My mom worked off and on throughout my childhood, so while we spent some lazy summers running around the neighborhood, we also spent a fair amount of time at summer camps of varying types. Both day and sleepover camps, some of them more dear to me than others, but there are some memories that I'll always hold in my heart.
- The freezing cold of the above-ground swimming pool at Diablo Day Camp. The bay and oak trees overhanging, dropping leaves and detritus in the water, and our troop makes a whirlpool as a team effort, walking and running laps, looping the entire pool.
- The dishwashing line, with its line up of various containers of water: Scrape, Wash, Rinse, Bleach.
- Snowcone day, when we fill our cups with shaved ice and contemplate between root beer and blue raspberry flavors, eventually choosing both, dyeing our lips and tongues a terrible shade of blue-black.
- Picking blackberries as we walk to campfire, pricking our fingers on thorns as we search for the biggest, sweetest berries.
- “We are the Maples! The mighty mighty Maples! Everywhere we go! People wanna know! Who we are, so we tell them…” Chanting loudly everywhere we go as a group, an unofficial compeition between campsites.
- Morning singalongs, “The bright sun comes up, the dew falls away. Good morning! Good morning! The little birds say” And we dream of the day when we are old enough to be “elves,” the older Girl Scouts who assist the camp leaders.
- The year my mom (camp director) had an awesome idea to make a 25 foot long ice cream sundae, using a length of rain gutter as a dish. But then it wasn't quite level, and one end of the table got WAY more ice cream than the other end.
- The excitement of getting to stay over on the Thursday night of camp, a special privilege for older campers only.
- The thrill of making our own ice cream, but always getting “too tired” before it was done, but after everyone had had their turn at the crank. It was always either peach or root beer flavored.
- Never being patient enough for the tie dye to really sink in and get dark, ending up with a pastel design of some sort instead of the rich jewel tones we envisioned.
These are just a few of my camp memories, and I'm so excited that Max will go to his very first day camp this summer! His experiences will be different than mine, but no less special I'm sure.
He gets to spend a week going to Camp Galileo, which bills itself as “Innovation camps for kids” How cool is that? He chose the “Adventures Down Under” theme, which explores the art and science of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. From the Camp Galileo website:
Set sail on an epic adventure to the Pacific Islands. Craft extraordinary creations inspired by indigenous art and exotic animals. Engineer contraptions to test and tame the tropical forces of nature. Get ready for rough weather, rich culture and plenty of innovation on an island-hopping adventure down under.
Are you as jealous as I am?
Camp Galileo is great because they have tons of locations to choose from; Max will be attending at an elementary school just a few minutes from our house, so it's super convenient with our work schedules, and the offered extended care makes it fit perfectly into our busy 2-working-parents schedule.
I'll be posting again after Max's week at camp, so we can tell you all about it, so be sure to check back later this summer!