Summer Camp Memories

Max (age 12) and Mason (who will be 8 this weekend) have attended one summer camp this month, and are already on their second. They have FAR more camps to choose from in Florida versus what was available when we lived in Maine. Their last one was a Minecraft camp. The kids designed scenes in Minecraft and then recreated them with Legos. It was affordable and they had a blast! Of course, their exercise was squirt gun fights. They came home soaked each day.

This week, Mason is attending a sea creature camp. We had to buy him some fins, and teach him how to use them because they’re snorkeling in Sarasota Bay. He already knew how to use his snorkel. He is LOVING it! Max chose a different camp for June. Next week, he’ll be learning about underwater robotics. How cool is that?! They have other camps scheduled this summer, too.

They don’t go to overnight camp (they don’t want to) but all this camp talk sure brings back memories of my summer camps, which were all overnight ones. My deep affection for the beach comes directly from church beach retreat camps I attended in middle school. I always feel spiritual and “connected” when I’m sitting on a beach, if that makes any sense.

I attended a YMCA camp when I was in middle school, too. After being picked on a bit in school, I was stunned to earn the “honorary camper award” that week because my fellow campers voted for me. It’s odd how a kid can be treated differently just by being introduced to a separate group of kids. (My trunk of practical jokes and candy, and my enthusiasm for pranks didn’t hurt, either.) That was the first time I ever really felt like I fit in with a group of kids and it gave me a great deal of self-confidence, which made returning to school in the fall much easier.

A couple of summers later, I attended a wilderness camp deep in the heart of Texas and that’s where I first kissed a boy. His name was Mitch. Ah, memories… Ahem. Sorry. Some of those memories are what have always made me nervous about sending our kids to overnight camps. Seriously. We had NO supervision after dark and, boy oh boy, did we get into mischief! I can’t tell you what exactly went on because my mom reads this newsletter and, well, I don’t want to kill her!

This week’s Masonism:

“The number one rule at camp is to have fun! I think that’s the best rule I’ve ever heard!!!”

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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