Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Girl Scout Camp

Something I did the other day reminded me of my time at Girl Scout Camp, I think it was singing this song to my boys. Ahh, yes, the days at camp; for two weeks out of my summers, from ages 10-14, I attended Camp Cloud Rim. Located in the mountains above Deer Valley, Utah, it is a beautiful place, full of fresh air and surrounded by the Rockies. The hikes and the healthy food, whipped me into shape quickly. I learned a lot during my time at camp; what women and girls look like when they don’t shave under their armpits, all about hypothermia and giardia, how to drop a counselor on her head during the trust fall exercise and there are mosquitoes out there that can indeed suck blood through denim.

There were tons of character building opportunities as well. How fast could we ostracize at least 1 member of our tent for the entire 2 week period? Which counselors were lesbians? Would it be fun to BE a lesbian? Try to guess the counselors real name or get them to tell you before the end of camp. Important skills for life. Also, I would write letters to my family, every day and wait for their letters to come and wait and well, wait some more. Finally, my last year of camp, my Dad sent me a letter. It said something along the lines of, ‘Hi, Denice, I hope you are well. I will see you in 2 days. Love, Dad’ and for posterity, he stuck the toothpick he had been chewing on into the envelope. I guess this was my father’s equivalent to a care package.

My fondest memory, though, is of the lake. We spent part of each day swimming in a lake, I would say it was a modest 65 to 70 degrees in the summer and I, so, loved swimming there, I actually swam in my underwear and a shirt, the year I managed to forget my bathing suit. I hated the fish though, the disgusting, scaly creatures would brush by me or bite my toes and I would scream. What I liked the most about the lake was the hippo . I wanted
to see on the hippo more than anything. Countless counselors (Maacia, Queue, Fergie and Shambala – I remember you, yes, I do) had told me there was a hippo in our lake and each year I looked and looked for her. Some of the counselors would go out snorkeling and I would ask if they had seen the hippo, they would say, “Yes, over there by the rocks.” Pointing to the farthest part of the lake - away from where we were allowed to swim. For years, I looked for the hippo, years, I tell you. I even went back one summer as an adult to try to see her, but no such luck. It is enough to make you think they were lying to me all that time.

I was always glad to go home and on the way back I would beg my father to stop and let me have a hamburger and a coke. But, there was one year, I didn’t do any begging on the way home. In fact, I didn’t do anything out of line for months after camp. Not because I had built up my character during camp, no, you see, they had missed me so much, they plum forgot to come pick me up when camp was over. I figured if they were willing to leave me at camp, there was no telling what minor infraction might get me sent away to military school.
posted by Ditsy Chick @ 8:45 PM |


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