Are You Ready for the Summer?!?!?

Welcome to Memorial Day Weekend. In the United States we take Monday to remember those who died during active military service. And it generally means the start of the summer season, for me, anyway. I know the actual start of summer is in June, but from Memorial Day to Labor Day it is summertime to me.

To kick off my weekend, I sat down last night and watched one of my all-time favorite summer classics….”Meatballs”. That crazy 1979 film starring Bill Murray. Somehow the movie came into conversation over dinner on Thursday and I was stoked to see it streaming on Tubi for free. Of course, you know this brings back memories of summer camp for me…

I did not go away to summer camp for whole summers at a time. There was a camp that had churches come up to camp for a week at a time all through the summer and then had a special weekend Winter Camp as well. Four Brooks Camp was around from the 60’s to the 90’s and the weeks I spent there in the 80’s as a camper and 90’s as a counselor were some of the best times ever.

Have you ever been to summer camp? If you have, then you can probably remember the look of the place, the slight mildew smell of wet towels and clothes (all camps are the same in this area, lol) Camp food is not the best in the world, thankfully, there was a canteen that sold candy and had a soda machine.

I remember we would all pile into the bus and head out from Baltimore to Pipersville, Pennsylvania. Image a long ride on a rowdy bus. We would get there, find our cabin, set up our bunk and then spend the next week having fun in the sun with all the normal camp activities from Archery to Capture the Flag to Ultimate Frisbee. Of course, it was a church camp, so there was nightly meeting of songs and talks.

At mealtimes, there was always chanting for someone to tell a joke or sing a song and the song we sang when the head counselor tried to give the announcements. Everyone had a job at the table for every meal, from getting the food to refilling the jug of weak juice to stacking the dishes. Everything about camp was fun.

You may be wondering if I ever got into trouble while I was at camp, the answer is no… not really. But I was a little brat one summer. That was the summer my brother was a lifeguard at Four Brooks. He was dating one of the counselors and my church group arrived a few days early for our week. We were there, I think to help out with some mid-season cleaning, but I do not really remember. That was the year I was in a large building that had 4 person rooms, not a regular cabin. Well, lights out came and my room is up late, laughing and carrying on and I guess making a little too much noise. A counselor (my brother’s girlfriend) came to the door and told us to be quiet or there would be problems. Well, little snotty me told her there would not be any problems, because her boyfriend was my brother and she better watch herself. Let’s just say we never had a problem with her again.

That was the only thing I ever did as a camper, but as a counselor…there were a few things. One day, one of boy’s cabins came into our cabin, walked around and marched out the back door. It wasn’t a panty raid or anything like that, they were just being stupid. Their counselors were guys we went to church with and knew for years, so it really had nothing to do with the campers, it was all counselor to counselor. Of course, my co-counselor Debbie and I decided to retaliate. The next day we struck back. Armed to water pistols, we were ready. It was going to be hilarious, but we picked the worst time. We marched in, hit the center of the room, ready to aim and fire and saw all of them with their bibles out in the middle of praying for someone…we just silently left and never did get our revenge.

Camp is an awesome thing. I still have friendships I made from back then. Some people I met as campers, some I met as counselors. Four Brooks will forever be in our hearts as our place. There is a Facebook page for the camp. It’s really a place to put memories and say hi to old friends and keep up on the news. The page members span all the years the camp was open and even though haircuts and clothes change through the years, we are all the same…we were all changed by our camp experiences.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I would. But this time, I would go more years than I did and when I got old enough, I would have gone as a summer long counselor, not just a weeklong one. But you can’t go back in time, so I will just have to relive my memories every time I watch a camp movie like “Meatballs”. As soon as I hear the opening song “Are you Ready for the Summer?” I don’t see North Star Camp and their head counselor Tripper, I see Four Brooks Camp and our head counselor Pete.

***Question for the comments…Did you ever go to summer camp? Did you like it or hate it? Tell me one story from your time at camp.

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Hi, I'm Tracie. I am a writer, reader, life coach, lover of the city and the beach. I am a big fan of all things caffeinated. I dig things from many different decades, but am a definite child of the 80's. My blog is about everything and anything my mind conjures up. Enjoy the ride.

7 thoughts on “Are You Ready for the Summer?!?!?

  1. One year for one week at a Y camp. Never again. Thank God! Even though it was arts and crafts and not sports, it was the same b.s. as in school. Same clique-y female dogs, the rest of the kids I couldn’t be bothered to be friends with anyway, same snotty counselors who pretended they were your friends. Ugh! One year Bill and I were counselors at a day camp and Em went for free…ugh again! “I have Advil….” But now I wanna watch Meatballs.

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  2. When I was 13 playing pop Warner football our team coached by bully and my uncle masa went to Maui to play against the Lahaina Sons and we stayed at camp pakusa…they had A frame cabins with corrugated roofing. The camp was a quick jogg from the beach and you could see the island of kahoolawe which was used by the U.S military at night you could see them doing their aerial practicing bombing the crap out of the island with artillery…any way at night the coaches would get together and BBQ and they would drink beer all night all the assistant coaches would take turns in patrolling the cabins keeping an eye on the team…the fun thing was some of the cabins would be rolling dice and gambling and the coaches would get in on it too! Anyway here’s my story…one night it was late like 2 in the morning everyone was all settled in their cabins and asleep when all of a sudden a huge something fell on our roof and made such a loud noise that we all got up…coach black was a young hawaiian boy in his 20’s (who was drunk by the way) questioned wtf was that and some of my teammates blurted out sounds like somebody threw a imu rock at our cabin…so like idiots he made all of us go out the back door of our cabin and look for rocks he decided to launch a coordinated attack on all the other cabinsanyway long story short things got out of hand and the next day we got our asses chewed because the corrugated roofs were all buss with holes and bully had to pay for damages and we were never allowed there again…the worse part when we in the middle of everyone explaining about who threw the first rock we all heard a big bang on a cabin roof and when we turned to look it was caused by a coconut that fell off the tree next to the cabin and that’s my story…love camps or camping in a beach setting

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