Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lonely Letters From Camp

(quandts.com)
                                                                            
                    


Recently, when my oldest and dearest friend's twelve-year-old son went off to overnight camp she anxiously awaited his first letter. He couldn't wait to go home to his "comfy bed," and didn't want to spend another minute "singing silly camp songs." Though he wasn't exactly having a first-rate experience, he came up with a very creative escape plan involving "tactical units, Navy SEALs, and a Hummer." Afterward, his mother didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or contact Mensa.

This reminded me of my oldest son's overnight camp adventure when he was around the same age. Because the lake was too cold for swimming at the beginning of the summer, most of the activities centered around snapping wet towels at each other in the shower. Some boys even snuck in portable TVs, and preferred watching baseball games to actually playing in them.  In one of his letters, he even offered to take his little brother to Toys "R" Us as soon as he got home.  Since the camp assured us that he was doing fine, we painfully decided to make him stick it out for the full four weeks. I'll never forget how thin he looked when he came off of the bus, so we quickly began serving up his favorite foods.  He was so happy to be home that he made his bed everyday, and didn't renege on his promise to take his brother toy shopping.

My older brother also was homesick when he was away at baseball camp. I remember that we even drove up with close family friends to see him and his buddy during visitor's weekend.  He was so grateful for the visit, and was even more appreciative when he came home. Not only did he offer to do extra chores around the house, but  he didn't make me cry for at least a week. I still think that he missed my mom's cooking the most.

It's not too late for the men in our lives to partake in the camp experience. There are adult camps offering everything from cooking to cattle driving. They could partner up with you for co-ed soccer, and ballroom dancing, or they could take the dog instead to Camp Unleashed. There are many camps to choose from that offer three to five day stays at different times of the year.

Since young boys return home anxious to please, the possibilities are endless for what older men are willing to do. To insure the best results, I would recommend issuing an iron-clad agreement with an increased life insurance policy. Even an unsuspecting cooking camp could lead to imminent danger, so no camp is completely safe. For example, if he chooses to risk unnecessary knee, or hip replacement at a baseball camp, make sure you have a sparkling diamond before he slides home.

Who am I kidding? A couple of  romantic dinners, a weekend getaway, or even a few chick flicks would be nice. Throw in a day of shopping without sighing, whining, or excessive eye rolling, and you're in business. However, if your partner wants to go away to ballroom dancing camp without you, proceed with caution. Book a trip to Las Vegas with your girlfriends, and waltz him right out the door for good.

41 comments:

  1. I'll be glad to do all of that for my wife without the camping experience!

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  2. Increase the life insurance---LOL You are too funny!

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  3. Alex - Oh, if only more men were like you!

    Pam - It's always best to be prepared for the worst! Thanks Pam! Julie

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  4. Actually just the time on your own while they are at camp would be prize enough for me.

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  5. Cattle driving - LOL. Remember "City Slickers"?

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  6. Can I be Alex's wife #2?

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  7. Camping is not the same thing as roughing anymore. I wonder what Kind of camps they have for women. I suppose those are called a spa.

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  8. Delores - Absolutely, but we can't let them get off that easy!

    Carol - I don't know which came first, the camp or the movie?

    Anon - Get in line my friend!

    Yvonne - Spas are wonderful, but there are also adult camps offering music, theater, and dance. As I mentioned many of the camps including the soccer and cooking camps are also co-ed. I'm sure that there are even writing and blogging camps out there. Julie

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  9. Too cute. Camp isn't for everyone, but I loved it.

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  10. LOL This was brilliant! I never went to camp, but I would love to now. Wonder what they would have...Hmmm Sword fighting, football, camp for learning all about the inner workings of cars would be nice.

    Yes, I'm afraid I would be the one eye-rolling at the store and avoiding chick flicks. :)

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  11. Gene Pool Diva - I could barely handle day camp, let alone staying overnight! I would love to hear about some of your camp adventures! Thanks GPD!

    Melissa - I also like action movies, raunchy comedies, and thrillers. "Sword fighting camp" is a great idea for singles as well as couples! Thanks Melissa! Julie

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  12. Those kids' camping experiences sound gruelling. I've never been camping in my life and I can't imagine Mr A ever wanting to go to a ballroom dance camp without me so phew!

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  13. Aw, I'm picturing the thin form getting off the bus! I used to love summer camp, even though I did get homesick the first few days!

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  14. I loved summer camp as a kid. We went to Camp Hiawatha in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. Way out in the boonies. Great times and memories.

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  15. I'm Alex's mom...lol
    I re4ally enjoyed your post, we don't have summer camp here, if we did I think I would send all my family away.

    Yvonne.

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  16. Rosalind - Of course Mr A wouldn't want to go to ballroom dancing camp without you! It's like the old saying "why go out for hamburger...?"

    Talli - I'm sure you also have lots of great book-worthy camp stories!

    Stephen - I went skiing in the Upper Pennisula when I was in high school. You were in beautiful surroundings! I thought of you when I read about a space camp for adults.

    Yvonne - Well, you certainly raised him right! I think we all want to send our families away at times. Thanks Yvonne! Julie

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  17. I only went camping one time with the Girl Scouts and I was beyond miserable! I hated it so much and couldn't wait to get home. To this day whenever someone talks about going camping I cringe and think they are nuts LOL.

