WHY are there so many fantastic shows about summer camp? Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel both gave us the bug (pun intended) to go to sleep away camp. Anyone else have a crush on Rhett the counselor at Camp Waziyatah, and don’t you STILL want to know what Sarai did that got her kicked out of camp? My love of reality tv obviously started at a young age. “These are the true life adventures of kids at summer camp.”
I never went to summer camp. Now, would I really have loved it as a child? Probably not. I’m about to blow your mind, but I was a bit socially awkward.
ANYWAY, I started the tradition of having Aunt Camp with my nephews a few years ago. Now we don’t really camp. I’ve never legitimately been camping. If I did, it would be something akin to Shelly Long packing a fur coat and fondue in Troop Beverly Hills. They get to spend the night at my apartment, and it’s a very big deal. They obviously don’t know that my apartment is at the corner where the hood meets the good.
I thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to see how much they’ve grown and how much my hair has grayed and remember that kids like simple.
One important aspect of camp is introducing them to favorite movies from my childhood. Year one: The Little Rascals. Fun fact about me, if in a very weird scenario, I could do an entire one woman show of that movie line by line. Actually, last summer I was coming back from the beach with some friends and I made that bold declaration, and my friend said, “Ok. We’ve got time. Prove it.” I started humming the opening song and got into the He Man Woman Hater’s Club meeting before I was begged to stop.
I took them to a pool in a fancy neighborhood, and the pool had a high dive. They unanimously voted me “favorite aunt”. Sorry, Caroline.
Year Two: I moved to downtown Atlanta, so we had more options for activities, and our movie of choice (read: my choice) was The Sandlot.
Obviously we still like chips and queso.
We rode Sky View Atlanta aka Atlanta’s copycat of the London Eye. Once we got down, I don’t know how they convinced me that we needed to do a carriage ride like a newly engaged couple through downtown. But they did, and we did.
Thanks to this carriage ride I now know where Elton John’s penthouse is, so that made the absurd amount of cash I paid worth it.
This was probably their favorite part, and I’m not kidding. I told you. Kids like simple. I bought them sodas in glass bottles, and they thought it was the greatest thing.
Year Three: Camp Goes Country
Thanks to COVID19 I didn’t feel super comfortable taking the boys around Atlanta. There are still a lot of restrictions in public places, and I just didn’t think it would be fun. My sister and her husband were going to the beach for their anniversary, so we camped out at their house in the country. (And in case you’re keeping tabs, we watched the Ben Stiller classic, Heavyweights.
We rode up and down the dirt roads on the mule-a motorized one not a burro.
I let them play in the creek.
We paid tribute to our favorite country by way of dessert.
Moral of this post: Kids grow up quickly. They say the darnedest things. And sometimes all it takes to win affection is a Fanta in a glass bottle and a pool with a high diving board.
Real kids. Making friends. Having fun. On Bug Juice.