Camp

Camp is a great affair

With lots of sun and warm, warm air

Come to camp it’s really fun!

With people playing in the sun

Swimming is a hobby here

Camp’s a place where friends are near

There’s fishing, boating, canoeing, too!

Camp’s even better than the zoo

-Me, age 8

The year I was born my grandparents bought a camp on Greenwood Lake in Woodbury, Vermont. Ever since I can remember, summer has meant going to camp.

Camp means swimming, kayaking, fishing (just for sunfish that we always throw back), meals cooked over the fire, Skin-so-Soft Bug spray, endless games of Skip-Bo, Poker and Monopoly, reading, listening to the eerie cry of the loons at night and most importantly, writing down everything in the camp journal.

Even though camp was only 20 minutes from home, it was an entirely different world. No television, no internet, no cell phone signal, and for most of my childhood, no telephone. It was a place where my dad didn’t have to get up at 5 am to go to the barn. My mom didn’t have to run errands or talk on the phone. My sister and brother and I played cards and invented make-believe worlds in the woods instead of watching TV or playing video games.

Camp is where you wash your hair in the lake because the shower has spiders in it. Camp is where you don’t drink the tap water because it comes from the lake, but rather hop in the canoe and fill up jugs at the natural spring on the other side of the lake.

Camp is the place for July Birthday parties, the annual celebration of my sister and cousins who were all born in July. Camp is where I wish I were today, celebrating with my family instead of sitting here freezing in my apartment at the other end of the world.

Good thing I’ll be home to see these cuties in just 26 days. And go to camp, of course.

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16 thoughts on “Camp

  1. That sounds like the most amazing family tradition. I’m curious why you call it camp, rather than just a lake house or lake cabin? My family goes to a very similar place every year and I love it!

  2. S,R,A,C, and P came out to camp today. It was rainy but went swimming anyway. Bugs were bad, couldn’t get the fire going. We tried fishing but didn’t catch anything. Power went out and we had no lights or water last night.

    Had a great time and will be back next weekend!

    • Hahaha Dad…er, I mean Yorlik. For my other readers out there, this is a typical way my father would sign the camp journal. In fact I asked him if he had copied directly, but he said he just made it up.

  3. I had a song for when we traveled to Indiana each summer!!! It went like this to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy (you occasionally have to draw out the vowels to make it fit):

    Hello Indiana,
    hello, hello, hello,
    we hope you haven’t missed us much
    while we were gone.

    Up the doorstep,
    into the house,
    let us have lots of fun
    while we are at home!

    HAHAHA it looks so much worse when written out! But I used to sing that every time we crossed the border. 😛

  4. I love this tradition, this camp, this lake. I always wished we were the country house or lake house kind of people when I was growing up. Have a great time when you get to go later this month (or next month). I’m sure everything will be exactly as you remember!

  5. Love it! it sooo reminds me of home! We never had our own camp because my parents liked to explore new places, but we often rented camps in the Adirondacks and some friends had a hunting lodge up near Long Lake where we always went, summer and winter–very rustic and in the middle of the woods. Loved it–outhouse and all.
    We are very fortunate to have grown up in the northeast!! Enjoy your time at camp this summer!

    • Thanks, Peg! Camp used to have an outhouse too! I mean, it’s still there but no one uses it. We used to dare each other when we were little to go in there and sniff to see if it still smelled bad 😉 And yes, I feel so lucky that I grew up where I did!

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