatively speaking. I mean the kids were horrible to me but all kids everywhere were horrible to me.
This is the place where the girls in my cabin asked me why I hadn’t showered one day after we came back from the lake and I made the unfortunate choice of saying, “I’m just going to get dirty again”.
I never lived that down. Didn’t matter that we were going from the lake to play kickball or some other such thing like that and I really was going to get dirty again so I was going to take a shower later in the evening. But whatever. The damage was done and forever for the rest of the year I was the girl who refused to shower because I’d just get dirty again.
There were tons more terrible stories, but there were a lot of good things about this camp. If you’ve got plenty o’ cash to send your kid to a Jewish camp, I think its a great place.
For me, this was the best camp we went to as it was relatively professionally run and even though i was singled out by the kids, I was able to participate in lots of different kinds of activities. We were busy all day long. The mass programs were unbelievably good. For me, it was just the kids my age that were horrible.
After my sister decided we werent going here anymore, we went to a series of smaller more horrible places where I was treated terrible by the adults as well as the children, until eventually we got old enough I sort of came into my own and didn’t get made fun of anymore.
Then we went on teen tours which was even better, then we went on teen tours without each other which was even better, then we were old enough to go wherever we wanted to on our own vacations which sure as hell beats any summer camp ever.
But if I had kids I wanted to send to a Jewish Summer Camp, this’d be the place for sure. It was mostly a good experience. They went out of their way to make sure everyone was exposed to campers and counselors of all ages, and everyone got a chance to try every activity.
The Jewish stuff was all there but it didn’t seem intrusive even to me as a child who knew she was Jewish but didn’t do much worshiping ever.
This is a review coming nearly 40 years later, but what I see online leads me to believe it hasn’t changed all that much. Which I think is a good thing.
I only ever went camping a couple of times in my life. In summer camp. We went to a sleepaway camp for like a month or so. We stayed in cabins but once a year they’d take us proper tent camping for a few days.
Before they did that, they gave us a little class on how to pitch a tent and other important useful things we’d need to know, but we were little girls and I don’t even think I had a real sense that they meant to pay attention because we’d actually be doing this for real in a few days.
We had to divide up into teams of four for the 4 person tents, which is a tight squeeze even for four little girls. Of course all the cool, popular, athletic, coordinated kids wanted to be together and none of them wanted to get stuck with the uncool, spastic, uncoordinated, unkepmt weirdos (i.e. Me) so me and the two other leftovers got stuck with the counselor.
Which was fortunate really because we totally couldn’t have ever put that tent up without her.
I never really understood why they were making me sleep in a tent in the woods miles away from our cabin, which I already thought was in the woods so I didn’t understand the point at all.
It was just another in the long line of humiliations that was growing up.
The one girl in our tent had some horrible stinky feet and she made the tent smell so bad I didn’t even want to get in it.
Then they woke us up stupid early to eat breakfast which was cereal in tiny boxes and cartons of milk and I really just wanted to get back to the dining hall where we got scrambled eggs and toast. Camping seemed like a lot of needless time wasting to me.
People seem to like doing it, and I figure it’s worth me giving a try now as an adult since I can be in control of so many more of the variables. If I like it, it opens up a new world of possibilities for travel.
I may not actually like the outdoors. I’m a city girl. But the people I’m going camping with are pros and they mostly don’t want to do much but drink and eat so there’s people to guide me and activities I will enjoy doing.
I still don’t want to go hiking.
I have a horror story about a summer camp/canoe trip down the Delaware gone wrong for all the same reasons I just outlined. Stuck in a canoe with the girls who aren’t athletic or outdoorsy and none of us had a clue how to do it. We nearly died in the rapids and took hours longer than everyone else to get to the end while they all had a cookout.
I never would have done that ever if I’d had a choice. By putting the athletic, coordinated and experienced kids in boats with each other and the rest of us in our own, they pretty much set me up for failure. Ensuring that I would have the worst possible experience and never want to ever do that again.
Hiking is the same except that I was just lagging behind on my own instead of depending on other people who had no idea how to do it, and on and on and on for every single outdoor adventure I was ever forced to be part of in my young life.
As I got older I just plain refused to participate. Had my folks sign a note saying if I don’t want to play I don’t have to so in my older years at camp I opted out of tennis lessons, softball games, kickball games, volleyball games and I was much happier for it.
Eventually my folks found a camp to put me in where I could take a computer programming class while my sister took tennis lessons.
And I grew up not being ashamed I wasn’t all that athletic or outdoorsy. I embraced it. I became a music lover and a club kid. I forged my own identity.
But this weekend, I’m gonna try camping again. As an adult. I’ve got my own campsite and gear. A tent I can assemble. Things I want to do. People I want to do it with. I’m looking forward to correcting this wrong that was done to me.
Or not. As the case may be.
If I find out I really do hate camping that’s okay too.
I may speak freely and frankly about my lady parts
But I really hate getting an exam a lot.
I am not bruised or injured anywhere.
This almost never happens due to my affinity for Mosh pits and working with dogs.
My St Bernard scratches that looked like a warewolf attack have healed too. Other than some serious fatigue (I slept the better part of two straight days) since I got off my steroid inhaler for allergies, there is nothing wrong with me at all.
The cats are alive and well and even behaving. My house repairs are finished. All is well.
Hope I can hang onto this for a good long time.
But I dont mind briuses really. I love mosh pits and dogs. Totally worth it.
The Fat Sweaty Guy Fan
My friend who’s “teaching me camping” this weekend gave me a checklist of items to bring. Most of which I’d either already assembled or intended to buy. Except for the fan.
Said something about since we’ll have electricity …..
I never heard of a camping fan and figured he was just a sweaty fat guy and that’s what that was about, but I typed in “Camping fan” to amazon and found some battery powered ones and thought that might be good to have should the power go out.
We’ve had some terrible storms here in Central Ohio that left folks without power for a week or more, so a battery powered fan might not be a bad thing to have laying around.
Yeah, I know, I just told you we’ll have power but that was my reasoning. So I bought one that runs on AC or DC and Ive got it out in the yard w/me now while I watch Flashy do his kitty thing.
It’s pretty awesome.
Keeps the bugs out out of my face too.
I hope this camping trip turns out ok. I want to like camping.