Teach.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hello Mother, Hello Father: Growing up at Camp

Sheila Scarborough Photo
If you hadn't read my post about my son going to camp you should do so. But, if you didn't, Tommy is at Camp Champions in Marble Falls a little over an hour away. He attended the camp 2 years ago as a 9 year old and he was miserable for most of it but ended up loving it so much he cried when he had to leave.

When your kid first goes away for camp they always tell you that if you get letters from the camper you can expect the first one to (usually) be all about being home sick and asking you to come get them. It really rips your heart out. But, they grow into the camp routine and they have fun and suddenly any follow up letters will be filled with "guess what we did..." types of passages.

Today we received two letters from Tommy. This is a significant improvement over the last time when we got 2 letters total and one of those didn't arrive until well after he was back home because he messed up the address.

When we opened the first letter it was folded so we could see "I am very homesick" in big letters on the fold. He continued in the letter saying "can you pick me up I miss ya"ll to (sic) much I can't stay here for two weeks." He adds a "P.S. pick me up as soon as you can" and a "or at least come visit me please I need you."

We sighed, didn't really say anything and then opened the second letter. There was no "I'm homesick" on the outside of the folded letter and inside he started with "Dear Mom and Dad I'm kind of homesick it's hard to sleep at night." He immediately started telling us that he loves swimming in the lake and that he did the Ropes Course (which his counselor from two years ago was in charge of) and he was excited that he didn't have to "swim the lake (he's not old enough yet)."

He finished the letter by stating " the good thing is I've lost weight! I run and drink water every day. Camp isn't so bad I guess. Love Tommy."

Total time between writing the two letters? Two days!

So, if you have kids getting to that age where they are ready to go away to camp remember, they will survive, they will (usually) have a blast, and you can expect the first letter to be awful. They wouldn't do that if they didn't love you.

     If you haven't heard before or just can't remember the lyrics to Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh by Allen Sherman, here are the lyrics:


Hello Muddah, hello Fadduh,
Here I am at Camp Grenada

Camp is very entertaining
and they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining.


I went hiking with Joe Spivy
He developed poison ivy
You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses.

Now I don't want this should scare ya
But my bunkmate has malaria
You remember Jeffrey Hardy
They're about to organize a searching party.

Take me home, oh muddah fadduh, take me home, I hate Grenada
Don't leave me out in the forest where I might get eaten by a bear.
Take me home, I promise I will not make noise or mess the house with
other boys, oh please don't make me stay, I've been here one whole day.

Dearest fadduh, darling muddah,
How's my precious little bruddah?
Let me come home if ya miss me
I will even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me.

Wait a minute, it stopped hailing,
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing,
Playing baseball, gee that's better,
Muddah Fadduh kindly disregard this letter.