I am not a camper. Now. Maybe never. I must have a hair dryer and running water. I went to my share of camps growing up. Falls Creek was awesome, hot but awesome. My most memorable camp was Forestry Camp. It was the summer of 1990. My cousin and BFF Tonya and I ventured with two of her friends to Beavers Bend in Broken Bow, OK. Forestry Camp? Oh yeah, we were totally into trees, wildlife and learning to use a bow and arrow! And we really got into it after my Aunt Gracie left us there, and we found out there were 72 boys and 8 girls. Of course we were the cutest girls in camp, with ratios like that cuteness is defined very quickly. I immediately got the title BB–I believe that stood for babe in blue from the blue short set I had on that first day, and not in reference to the circumference of my chest.
I really did learn a lot that week, and probably should have pursued a career in forestry and the environment. Ummm, right.
I also learned a lot from a boy. I did learn to French kiss that summer, but not until he knew my middle name. Yeah, for some reason I was scared to death to kiss and as he went in for the kiss I stopped him and said, “Wait you don’t even know my middle name!” I should probably sell that line to Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift, right? He guessed a few names and was way off. I finally told him. Sparks flew on that June 14th night, right down to my fifteen, almost sixteen year old toes, I was in love! Needless to say, the song says it all, “a few cards and letters and one long distance call, we drifted away like the leaves in the Fall…”.
The next summer, I was sixteen and yes Tonya and I went back, older, wiser and much more mature. There were only 64 boys and 6 girls that summer. Guess who else went back? The boy. He tried to hook back up, even switched badges so we could be in the same group again. I found out he had a girlfriend. I wasn’t going to get involved with another summer fling. Besides our Momma’s had put the fear of boys in us in order to let us go back as Junior Counselors. No great love stories for us that summer, I think we counseled a few though and wiped a few tears.
And wouldn’t you know it? When I was a junior in college I ran into that tree boy again on campus, and my, my had he grown into a handsome JERK!
Seriously, though, be sure you do take a look at the Oklahoma Youth Forestry and Wildlife Camp. I really did learn a lot. This camp is one of the longest running summer camps in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Youth Forestry Camp provides students, ages 13 – 15, the opportunity to experience the forestry and wildlife professions, learn about Oklahoma’s natural resources and build an awareness of environmental components. There is also swimming, hiking and outdoor recreation.
And, as a parent, if you are sending your kids away to camp, make sure you are a sponsor. If not, make sure you know the parents that are there. The only other thing to do is pray. Pray that they remember well all that you have taught them and that they think for at least one moment before they act.
ShaRhonda Crow blogs at The 4 Crows and is a former Blogger of the Month.