A Week Full of Questions: Wednesday
This or That: Summer Solstice Edition

A Week Full of Questions: Thursday

Inspired by the upcoming Summer Solstice, I've got a week's worth of summer-questions for you!

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When you were a kid, did you go to camp in the summer? Day camp? Sleep-away camp? Or . . . did you camp in the summer with your family or friends? How about now? Are you a camper still?

KD127

As for me, my family wasn't a camping family . . . although we did rent a pop-up camper for one camping vacation when I was quite young. (I remember it being a lot of fun, but we never did it again, so I think that will tell you something about my parents' experience.) I went to a local Parks & Rec day camp with neighborhood kids during the summers when I was young. It was mostly games (I remember a lot of knock-hockey, 4-square, and tether ball tournaments, with some Red Rover thrown in now and then), arts-and-crafts (potholder loom weaving and lanyard-making being my favorites), and . . . popsicles. One summer I went to a 2-week sleep-away camp in Wisconsin with my friend Wendy. It was great fun -- there was a lot of swimming and horseback riding and elaborate capture-the-flag games -- plus funny skits and songs every night. That dark-and-grainy photo above is me (saying goodbye to my sister) in front of my camp cabin. It was all very exciting -- but I did get a little homesick during the second week of camp. As an adult, I camped with Tom once. In 1983. We had fun, but I remember it being an awfully lot of work. . . and I got a bad cold. (And now we have our cabin. With electricity, indoor plumbing, and even a washer and dryer. So I guess that says a lot about my preferences.)

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How about YOU? I'd love to hear about your summer camp - or camping - experiences!

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Vera

Oh Gosh! so many memories. One year I went away to a camp in the Pocono Mountains for one week. The camp was affiliated with the church we attended at the time and I hated just about every moment. I really don't remember much about it except that I HATED it.

On the other hand, every summer we went to "Jenny's Camp" for a month. Jenny was my Mom's friend (the one she bicycled across the country with) and her family owned one of the camps (really a cabin) on Lake Dunmore in Vermont. We did have a flush toilet, a shower, a rowboat and a canoe, an upstairs sleeping porch (Loved that). We had to bring in water (we'd go to a spring for that), because all the running water in the camp was lake water...not safe to drink or cook with.

I also did an awful lot of overnight backpacking trips on the Long Trail when I was a kid. I don't remember my Mom going, but my Dad loved to backpack (and it gave my Mom a break from 4 kids). Some of these trips involved friends of my parents and their kids as well. At the time I thought it was great fun...now I don't think I would - LOL

Finally, Fletch and I did a lot of tent camping early on in our relationship and our married life. Then we got tired of sleeping on the ground and bought a pop-up camper. Then we got tired of that and now we have a small (16') camper that we tow. Each year I'm finding that to be more and more work though....

Margene

We traveled the west in our fancy 8 man Spring-bar tent which lasted through 3 generations! My father loved to see all the NPs and as many sites as he could. My young life was one of traveling and camping. Mom and Dad cooked all our meals on a Coleman stove and a campfire. We had many cousins along. The last family trip I took lasted all summer (we got back a week before school started). I was 17 and my youngest sister at the time was 6 months old (with 4 kids between). We saw as much of the east and north east as we could! What a summer!

Vicki

My dad & his family were all outdoors-y/sportsman-y and my mom was complete opposite. Mom agreed, one summer, to a family camping trip... with five kids, so, y'know, it was a LOT of work getting everything packed up. All in, we went to the camper rental place... and no camper for us!! That was the end of that!!

I went to summer camp in Minnesota with my cousin Gail a couple of summers and LOVED IT!! I still remember my favorite Palomino horse, archery, tether ball, a talent show, swimming... so much fun... even after discovering the gigantic leech on my leg after floating over into the reeds.

