Today we are looking back at camp memories. I went to 4-H every year as a child. I hated it and all I wanted to be was teen leader. I got to be a teen leader several years in high school. When I graduated from high school, I applied to be on the camp staff, but I did not get selected, so I ended up working at a Girl Scout Camp, Camp Judy Layne. Wow! this sure was different from 4-H camp! We lived in platform tents all summer and had a latrine(try cleaning one of those, yuck!) and cold showers(even yuckier!)! We went hiking LOTS! I enjoyed it but it was really not something I wanted to spend a whole summer doing again so the next summer, I applied for 4-H camp again and got hired as crafts instructor at one of the 4-H camps in my state. I worked there for two years. The next two years, I worked at another 4-H camp again as crafts instructor. I learned so much working at a camp. I think it was a life changing adventure for me. I would never give up those years working at a camp. You really learn how to get along with people that are so different than you! (Believe me you were not there for the money, $650 a month for LOTS of hours!, but meals and boarding was included in your salary!) Some of my memories include boating races, free swim, teaching my camp crafts, special events (snake man came and brought really bad snakes, bird lady came and brought birds that were endangered, we got to go in a helium balloon, just to name a few), camp songs that will forever be planted in my head. The biggest memory that I have working at camp was when the kids had left and the staff was going back to there cabins and it had been so calm and all of a sudden a storm brewed in. Another staff member had pushed us girls in the cabin, I remember looking back out there and a huge tree would have hit us. It was a tornado. All the power lines were down, lots of trees down all over camp, including a huge well known tree to the camp. We had a tornado, it was over really fast, but the camp was closed the next week and the staff stayed, with no electricity and cleaned up. Talk about some HARD work. I will never forget that storm! After I graduated from college, I got a job in Extension (which 4-h is part of) and attended camp as an extension agent for many years. I really miss camp and will probably go back as an adult leader when my kids get old enough!
To read about more camp memories, go to My Life as Annie.