44 Things I Learned Going Back to Camp at 44 (Part II)

by Priscilla on August 11, 2015

23.) I’m okay with never seeing or tasting another chicken nugget or serving of mac and cheese. I cannot emphasize this point enough.

24.)  When it comes to setting up a tent, I still have no idea what I’m doing which is ironic considering I worked at a camp. (Yes, there were stakes and poles left over when I set the darn things up,  and, yes, I did patch up a hole with construction paper and duct tape. But no one smothered to death or was stung by mosquitoes now were they?)

25.) Making friendship bracelets only leads me to curse. If God wants us to wear string around our wrists, He never would have invented gold jangly bracelets…which, by the way, I wear very well.

26.) Boys cabins are still gross.

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27.) Warped minds come up with the best camp games.

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Yes, you are looking at a young man sliding through oatmeal, jello, pudding and gravy while his friends beat him with a noodle. But, hey, they aren’t glued to their electronics now are they?

28.) Nothing makes me happier than seeing girls working together.

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29.) When I’d leave my phone somewhere, lots of images like this would appear.

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30.) But I needed that phone to take pictures of lists like this one…because I was always forgetting lists or dropping lists or losing lists or ignoring lists. I suck at lists.

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Speaking up lists, my list of Things I Won’t Do With My Vagina is now at 6,948.

31.) When your children tell you there’s a mouse in the cabin, and you blow them off and tell them they are just hearing chipmunks in the walls and ceilings (because THAT’s so much better), you learn sometimes it pays to listen. Especially when you find said mouse dead under your bed on the very last day of camp….four weeks after they told you they heard a mouse.

32.) Experts be damned, lots of little boys still love playing dodgeball…especially if noodles are involved. Please don’t ask me how or why the noodles are involved. Suffice it to say  big boys are directing the little boys so….

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33.) Bug spray without DEET is worthless. Forget Skin So Soft or homemade natural concoctions. If it doesn’t have DEET, it won’t work.  Yes, I know all the warnings about DEET; I’m just saying that I was outside 67 days straight all day, every day so I have a clue. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Now that I think about it, I’m being a little unreasonable about some of my non vagina related activities so I’m back to 6,945.

34.) Tie Dye is still all the rage.


35.) Buddy Checks are a bane of any waterfront director’s existence…still…25 years later. Seriously, kids. Remember your friggin’ number and yell it when called upon. It’s not that difficult.

36.) I build a mean campfire…sans lighter fluid…the millennials needed lighter fluid.

37.) This girl hasn’t spotted a mic she doesn’t like. We were told more than once that we looked like mother and daughter. So we lied to a few campers on Honesty Day (of all days) and told them we were mother and daughter. I’d like to think she got her stage presence from me.

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38.) Sunrises have the same effect on me as sunsets.

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39.) Old campers, like old students, show up at just the right time to remind you that the work you did years ago mattered. It really did.

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40.) And one of them returned with an original gift from the heart.

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Which leads to…

41.) Campers make me all kinds of weepy.

42.) Some of their helicopter moms make me all kinds of grumpy.

43.) I can spot a Helicopter Mom a mile away, but Helicopter Moms can’t spot themselves if they were looking right in a mirror and the mirror declared, Yeah, you are one of those moms, lady.

44.) At the beginning of the summer, I thought going back to summer camp at 44 marked me a complete loser – after all I was newly divorced, had given up my career for 10 years to be a SAHM and wondered if I had any marketable skills whatsoever.  What I realized after nine weeks is that I’m pretty darn lucky to have met all the campers, staff and parents (even the helicopter ones) that I did, because I’m a better, stronger and more grateful  human for the experience, and everything’s going to be okay. God kinda has a clue…even with millennials.




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