Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks

This is the 9th post in a 12 week series joining
Mommy’s Piggy Tales to record my youth!
I’m also linking this up to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop 3.) Share a Summer Camp memory.

7th Grade
Youth Camp Stinks

The summer before I entered the 7th Grade (and a few months before I turned 12) I went to Youth Camp for the first only time. Our friends from church, Jayna and Julie, had been going for years and always told my sister and I how much fun it was. I didn’t really want to go. I’m not into sports or the outdoors, so the word “camp” in and of itself doesn’t appeal to me. But Jayna convinced me that I needed to go because we would have so much fun together and of course the place would be crawling with cute Christian boys. (Isn’t that why everyone goes to Youth Camp…the boys, the Christian boys.)

Jayna and I wouldn’t be going to Youth Camp with our sisters Julie and Jessie because we were bumped up into a new age group this year, so they would be going to camp a week later. Although my sister and I rarely got along it was always convenient in situations like this to have a sister so close in age. We seemed to get along great when we were somewhere we didn’t know anyone else…we always had each other and weren’t pressured to make new friends if we didn’t want to. It would be okay, though, because I’d be spending all of my time with Jayna anyway, right? Well. When you filled out your application you were able to put down the name of two other campers that you wanted to room with. The only person that I knew was Jayna so I wrote her name down. I don’t know whether or not Jayna wrote down my name, but she also wrote down the name of one of her camp friends…and all of her camp friends wrote down her name. So there was no room for me in that room and I was placed in a room down the hall where I knew absolutely nobody. I pretty much didn’t see Jayna for the rest of camp.

When my mom dropped me off at camp I begged her not to leave me there. I didn’t want to go to begin with. But she said that I’d made a commitment and it was already paid for and maybe I’d have fun. So I had to stay. I heard later that my grandma couldn’t believe that my mom left me there alone in “that place”. Haha. The dorm rooms were incredibly crowded with no air conditioning. They told you to be sure to wear flip flops in the shower so that you didn’t get a fungus on your feet. Um, no thank you. I didn’t shower all week (yeah, gross, I know…but the showers weren’t much cleaner). The food was terrible and I pretty much never complained about my mom’s food again (Not that there was anything to complain about. My mom is an amazing cook, but I was a picky eater that wouldn’t eat anything but chicken fingers for the first 13 years of life.). I refused to eat the food. I survived on Twix, Dr. Pepper, and Slime Slurps that I’d get at the “Canteen” every night. (Yes, I did save the wrapper from one of my Slime Slurps as a Youth Camp souvenir. You can thank me later.)

I hated Youth Camp. It was everything that I thought it would be dirty, hot, outside, sports, blah, blah, blah. I don’t remember seeing any cute boys or there being any activities that I’d enjoy (like drama, dance, music, or art). I did make one friend who was in my room named, Tonia. I don’t remember too much about her except she was really skinny and had very light blonde hair and one night we stayed up on her bunk singing “I’m Proud to be an American”. I never saw or heard from her again after camp although I think I wrote her a few letters that I never mailed.

My favorite part of camp was “Chapel”. These were basically the church services. There was one in the afternoon that was more like a Bible study and one in the evening that you were to dress up for (yay, church clothes and no shower!) and there was a full service with worship music, sermon, and alter calls. I always really enjoyed the lessons and the singing, and worship and all of it. Unfortunately in the afternoon I had a hard time staying awake. I even started to skip swimming thinking that the water was making me sleepy for Chapel, but it didn’t help too much. Still I really enjoyed the services and it was the only thing about camp that I liked. But I don’t think you needed to drop me in the woods with no shower and no food for me to experience that.

I never went to Youth Camp again and to this day I speak of the perils and horrors that were Youth Camp 1991. So I present to you my “Youth Camp Stinks” folder created by my 12 year old tortured soul so scarred for life by this experience. I’ve typed out the text below in case you can’t read my hand writing (You’ll need to click on the image and enlarge it for full enjoyment). I wrote with much sarcasm (if you couldn’t tell) and I’m honestly not sure what half of this stuff means, anyway.
Clearly I’ve blocked a lot out.

I went to Youth Camp last year in Summerset.
Camp lasted from Mon. to Fri.
We slept in small, crowded rooms, dorms, and the food was horrible!
My counselor was Lou Ann
I learned to ______________
I really liked camp because of all the people I met!
The worst part about camp was the food. No the rooms. Oh, who knows.
New friends I met at camp: Tonia Z., Carrie, Nicky

My “Youth Camp Stinks” Folder By Jennifer S.

Dear Parents and Campers,
This is a note about things in Youth Camp
Read carefully and remember what you read
Youth Camp People
Youth Camp ‘91

1. Hamburgers, Pizza
2. Scrambled eggs, ham patties, and fruit
Lunch – hamburgers
Dinner – Spaghetti
3. Scrambled eggs, ham bits, and fruit
Lunch – Pretzel Sandwiches and vegetables soup
Dinner – Chicken
4. Cereal, fruit
Lunch – Chicken Patti
Sandwich Dinner – Meat Loaf
5. Cereal fruit
Yum, yum! Eat up.
Our Camp bedrooms are cozy with 10 comfortable beds stuffed neatly in one small room, which holds 9 little campers and 1 sleepy counselor. The room consists of 5 bunk beds, a full length mirror and 5 hooks for hanging clothes. To make lots of room there are no dressers or closets, the children keep their clothes stuffed in their suit cases and dirty clothes bag.
A Youth camp bed may look ugly and uncomfortable but really aren’t, with the help of your children, their blankets and animals, help spice up the room the week they’re there!
Now just see how it brightens up the room. Remember that when you come!!!

Don’t forget to visit the Youth Camp Graveyard and pay your respects to those who passed on during the week of their stay, so please, if you will, just drop by.
Rocky Squirrel killed * Mollissa Mole killed * Mrs. Tomas Counselor Food Poisoning * Joanna Burns Camper Ran over by golf cart * Mr. Jones Counselor Broken Back

As you can tell we have new carpets, so we allow no eating or drinking in the dorm or rooms & no food in the tabernacle.

We hope you had fun at Youth Camp “91”!
Youth Camp “91”
Friday 26, 1991 Time 9:55
Specialty Pretzel Sandwiches
Price: Free
Served with vegetable soup!

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

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Posted on January 5, 2011, in Flashbacks, Jenn, Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Mommy's Piggy Tales and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I am completely amazed at all the items you have saved from your childhood. I think I have one note from an old boyfriend and a note from my BFF. It must be fun reliving all that!


    • Oh my you should see all of the junk treasured keepsakes that I have. I have containers and containers of the stuff. AND I had to throw a ton out (my mom forced me to!). When it comes to memorabilia I’m a borderline hoarder. But these things sure have come in handy as visual references when telling these stories, and for that I’m glad that I kept them. Now that I’ve scanned some of the stuff I could probably throw it away since I’ll still “have” it digitally. We’ll see.


  2. Sounds like you had a similar experience to what I had at summer camp. A slime slurpie? Um, yum? You saved some crazy stuff from your childhood. Nice work!


  3. So glad I never went to summer camp! I love the letter, too funny! Sorry so short/sloppy, longer letter later! That really brought back the memories.


  4. Great post! I did the same one although I didn’t go to an away camp. I kind of always wanted to . They looked like such fun…maybe not. Your precociousness has served you well in your later years as a blogger!


  5. Wow! It is so impressive that you saved all of that! I used to save stuff like that all the time, but then hurricane Katrina kind of ruined it. But I love that you’re doing posts on your youth. I should think about doing that.


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