Did you go to summer camp? Which one? What did you enjoy doing?
Submitted by Something Else.
My brother and I were sent to a day camp with a name that conjures up unspeakable secrets, hidden abuse and sickly morals. Camp Smile-A-While.
We weren't even there for an entire summer; it was a day camp. Which made it even worse. It was concentrated misery. The campers were situated in groups. Groups with names that had the same sort of terrifying smile as a clown does. We were the…Beach Bunnies. My brother, caught up in some other circle of Hell, I never saw.
My first day: I arrived late. All the other girls in my group were already in their swimsuits, prepatory to going to the pool. As I recall, it seemed like everyone was in a classroom, and I was standing in back. I was told that I should get into my swimsuit as well. There was no changing room, no corner to hide in. I had to change right there.
Now, I must have been about 11. Old enough to be embarrassed. Yet, by some Houdini-esqe contortions I was able to get into my demure suit WITHOUT first shedding my civilian clothes. The rest of the day was similarly disconcerting.
When my brother and I got home we were both full of lamentations. But he was more vocal. I was silently miserable, I believe. My specialty.
Mother got the message. She brought us home. Even though she had enjoyed her afternoon without us; spending her suddenly free hours in the backyard on the lounge chair, trying to convince her pale skin that it should accept its inner brown-ness while listening to her transistor radio.
I felt guilty that her plans for a summer of lazy afternoons had ended. I was old enought for that, too.
But really, the situation was intolerable.