Debbie

My family went camping every summer, we'd take weekend trips to places in the Catskills and longer trips throughout the north-east and eastern states, from Acadia to Cape Hatteras. On the shorter camping trips we often had friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins come along and join us. We had a large tent that slept 8 people and a couple of smaller tents as our family grew. When I was a teenager my parents & grandparents went together and bought a camper, although we still brought along tents to sleep everyone. We had so much fun on those vacations.
I always went to Girl Scout camp, two weeks of day camp in July and one week of overnight camp in August. Our camp was pretty primitive, we slept in lean-tos, had outhouses (that we had to clean), and swam in a small lake. Our water came from a spring fed well that we had to pump and carry to where we cooked our meals over a campfire. Although it was rough, we always had a lot of fun and I still keep in touch with a couple of my camp friends.

Bonny

Our family went tent camping occasionally, including a fun trip to Maine for two weeks, but all of us got tired of camping in the rain with leaky tents. John and I and the kids went on several big RV trips to National Parks out west and that was a lot of fun. I'm not a camper now, mainly because it doesn't seem like fun to me to do what you do at home except have it be a lot more work (hauling wood and water, cooking over a fire or camp stove, sleeping uncomfortably ...). I'm all for a cabin with electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing!

Mary

My mother was never very outdoorsy, and my father had enough of tents from his military life in Japan, Korea, and bivouacs on training maneuvers. We did rent a trailer in Thousand Islands New York one summer, when we were stationed in Syracuse. I also did a weekend Girl Scout campout that year.

In sixth grade our class took a week to camp out at High Trails in the mountains of Colorado. All sixth grade classes in Colorado Springs got to go. It was an amazing adventure. They are still at it out there, and the director was one of my counselors back in the day.

Fast forward to adulthood and my soon to be fiancee and I camped in the Florida Keys in 1988. At the end of the trip, he asked me to marry him on Mallory Docks in Key West.

When we had the kids, we tent camped at Davidson River Campground, in Brevard, NC for years on end. Then expanded to Hurricane Campground in Sugar Grove VA, a peaceful out of the way campground that is along the Appalachian Trail. Both the daughter and the son brought along their loves, and it was a great week.

The last camp trip was in 2014. Since then we've rented houses and cabins, always in the mountains of Virginia or North Carolina. Being from Florida, we enjoy the change of weather going north. We love it so much we're in the midst of building a home on the side of a mountain 15 minutes NW of Chimney Rock, NC.

Looking forward to more weekend camping trips once we get up there.

Carole

Camping and my mother? Hahahahaha! She thought a hotel without room service was roughing it. I longed to go camping as a kid, though, and was so glad to finally go with Dale. He is a well seasoned camper and taught me so much about how to camp successfully. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but with the right equipment (especially a trailer and not a tent, ahem) and prep, it can also be super fun and very relaxing. As for summer camp, I went to day camp when I was young and I really liked it although I don't remember a lot about it. (Well, except for this one day when this girl jumped into the pool from the side [a big no-no] and she hit her chin on the edge of the pool and split it open and there was blood EVERYWHERE and it was VERY EXCITING.) I went to sleep away camp for 2 weeks every summer starting when I was in 6th grade until the summer before my senior year of high school. It was in NH and I adored it. We had arts and crafts and played games and I learned to shoot a bow and there was singing and skits and it was great.

Sarah

I did a lot of summer camp as a kid, first day camp and then overnight camp. On the whole I enjoyed it, though I didn't always like the other kids. They were all JCC-affiliated camps, so it was always the same group of kids. And I've never been a big fan of actual camping outside, probably because in the middle of the night on an oversight camp out at sleep-away camp, a huge thunderstorm came through and we had to walk back in the pouring rain. My mom has always joked that her idea of roughing it is staying at the Holiday Inn. ;-)

Bridget

My mother considered it camping if we stayed in a motel with a black-and-white TV, so no, we never went on family camping trips. I did got to Girl Scout camp in 4th grade, but got my hand caught on fire one night making s'mores, so I was sent from the ER back home. Which was fine with me, because the activities with a bunch of girls I didn't really know was seriously cutting into my summer reading time.

