Thursday, June 30

Pack it up, pack it in. Let camp begin.

The Boy is at camp for a few days.

It's the same camp I attended for one week (and sometimes two) every summer for thirteen years. And when I was too old to be a camper? I became a counselor for a summer.

After hours upon hours of getting myself ready for various summer camps and fall/spring youth retreats (once my mother delegated the task to me) and all manner of road trips, I have become a truly excellent packer.
I may wait until the very last possible minute to do it, but once I'm in the bag-packing groove, I totally zone out. And when I'm done? And standing in front of a well-packed suitcase? It's a very strange, and very satisfying high.

I've learned a few things, though, about packing a boy for a trip. The Boy went to camp last year, and I over did it.
Last year I packed him several shorts and several t-shirts. For the three-day-two-night camp, I sent six shirts. All but two of them came home folded exactly the way I had sent them. The big toiletry bag I stuffed with shampoo, conditioner, bar of soap, lotion, powder, sunscreen, chapstick, toothpaste and a toothbrush? Un.touched.
Boys are gross.

So this year I packed lightly.

  • Three sets of shorts/shirt combos, rolled together
  • One pair of pajamas
  • Hotel bottles of shampoo and body wash (wishful thinking, I know)
  • Toothbrush
  • One pair of swim trunks
  • One towel
  • Some socks (that may or may not have been matched)
  • Six pairs of underwear (two tighty-whities, two boxer briefs, two boxers)
  • Bible
  • Flashlight
  • His pal Lucy.

The Boy and Lucy, circa fall 2007

The underwear was overkill, I know. But I'm hoping the excessive choices will lend to actually wearing the drawers. (Because he has a habit of going commando. And has since he was four.)

The thing I'm probably most proud of for remembering to pack? A fitted sheet for the bunk bed. 
When I was a camper, we had three-hundred-year old bunk rolls. That may be an exaggeration, but only barely. They were grody. And I'd get hot, sleeping in my sleeping bag. And I'd stay awake for hours to make sure that no part of my body made direct contact with the bed. It was excruciating.

My summer as a counselor was full of egg-carton mattress pads and sheets and comforters. I had learned by then, trial-by-disgusting-bedding.

So as not to deprive my son of the real camping experience (In the now-geothermal heated and cooled cabins. Not the screened-in business I slept in two decades ago), I sent a sleeping bag, but I made sure to send that fitted sheet to go under it.

He probably won't even use it.

Because we've established: Boys are gross. 

The Boy, post camp, 2010



  1. Jerusalem Greer5:41 PM, June 30, 2011

    oh I know that camp! my parents were married there, my grandmother was on the board, I caught my first fish there at age 10, my boys went to day camp there last year and we have hosted countless retreats and cook-outs there over the years. Love me some Ferncliff!!


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