Go to Camp!

Parents are beginning to panic at the thought of a long, hot summer with children who have “nothing to do.” The camping business has become sophisticated and specialized, no longer merely offering “Camp Heep-Fun” on beautiful Lake Frigid with swimming, sailing, softball, and spaghetti. The new breed of camp offers three hours of computer instruction a day, wrestling, judo and kung fu, ballet, tie-dying, and electronic games. Even with these exotic offerings, parents may expect some emotional regression after Junior has been at camp for several days. The independent 10-year-old may become a wet noodle snivelling over the phone, “Come and get me!” Above all else, camp directors fear this.

They also fear, according to a recent poll, that: bed wetting is becoming a contagious disease; a plague will break out; the cook will quit; the cook won’t quit; parents will come before “parents day”; or the campers will decide “they have more fun at Camp Whoopee.”

Letters home are a major headache because the wrong letters could close the camp. Many well-run camps now give campers a letter home with blanks for them to fill in:

Dear _______1,

I’m having a wonderful time at camp. What I like best is _______2. The food is really good, especially the _______3. Yesterday we went for a hike and saw _______4. My counselor’s name is _______5. S/he is good at _______6, and wants to become _______7. Please send _______8. Write and tell them I don’t have to _______9. I won the _______10 contest. I need money for _______11. Don’t forget to _______12.

A camper I know filled it in this way: 1. Mom, Dad and Sybil; 2. electronic games; 3. pancakes; 4. people swimming naked; 5. Tom; 6. jumping; 7. a ballet dancer; 8. my comic books; 9. ...

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