The Tim's family vacations as a kid were all camping vacations. The only time we "camped" together was on a trip to a Provincial Park in Newfoundland, and we had a cabin with indoor plumbing, etc. It was wonderful, but not what I usually think of as camping ...

Karel

Every summer, all summer, I "camped" at my grandparents' cottage (which later became their year-round home) on an inland lake in Northern Michigan. It was often not just my brother and me, but four of my cousins -- all in a one bedroom, one bathroom cabin. My grandmother loved all the activity, and my grandfather... well, he loved us, but I think he was also glad to send us home. For me, it was The Best Place on Earth.

kiminoregon

I did Day Camp for most of my childhood, mostly because my mom worked and she didn't want us bugging our grandmother all summer. I went to sleep away camp once but I went home with my mom on parent's day (which was one week in to the two week camp).

Dee

My idea of "roughing it" is when we have to slum it at the Embassy Suites. LOL

I went to camp once. All the fourth grade classes went on a camping trip at the end of the year. We sold Bachman pretzels to raise money for the trip. I don't really remember much about it, so I guess I had an okay time.

When I was a little kid, my dad owned a third or fourth-hand wood cabin cruiser boat. We stayed on that sometimes. It's like camping, but with bonus water. I LOVED that. Me + water ---- OH YEAH. It sank in a storm at the marina.

So my dad replaced the boat with a camper. We camped most weekends either in the Poconos, NY State, or the Jersey shore. Mom and Dad stayed in the camper. The dog and I slept in a pup tent outside. Oh............pup tent. Ha ha ha! I enjoyed it. We usually stayed in campgrounds with a pool or a lake and usually with something interesting around to go see ---- like Archbald Pothole. Google it. It seemed much more exciting as a kid. LOL

As an adult, I realize that the boat scared the hell out of my mother. I didn't find this out until we bought a house with a pool. She didn't know how to swim. AND .... she still had all the work to do PLUS all the extra work when we got back home AND still do her full time out of the house job. Yeah ...........probably NOT a lot of fun for her.

Suzanne

My parents liked to camp. Even though they had the summer cottage, they always went camping the weekend of Labor Day as back then school started after Labor Day. I was 6 months old the first time I went and I was told I became sick and they had to go home. We never strayed too far away, ME, NH, MA. Not sure if we ever camped in RI or VT (we had relatives to stay with there).

I don't think I ever went to an actual camp as a child. As an adult, I went to a Knitting Camp for about 10 years (the first 7 years it was held at place with motel like rooms and a main dining room where everyone ate together, the last 3 were at a religious center where we stayed in a house that was moved there and donated by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donohoe). I then went to Quilting Camp for 3 years, I don't quilt but it was run by my niece's MIL and she invited me along. It was 1/3 of the price as the last 3 years of knitting camp so it worked out well that it was available to me. I haven't gone since Covid though they did start up again in February.

sustainablemum

I camped a lot as a child as it was the only holiday my parents could afford. We had no car but we did have the family caravan on our drive which was shared between my grandparents and their four children, my mum being one of them. My grandparents would take the caravan to a campsite and leave it there for the summer, each family would visit for their holiday, we would travel by train so the campsite had to be near a train station, and then the grandparents would pick the caravan up and return it to our drive. My brothers and I would often camp out in the caravan whilst it was on the drive. I also did expeditions through the D of E Award as a teenager which involves carrying all your stuff on your back and did lots of camping through girl guiding.

As an adult I have continued to camp, I love it. I actually lived in a tent for six months as it was the accommodation for my job. We currently own four tents of varying sizes, one large family tent and three small ones that can easily carried. We love to wild camp and have taken the children since before they could walk, carrying them and all the stuff! We often combined wild camping with canoeing as it means that we can take more stuff, on one of these trips we took the large family tent and a wood burning stove which goes inside the tent. We camped on an island in late autumn it was wonderful and so cosy.

kmkat

I went to church camp for one week when I was about 11. That was it. Not sure why, but I never went away to camp again.

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