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A Letter Home from Summer Camp

(Originally published 7/19/09)


Dear Mom and Dad,

Hello from Camp Wakamatsu! Sorry it’s taken me so long to write, but I had a tough first week after having a run in with a bee’s nest while on a hike. The swelling has gone down a lot though, and, if I squint real hard, I can see enough out of my right eye to write you a quick letter. Don’t worry about me, though. The camp nurse is hopeful that, with a little luck, the welts will heal enough for you to recognize me when I come home.

Speaking of home, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something. I know that I begged and begged you to let me go to sleep-away camp this summer, but after thinking about it a bit, I’ve decided that maybe your instinct was right and I should have stayed home. Don’t get me wrong –I’ve been having a blast at Camp Wakamatsu, just like I promised I would. I’M NOT HOMESICK. I promise. It’s just I feel guilty that you’re spending so much money on me when I would be just as happy being at home, where I don’t have to wear bug repellent to bed. Maybe it’s not too late for a refund?

I know you’ll probably tell me to stay here, that it’s important to finish what you start. If this is what you think, I’m fine with it I guess. I’ve made some real good friends here, including Counselor Gary, who can’t get enough of me! He say’s I’m his favorite camper, and he gives me a wink whenever he see’s me in the cafeteria. He’s such a nice guy, I can’t believe at the age of 40 he hasn’t found a wife yet! He says he doesn’t get lonely, though, because his Beanie Baby collection keeps him company. Counselor Gary has promised to take me on a secret hike on Friday, just me and him and the boundless wilderness. He says he knows this great spot in the forest where the Pine trees are as green as my eyes! Oh, before I forget, I’ve included in this letter a pamphlet with the local bus schedule. You’ll notice there’s one leaving here on Thursday, and that they accept all major credit cards.

The food here has been really good, especially when they actually cook the chicken and wash the fruit. I’ve gotten food poisoning only three or four times, though it’s impossible to tell if I got it from a meal or from the old well we drink out of. If the food is my favorite part of Camp Wakamatsu, then the activities are a close second. Archery is awesome, especially since they moved the targets farther away from the entrance of my bunk (after what happened to Jimmy). Swimming in the lake is super fun, and I’ve learned how to do this really cool thing called a “Sailor’s Dive”, where you jump into the water head first, with your arms by your side. Don’t worry, mom, they’ve put buoys to mark all the rocks hidden underwater, or at least the ones they’ve found so far. And Camp Wakamatsu is hiring lifeguards for next week, when the inspectors are supposed to come, so that’s good. But maybe I should hitch a ride with the inspectors when they go back to the city? It’s your call.



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