Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Camp? Me? Ha!!

One of the famous (and more reasonable) Shidduch questions nowadays is which camp I attened. That's when I break it to them gently: "I never went to camp," I answer with a smile that reads, "please don't kill me--I'm totally normal." My parents always offered it to me, and almost FORCED me to go, but I refused for good reason.

Who really wants to spend 4 long, hot weeks in a sweltering bunkhouse with 8 other girls breathing in your face all day eating greasy food? Really. What's the appeal?

In general, I have a need for space. Something some girls consider foreign. Basically, just leave me alone. I can't be social 24/7. Even the best need to take breaks. I also need sleep. I can't talk all night and party until 3 a.m. and be up in time for Shacharis. And if I'm the first to go to sleep, they'll do that mean trick where they dip your hand in warm water so you'll pee in your pants. Girls.

Besides, who needs a counselor on your back all the time making sure you participate in every activity? Don't I sound like fun to hang around in camp??

Also, laundry is a pain-- you're either trusting someone else to do it, or you're busy with it youself all day. There's also no TV. No downtime. No ALONE time. No time to sit and read your magazines or your books. No independence. You play sports that you don't like...blah, blah, blah.

They also have this picture fetish in camp. They take 7 rolls of film in two months, and hang the pictures on the walls, and make collages and all that. Put it this way, 95% of my pictures of my nieces and nephew. And they're on a camera that I haven't finished, that expired a year ago. What's the big thing with pictures? You need 10 poses with the same girls on the same day in the same clothing? What's the point? And hanging millions of them on the wall? Who's that for? The Janitor? I guess I'm not the typical picture-obsessed teenage girl. When we went on trips in high school, my friends always brought their cameras. I brought one a few times*--mostly in 12th grade because it was the last year...that film isn't finished either, come to think of it.

Okay, so why didn't I go when I can be a counselor? Many of the aforementioned reasons. The no space factor, the greasy food, the laundry, PLUS, rotten, spoiled, bratty campers with attitudes to match their wardrobes. Who needs it? I am quite satisfied with my summer experiences. 2 year olds. I try not to go over the age of 3, which is when they start giving attitude, (yep, they start young nowadays). I'd honestly rather change diapers than deal with bratty tweens, or worse: teens.

* Funny story--in 12th grade, when we went to Niagara Falls, none of the principals came, so my "bummy" friends and I decided we'll put on those sandals they give you on one of those things, without socks. I know, we're so terrible. Nisht Past for a Bais Yaakov girl. For a Bais Yaakov Rebel on the other hand...
Priceless picture: 4 girls' feet together, the only ones in the grade, with the sandals and no socks, and nobody there to kick us out of school :-)


At 7/28/2005 7:36 AM, Anonymous Shloime said...

"Who really wants to spend 4 long, hot weeks in a sweltering bunkhouse with 8 other girls breathing in your face all day eating greasy food? Really. What's the appeal?"

Never thought I would hear something like this from someone who abhors materialism like you do.

A big part of the maturing process that goes on in camp is the sacrifice of all you're spoiled with at home. You're forced to eat what you're served, and can't ask your mommy for your favorite meal. You can't have your own spacious room. No AC (at least not when I was a camper). And no TV. And if your bunk is playing a sport you hate, too bad. Gotta do it anyways. Camp is a reminder that you can't always get what you want in life. Camp teaches discipline. But you can still have an amazing time, nonetheless. For all your gripes, the majority of people I know really enjoyed camp.

And yes, you take care of laundry by yourself, instead of mom doing it all for you. You make your own bed. You make sure the bunk is spotless come visiting day. A big part of camp is developing that sense of responsibility that you don't always get when living at home.

At 7/28/2005 8:33 AM, Blogger Gary Shampoo said...

I spent eight years in one camp, and I wouldn't trade in those years for anything.

This is a perfect example of looking at the glass half-full vs. looking at it half-empty.

"Imagine spending 8 weeks with a great group of ten guys, playing sports all day, having color war, going on trips, singing zemirot with three hundred other guys, forming lifelong friendships, getting away from my parents for a while, shooting the breeze with the guys at 1 in the morning.... Sign me up yesterday."

At 7/29/2005 11:56 AM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Oh Camp is so not for me. Went one summer, when I was like 12. Cried most of the time. I was so lonely and sad. Missed my family, my friends. Its not one of my fonder memories.

Nevermind, Niagra with 4 rebellious girls, how about 6 Flags with a guy.

At 7/31/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Shloime, point well put. However, I know that my resistance to camp is not due to materialism. Laziness, perhaps, but not materialism. I went to visit my brother on visiting day and I was shocked at what I saw. I made a bet with someone that I wouldn't write a post about materialism for a certain amount of time, so I kept my mouth shut about it for a while, but nowadays, nobody gives up material pleasures in camp. In terms of eating what I am served, my phase of getting pizza if I don't like dinner ended in 8th grade. If I dont like it, I eat it anyway or starve. Who cares.
But as far as camp teaching discipline, I am not so sure. We have been saying for years that a younger sibling of mine will come home mature from camp and the fact that he doesn't Mommy by his side, but it has yet to happen.

I do have to agree with you on the fact that most people that went to camp liked it. But mostly it's those who WANTED to go to camp. If someone doesn't want to go to camp in the first place,and is forced, s/he won't like it...(even if s/he gives it a fair chance.)

At 7/31/2005 8:43 PM, Blogger respondingtojblogs said...

No wonder you can see can question Bais Yakov's policies- camp is the primary source of socialization among the UO. I didn't go to camp either.

At 8/11/2005 3:01 PM, Blogger Elisheva said...

RTJ has a very good point. I didn't go much to camp either, and maybe that's why I am more independant.

SemGirl and Michelle, guess you guys are lucky. For me it's rebellious to come down to my own living room barefoot, if my brother has friends there!


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At 4/25/2006 9:11 AM, Blogger JBL the first said...

Certainly right but I still can't believe there is a girl that thinks so about the pictures etc.

At 9/28/2006 2:59 PM, Anonymous simi said...

ive been reading sum of ur posts- theyre pretty interesting.what skewl did u got to? maybe uve seen my bro around brooklyn col.- that would be weird! ok not very plausable but wtvr...
-prospect 11th grade

At 12/03/2009 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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