Space camp, math camp, dance camp, cheerleading camp and computer camp all seem to come to mind these days when summer rolls around. When I was growing up it was Girl Scout camp.
I loved camp. The first camp I attended was Camp Laurel Highlands. This camp was located in Somerset, PA. Somerset, Pa is very close to the ski resort Seven Springs. This camp had lodges and there were approximately 10 to 12 girls in each lodge. From what I gather the camp is no longer there. This is where I learned a lot of crazy camp songs like, There's a boy and a girl in a little canoe with the moon shinin' all around..... If memory serves I think this is the place that I first ate ants on a log (raisins on top of peanut butter spread on celery) and aphids on a log (same things except sunflower seeds instead of raisins).
I can remember there was a very nice pool, but there was also this beautiful lake. People tried to teach me to swim in both venues, but alas I never learned.
The next camp I attended was Camp Riamo located in Farmington, PA. Now this was a camper's camp. We were in pup tents that had floors. Two to a tent. We cooked over a campfire, had latrine duty and went on 5 and 10 mile hikes. It was wonderful. I have never liked oatmeal or any cereal for that matter, but you haven't had oatmeal until you've had to pull bugs and twigs out of your bowl. I remember the day that we were going to walk to Fort Necessity. It was 10 miles away. Talk about a whole bunch of girls whining and complaining. It was awful, but then when we had started back one of the camp's trucks picked us up. The first year I was there I came home with over 20 mosquito bites. I still have scars from those, but it was really wonderful. Sitting around the campfire singing and making somemores-you just can't beat that. One of the songs that I learned at Camp Riamo was this:
I wish I were an honorsorarius repipitanimy
Oh, ho, ho, ho
Cause if I weren't or never could hope to
Be an honorsorarius repipitanimy
I'd be a camper, a real good camper
And you could be a good camper too
It could happen to you
At Camp Riamo, Farmington, PA 15437
Sadly, Camp Riamo is no longer there. It's been changed to Tall Oaks Campground and from what I understand is nothing like the camp that I attended. I also had people there trying to teach me to swim to no avail.
A wonderful book that I purchased last year that talks about girl's camps is Sleepaway: The Girls of Summer and the Camps They Love by Laurie Susan Kahn. This book brought back so many wonderful memories.
One thing that I did not do is save my autograph books from camp. I could just kick myself for not saving them. I would love to be able to look at them and reminisce about making lanyards, bug juice and pronouncing latrine-la-trin-ay to make it not sound so bad.
I would tell any young girl to go to some type of camp. You learn so much and it really is a fun experience.