BFFs of the Week

My Love Letter To Summer Camps

Dear Summer Camp,

I am writing this to you to show my gratitude for the 7 years of sleep away camp you gave me from ages 9-15. I was also a CIT (counselor in training) and a counselor, but now I’m just bragging.

Summer Camp, you raised me to be the woman I am today and I am quite a woman. I am excellent at sleepovers, eating at buffets and impromptu sing-alongs – all of this because of you.  You raised me to know what it was like to share my lanyards with others, how to live in disgusting close quarters and pretend hiking was fun. Most of all, thank you for taking me away from my parents and normal school friends. Your camp friends are seriously your best kind of friends. They are the kind of friends you can talk to once a year or even every few years and share endless memories with. It’s like you were away at war together, except it was color war and not something tragic. If you are a “camp” person, you understand the sort of bond that happens in these forests of arts and crafts.

Summer camp, you let young teenagers be in charge of my safety and my emotions. Later I would find out that all these trusted counselors did was drink and hook up after they left us, but back then I just thought my counselors needed extra rest and extra snacks from the canteen.

A day with you guys felt like weeks in the best way possible. The first day of camp is exciting and the last day of camp is horribly devastating. I honestly think I learned about heartbreak and pain from those intense goodbyes.  You forced me to do activities that I would otherwise deem ridiculous like zip lining, but you also taught me how to make friendship bracelets, which I still wear and share today.

Summer camps, you are a place where kids can roam free (minus going into the bushes – you have counselors that patrol with flashlights for that), a place where kids can learn responsibility and do things like “ice breakers”.

Thank you for everything.

One day I will pay you back and try to spread the love and joy you shared with me throughout the years.

I understand that everyone wasn’t as fortunate and able to go to summer camp, and for that I say that my goal for HelloGiggles is to one day have a summer camp & make sure we have the best talent show in the game.

  • Yenny Drake

    I still hear songs on the radio that we used for Sing Out and refuse to sing anything but those camp lyrics, I remember all my color war team names, I have kept in touch with more people I met at camp at age 12 than anyone else I have been friends with, I learned most things about being a woman at camp from late night bunk chats, and still say grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch days are the best ever!
    Camp Soul Sister

  • Lauren Nespoli

    Can the Hello Giggles summer camp please include adults?! lol. I never went to summer camp because I wouldn’t have wanted to be away from my family. I did work at a daycamp for a few years though, and I loved reading books or watching TV shows about kids going to summer camp! Ooh, and speaking of camp, I have to go get ready to pick someone up from daycamp!

  • April McLean

    Are there any summer camps geared toward those uhhhh 20+ that have as it main purpose to help us all relive our best camp experiences?!

  • Katie Quinn

    love. this.
    I remember getting soaked in the rain and flashlight tag and midnight hikes and capture the flag battles and being forced (encouraged) to repel down a big boulder and counselors mediating girl drama and crying and making up and dusty clothes and sunburns and smelling like campfire and sing-alongs and giggling in the dark and melting crayons to make candles and cute boys and silly counselor names like “peaches” and “sparky”…
    I’m all in for Camp HelloGiggles.

  • Jill Kushner

    LOVE AND GET IT. I was a camper from 8-14, then a CIT, then a counselor and then a Unit Leader. Where else are we gonna find out how to swamp a canoe and who Jim Croce is? xo

  • Ana Carolina Caumo

    We don’t have summer camps here in Brazil :(

  • Ashley Nascimento

    I just got back from a church houseboat camp. I had learned so many valuable lessons and was brought to tears many times. I was so sad when it ended and didn’t want to say good-bye to the most wonderful spiritual family I’ve ever had.

  • Nadine Deaner Miranda

    I never had the pleasure of going to camp as a kid, but I went one year as a CIT and continued to go for about 10 years off and on (having a kid will do that to you). To see inner city kids first react to something like a squirrel, a young teen overcome their fear of heights by climbing a net, or a first time counselor asking you to mentor you in a rag ceremony (I come from YMCA camps) are all great experiences I was glad to have shared with different people every summer, and that I hope my own son will get to have one day as well.

  • Jennifer Boyle

    Met my best friends at summer camp as well as my now fiance. We’re getting married next summer!

  • Keri Anne Landry

    Summer camp goes down in the history of me as my second favorite place to be when it rains(first place goes to my grandma’s old house on the bayou). I remember all the summer camp fun-ness. I also vividly remember my sweet sweet mother letting me watch Friday the 13th the night before I left for summer camp. I love my mother, im just not sure she returns the feeling! haha.

  • Catherine Bruno

    Dear Summer Camp,
    If my mom ever allowed me to attend you, I’m sure I would have had a wicked awesome time.

  • Daisy Barringer

    Summer camp was my favorite place on earth. I dream about it often, although sometimes in the dream, I’m like “Shit. I’m too old to be at summer camp!” which is more of a nightmare than a dream. But sometimes I am just back at camp and totally about to win “Camper of the Session” (which, yes, I also won in real life).

    Oh. And my boyfriend? I totally met him at summer camp when I was eight. We both went to the same camp for 8 years, lost touch after my last year (when I was 15) and found each other all these years later. Thank you Facebook for, once again, getting me laid.

    We went camping last weekend and, in the spirit of summer camp, I sat by the fire and made a friendship bracelet. I know. I might be taking it too far.

  • Rachel Jackson

    So so so much love for this post. Being a camp counselor = the best four summers of my life.

  • Meredith Bagdazian

    I was lucky enough to go to camp every summer and then in college worked at one for 3 months! I even taught underwater basket weaving (for real!) and had to go by my camp name “Papaya”. So many great memories…

  • Debra Liebman Blatt

    This post made me want to go back to camp !!!

  • Megan Younce

    i went to summer camp in 6th grade and i had the time of my life!!! i constantly try to find Sara J on facebook (that was the name she wrote in my address book, with her phone number so we could keep in touch.. which never happened sadly), to no avail :(

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