Read It To Believe It

Ever wonder about the impact a camp program really has on campers?

This camper has many happy summer memories!

Does it matter whether staff members have camp names, or whether the camp hosts skit nights, or offers creative craft projects? Evidently it does!

The following anecdotes are from adults who obviously have many fond, positive memories from camp:

Caring Counselor

I will never forget my first camp counselor. He had the ability to make us feel like we owned camp. He was always there to support us, challenge us, and empower us.

I truly feel that my experience that summer excelled my growth as an individual.

–Bob Bechtold

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Pecking Order

Only by attending summer camp in my youth (starting at 8 years old) could I ever have had experiences involving bunkmates where we were delegated jobs (i.e., cleaning the bathroom and porch) and the order in which we could take a shower. I also remember receiving care packages and dances with the boys’ camp.

–Leslie Richin

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Culture Shock

I remember crying the entire three-hour drive to northern Michigan to attend a newly opened Armenian camp. My good-natured younger sister was singing in the back seat, but I was miserable.

By the second day, we called our parents to ask if we could stay longer. We ended up staying three weeks, and went the entire summer each year after that.

I remember archery, volleyball, learning songs, riflery, sand everywhere, the lunch bell, swimming across the entire lake, getting the giant August issue of Seventeen magazine before we went to camp, sneaking out to the boys’ cabin only to find the counselor in his underwear, and on and on.

I grew up there: unsuccessfully trying to learn to insert Tampax (two of us “students” on the tub, our older friend the “teacher” on the toilet seat, and another girl outside with a megaphone announcing to the woods what we were doing).

Even though we learned Armenian songs and dances, everything else was “American.” My parents lived their entire lives without sleeping on bunk beds or in tents–they knew nothing of shooting a gun or arts and crafts. Oh, to have those simple days again!

–Sally Palaian

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Charting Camp

For several years, my sister, brother and I attended Trailblazers camp each summer. My brother and I drew a diagram of the camp and mailed it to our elder sister. She immediately recognized the map and returned it after labeling the archery court, the place where the buses parked, the docks, the “outward” trail and everything else.

Camp is still an endearing, indelible memory some 50-plus years later.

–Alexandra Clair

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