As kids we went away to camp exactly one time. This was not something in my mothers budget and by the time I was ten we were going up to Haines every Summer, which in reality was a better “camp” experience by far.
But when I was eight and Della was six we sent to Camp Seabeck on the peninsula for an entire week. I know the Marx kids went so that may have been part of the catalyst to go. I think it was funded for my mom through the church we were going to at the time.
Either way, this was the year before I “drowned briefly” at the YWCA and I wasn’t yet afraid of the water. I remember swimming or rather splashing around for what seemed like hours. I didn’t want to be in the water anymore but there was a girl named Sky that I had just met and I didn’t want to leave her side. She had blonde hair was very pretty and was quite popular, as she had been to camp several years in a row. What I remember was the water was c-c-cold but I promised her I would stay until she was ready to leave.
At the camp we had bon fires every night and the “counselors” i.e. teenagers played guitars and lead us in sing-alongs singing songs I had never heard before. This was my first exposure to “KP” duty. I knew my name was on the list for the next day and I was scared. I was too shy to ask what that meant. All I knew was I had to be up earlier than the others in our bunk and I had to be down at the mess hall. I was relieved when all I had to do was set tables and even then there were so many people there it wasn’t a big deal.
During this week we learned how to macrame; hiked; learned about bugs and whatever we happened across on this “group hikes” that really were a stroll through well-worn paths in the woods; swam in Puget Sound; had two shifts each for KP duty; had bon fires and s’mores; slept in a bunk house with rows of small bunks (half the size of a twin); and I had what was probably my first crush on a girl named Sky; but I mostly played with my sister and my friend Tansy.
I imagined my mom during this week saw friends, slept in, stayed up late, skipped work…..in reality she probably got caught up on the laundry, worked extra shifts and put her feet up.