    I totally cracked up at the increased life insurance and also making sure you have the diamond before he goes to camp. It's good to have those sorts of things in order. :D

    Have a great weekend, Julie!

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  18. i have never or have my kids ever been to camp--it looks interesting--this post puts me in mind of that old song "hello mother"---i can't remember who did it--:)

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  19. Julie - It would've been sheer torture for me too! Though I know so many people who loved overnight camp. Glad you agree with the additional insurance coverage for reckless behavior! Thanks Julie!

    Lynn - "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, Here I am at Camp Grenada..." This Allan Sherman song is a camp classic! Thanks Lynn! Julie

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  20. Since my roughing it camping days are behind me (I think!), I'll go with the softie suggestions you've made. I did plenty of camping in the sticks in my younger days, but now give me a comfy bed and modern bathroom facilities. I'll even go dancing if that's what it takes to get those.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  21. I'm not really the rough-it-up, outdoorsy type of person. No tent and sleeping bag for me, thank you. I'll stick to my duvet. LOL.

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  22. never went to kids camp. now I wonder if i missed a growing up ritual:P
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  23. Lee - It would be fun to hear about your "roughing It camp days!" See you on the dance floor!

    Michelle - I'm with you, as I would much rather check into a hotel!

    Nutschell - It's never too late to go camping with a friend, or to try a camp for adults. Let me know if you would like more info. Julie

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  24. I always want to go to summer camp, but I never got to. Maybe I should pack a sleeping bag in the back of the car and find one of those now. This could change my life. :-)

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  25. I wonder if there was a summer camp near where I grew up. I asked once if I could go and mum said, there wasn't one. But she could be sneaky, so I'm guessing they couldn't afford it. Would have been fun. I wanted to send my boys but we had 5. The oldest, twins, did go off on Army Cadet weekends. They always came home with tans. Hmm.

    Hi Julie. Happy IWSG!

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  26. Lee - Sounds like a great plan! At least you won't be afraid of alligators!

    Joylene - To raise 5 boys you practically had to be a drill sargeant! They had their own training camp at home! Nice to meet you, and thanks for following me! Julie

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  27. I'm pretty sure the men in my neck of the woods go on camp excursions together -alone. I believe shooting ranges and beer are involved. Now I'm wondering if ballroom dance is on the agenda. I shudder to think.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Gee, and I was just worried about bears! Best you stay away from those bizarro merry men Robyn! Julie

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  28. Four weeks!!?? Great Googli Moogli. I went to scout camp for six summers in a row, but it was only for a week at a time. I was homesick a few times, though. I mostly missed the comfort afforded by my bathroom (despite the shag carpet on the toilet tank). It was much better than perching my bare hiney over a funky spider-infested fire trap that smelled like the monkey house at the zoo.

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  29. Oh, by the way, just got back from a camping trip with my brothers. It was great fun and, unlike scout camp, included beer.
    But, still, the first place I visited when I got home was the bathroom.

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  30. I'm going to do a cool camp out with the kids this summer for Cub Scouts. We are going to spend the knight in an 1800s covered wagon and inside a cave. Fun.

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  31. Al - I agree that four weeks was a long time to be away at camp, but they only offered four or eight week sessions. My son wanted to be with his best friend at the time, and he stayed for eight weeks. Glad you had fun on the trip with your brothers, and were able to return to your favorite room in the house!

    Ciara - Have a great time on the covered wagon, and be careful in the cave! You are such an adventurous mom! Julie

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  32. My daughter did Outward Bound in Maine--three weeks of pretty heavy wilderness camping. Her first letter was heartbreaking, but she stuck it out and had a great experience.

    Julie, I've tagged you in the Be Inspired Bloghop Meme. Details at my blog.

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  33. Summer camp wasn't an option for anyone I knew growing up, and I don't even think there was even such a thing as day camp in our area. So we created our own adventures. I've outgrown the days where I thought it was great fun to go camping in a tent, but an adult summer camp where you get to immerse yourself in neat things like theater, or singing, or nature studies? That'd be a real blast. (As long as we're someplace with air conditioning and indoor plumbing.) But my hubby doesn't get to go without me. No way. He already got to do that all the years he went hunting with his buddies.

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  34. Jeff - I've heard wonderful things about Outward Bound in Maine. I'm sure the experience made her more independent, and the scenery must've been spectacular! Thanks for tagging me!

    Susan - It's great that you "created your own adventures. "Things were much simpler when we could just play outside all day, and didn't have to worry about running into danger. Maybe you and your hubby could take a much needed break together. Julie

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  35. i have never been to one . But after reading this i wonder is camping will be as fun as i imagine haha

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  36. I like your idea! I tell my husband all of the time that I'm going to send him to boot camp with my dad and his dad; he's a total pack rat and they're both minimalist neat freaks. Your idea definitely has some merit. :-)

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  37. Goku - Nice to meet you! You'll never know until you try it!

    Danielle - I think it will be great training for your husband, and a nice break for you. Another alternative is to have them move in with your husband, while you go off on an adventure! Thanks Danielle! Julie

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