Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday: Someone's crying, lord, kumbaya

Today's flashback was inspired by this article over at Jezebel. I spent about 30 minutes last night (pre-Lost season finale) reading the mostly-hilarious, sometimes cringe-inducing comments about readers' experiences at summer camp when they were kids.

I always wanted to go to camp...whether it was Camp La Jolla, a fat camp I read about in Teen magazine (check out the homepage...I like how the happy campers are posing with their boogie boards covering themselves...guess they weren't teaching body acceptance that summer) or one of those cool summer-long, color war/panty raid/first kiss camps a la Poison Ivy (with Jason Bateman and Nancy McKeon...not Drew Barrymore's Lolita send-up of the early 90s).

Anyway, it just wasn't in the cards for me. Actually, it'd be more accurate to say the cash just wasn't in my family's bank account. Even back then it seems like it was like $1000 or so and that's a hell of a lot of coin to shell out just to get a few child-free weeks. Plus, they would've undoubtedly had to buy me all new clothes after I shed tons of weight from eating lettuce and paddling canoes all summer.

The only semi-real camp like experience I had was in Jr. High. Some friends and I went to Jerry Jobe Basketball Camp in Duncan, Oklahoma one year. It was a camp in the sense that we stayed there 4 nights or so. However, instead of bunks we slept in a hotel (or more likely motel...I can't recall). And, being a basketball camp and all, we just played and did drills all day which totally sucked. I faked a sprained ankle on, like, the second morning because I was so over it.

Then there was Vacation Bible School and let me tell ya...I hit 'em all. Growing up Catholic, we didn't do VBS like the other churches in town. I don't remember a lot about my days as a Catholic, but I do know nobody ever carried a Bible to church...let alone had one in a personalized carrying case with their favorite verses highlighted ten ways to Sunday. But when summer hit, I went to the Methodist camp (where I memorized the books of the Bible), the Episcopalian version (where they taught us to sing You Light Up My Life in sign language) and the Baptist one (where I learned to judge others).

But never having had a "real" camp experience, I never got to short-sheet the beds in the boys' cabin, have a "camp crush" or make lanyards for everyone on my block. But I also didn't have to deal with the teasing, the bitchiness and the trauma that I heard about from the readers over at Jezebel. Well...except for from the Baptists.

Today's title selection: Kumbaya - the Peter, Paul and Mary version


Pearl said...

I think all of the summer camp themed movies I watched as a child made me think that someday I would be forced to go to summer camp too. I was TERRIFIED that this would happen and I am SO GLAD it never did. I got my fill of torture during the school year growing up in a hickbone town where my reply to "you're weird" was always "thank you".

Imelda Matt said...

Yes, growing up Catholic, I know it well! Throw in an all boys school, horny Marist Brothers and best friend who with no gag reflex and it was Vacation Bible School Aus style!

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