I only went to summer camp once in my life.
I think every kid should go to summer camp.
If only for the tales at therapy years later.
I don't actually remember the name of the camp, it had 'Lake' in the name and at one time in the camp's history, there had been a lake, but in the early 1950s, it disappeared in fear when an earthquake struck the area around that time.
Where did the water go?
They think Las Vegas.
Camp Lake Itchenskratch(named by me for the numerous biting insects and poison ivy plants who decided it would be nice to attack in unison) began it's life as a 'Camp for Boys' in 1887 by some local businessmen who thought it'd be nice to have some place to send local kids to be eaten by the local wild animals.
Back then, it was considered 'Acceptable Lost' for such things to happen as families had hundreds of children, most in one sitting.
In Nineteen Hundred and Thirty Seven, some boy scouts decided that the lake would make a fine place to drown every summer, and Camp Lake Itchenskratch became the premiere site for the boy scouts.
The girl scouts had to stay at the Ritz Hotel in town until 1972 when the camp was taken over by the Church of Universal Light Triumphant (Not really, but I'm trying to protect the guilty!! It was actually ran by the Baptists!) who decided it would make a great camp, they even kept the name, even though the lake was gone, the biting insects remained.
In 1982, The Camp History would add my name as "Attendee #892" to its logs.
The camp was coed.
There was separate cabins for boys and girls but activities such as vomiting, scratching and other things were boys and girls together.
For some reason, I was mixed up with a church at that time in my life.
My best friend's family was in the church and I decided, what the hell, what else do I have to do on Sunday?
It was at this church where I was baptised in the name of Jesus or Ra.
I forget, there were snakes involved and rolling in the aisle.
Those could be false memories but then, who's telling this story?
I decided that the camp sounded fun.
Our Youth Leader' at the church, a 19 year old sadist by the name of Jackie had told me all about camp.
The more I think about it, the more I think she got bonuses for recruiting new meat, but I could be wrong.
But there I was in front of the church bright and early, at 6:45 AM, waiting for a bus to pick me and my best friend Cal(name changed to protect the guilty!) and fifteen other children.
I probably should have ran off screaming from the area when at 7:55 AM, the phone call came through that the first bus exploded while traveling to our location.
The second bus arrived at 8:30 AM, the driver still hung over from the night before.
"This is what makes camp exciting!" Jackie said as she pushed me onto the bus.
Four hours and ten days later, we made it to camp.
My friend Cal was a veteran of the Camp and made sure to throw up at the church.
"I don't feel good! I think I'm getting sick!" and was removed from the rosters for that summer.
That bastard knew.
"See ya in 4 weeks!" he giggled.
Four weeks turned into years and Jackie became my friend.
"Really?" The crowd goes.
No, not really. She was my Cabin Counselor though, the Beavers.
That was the name of our cabin.
There was Jim, Walt, Steve and Butch.
Butch's parents must of had a bad sense of humor and and knew he was going to grow to four foot eleven inches and be the weakest kid in any batch he was in.
He was the first to go up the flag pole when they couldn't get the flag down.
He climbed like his life depended on it, and most times, it did.
He was the first kid of the summer to be chased by a form of wild life (one of the life patches giving out over the summer!) and most improved in attitude (he left camp early, and was very happy to leave!).
Actually, from what my repressed memories are showing me, camp wasn't too bad.
There was singing, dancing, arts and crafts, fires in the woods, death marches they called hikes to the cliffs, and some kissy kissy time.
Well, I didn't get kissy kissy time, but my camp buddy Steve got kissed by a snake.
Girls can be such pranksters.
In four weeks, I only got in trouble once.
There was a swimming pool, and I was standing there, when Darrell, a 12 foot tall pile of poop, though he may have only been like five foot, came running up on me and shoved me in.
"Cocksucker!." I jumped from the cold water and was ready to kill Darrell when Jackie, standing close by, ran up and grabbed me, pulling me in with her arms.
She held me tight, my face buried into her chest.
She had nice breasts but at that time, I wasn't thinking about being pressed up against her like that, until, well now.
God, she had nice breasts.
And that was my first and last time at camp.
The bus arrived to bring us back with no issues, except the first driver the night before had a heart attack but he's still alive today.
The camp still operates to this date by the church.
Good times. I only got itchy scratch a few times.
And received a life patch for my macaroni art, a life achievement I'm still most proud of to this day.