Southerners and Our Summer Camp Mishaps
From electrical storms to jellyfish, we've faced some trials on our way to becoming better swimmers and anglers.
Now that school's out, camp season is officially in high gear. There are all kinds of summer camps in the South—and countless camp activities. Let's not forget those outings for the church youth group, while we're at it. As we're dusting off the camping tent and packing Junior and Sissy off to swimming camp or church camp, it seems like a good time to hike down memory lane. We asked our Facebook Brain Trust to share their most memorable misadventures from summer camp and youth trips. Here's what they remember—how about you? Share your stories in Comments!
SOME OF US LOVED CAMP
"One year at camp, the Twist was the hot new dance. I dislocated my right kneecap and had to have it put back in place in Talledega, Alabama. I still had a great time."
"I went to 4-H camp at Camp Mac on Cheaha Mountain in Alabama, and a water moccasin got into the swimming pool! Loved the leather crafts and had a major crush on one counselor . . . for three days! Great times."
OTHERS . . . NOT SO MUCH
"Every year at camp I had to make the transition from air conditioning to no air conditioning. So I always started the term with a first-evening asthma attack. Without fail, it freaked out the counselors so much that they ended up wheezing more than I did."
"We were all camping at a place in the mountains, and there were maybe two outside showers for about 30 girls. The water was freezing, and there was only a drop or two coming out. It was foolish to try and wash our hair."
"One of my cabin mates found a snake in our room and threw up. Then I was ready to go home."
"I hated camp!"
"Packed my bag and started walking home in the middle of the night."
WE GREW AS PEOPLE
"At Camp Mac (‘Even spelled backwards, the MOST in camping fun'), I had to get used to horseback riding again every year. I SO wanted to be good at it but never got to practice anywhere else. One year, I finally made it from the Dudes group to the Drovers. I was elated. But then the NEXT year, when the staff was judging our first day of riding, I ended up astride a short, mean little horse named Jaybird. All the seasoned campers knew to avoid Jaybird. But I was overconfident. First trip around the ring, Jaybird did an Exorcist move with his neck, biting me on my bony, white ankles as he galloped off to the barn with me. It was back to Dudes for me that year. I'm sure there's a ‘back-in-the-saddle-again' lesson in there somewhere."
"First time baiting a hook with a worm at Camp Cosby."
SOUTHERN PROPRIETY FOLLOWED US INTO THE WOODS
"Boys and girls were not allowed to swim together!"
"NO two-piece swimsuits for the girls!"
"I went to a Baptist summer camp and entertained everyone with my irreverent humor."
"I went to camp one year at Covenant College. Best memory was my sweet grandmother Icy Bee Rayfield, who never traveled, going with me so that I could go. Worst memory was a boy dumping an entire bottle of baby oil on my head. I had long hair. Not fun."
COUNSELORS EXPECT MISHAPS AND MAYHEM
"I was given the ‘killer moth award' because my fellow campers, who were older, told me the moths in our rooms were killers, which freaked me out."
"When we were about nine, two friends and I were accidentally forgotten in the woods during a thunderstorm at camp . The counselor had told us to go to a certain campsite, so we sprinted there ahead of the group to get the best tent. Right after we left, they realized a big storm was coming and called off the campout. Everyone else went back to the cabins. It took them forever to notice we were missing. When they found us, it was pitch black except for the lightning, and we were running blindly down the trail toward the cabins, screaming in the rain. Good times . . ."
"I almost died on a rafting trip down the Arkansas River. I fell out of the raft right at the beginning of a rapid. Thank goodness I had paid attention during safety instruction. I must confess that I almost drowned another camper trying to save myself. The entire time I was in the water, bouncing around, I thought of how my mother was going to miss me terribly."
"I suffered THE WORST sunburn of my life on a youth trip to Tennessee. All the other girls were using accelerator at the water park. I didn't see why my pale, fair self couldn't use accelerator, too. My ankles were so swollen from the burn that I could barely walk."
"I had my worst encounter with jellyfish on a youth trip. Jellyfish completely wrapped around both legs. Miserable!"
"On a youth trip, I convinced my friend to ride the Scream Machine at Six Flags Over Georgia as her first ever roller coaster. I can remember where we stood when I said, ‘It will be fine! Nothing is going to happen!' I also remember the look of terror on her face when, at the top of that first massive hill, we got stuck. For 45 minutes."
WATCH: 10 Things Only Southerners Know
All this talk of camp gives us a few things to add to our list. Not only do we know all about the SEC and bridal parties as big as a sanctuary choir, but we also can spot a water moccasin in the swimming pool.