Ah, summer. And camp. Anyone who ever went to summer camp for even one summer will never forget the experience. The rules are different at camp, as these women made ever so clear when we asked them, "Will you share a summer camp memory?"
I started going to Camp Fire Girls camp the summer after first grade and didn't stop until I was 20. I was at camp when they walked on the moon. I sold Camp Fire candy so I could afford it. It was the relationships that kept me going: the older girls and the young women, the camaraderie, the traditions and the fun the staff seemed to have. You aspired to get to the stage where you were part of that bigger picture.
I never went to camp, but my parents taught my sister and I everything we would have learned at a summer camp. I learned fishing, boating and making campfires. I don't have any regrets. We went on a lot of summer trips and had a lot of interesting experiences.
I went to Bible camps and sports camps. The Bible camps were the best: worshipping God, learning about God and having a lot of fun. The sports camps were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. activities, and it was brutal. But I had fun and learned a lot, too.
I went to horse camp and a church backpacking camp. They had the horses at the camp, and it was a lot of fun because I had never been in a show before. Somehow I got a second in that. It was very exciting, since I wasn't born and raised around horses but grew up at the beach. On the backpacking trips, we visited lakes in the high Sierras. It was strenuous and a personal challenge with great times around the campfire full of messages and singing. The sights were beautiful. Also, we had a bet with the boys to see who could go the longest without washing hair. The girls won.
I was a Girl Scout and went camping two weeks every summer by a lake. One of the best things we did was go to the top of a hill and roll down in the mud. My mother was horrified when she picked me up. I was squealing with joy, "I had so much fun." She didn't want me to dirty up her Cadillac. Before she let me in the house she hosed me off in the backyard.
My fondest memory would be learning how to cook food on the campfire. We made spice cake. We hollowed out oranges, poured the batter in them, put the top back on and wrapped them in foil to bake. The orange flavor permeated the cakes. We also learned how to cook bacon in a greased paper bag.
I went to a lot of summer camps. One that really holds in my memory was a Texas camp with horses. A few of us went to ride with a counselor. One horse seemed really wild and it turned out to be the one I was supposed to ride. I was 6 years old and really nervous. I got on, and the horse bucked. I went flying off and landed in a cactus. I spent the next few hours at the nurse's getting cactus needles pulled out. I rode again the next day, but after that I was never really interested in riding again.
I think my favorite part of camp was trudging through the pond, looking for macro invertebrates. We were covered in mud, drenched in water. Also, having no tune whatsoever, screaming at the top of my lungs, dancing around the campfire.