Food & Drink

Camp Buy Me Love

Dear Mom and Dad,

Camp sucks. This big kid named the Knuckle (don’t ask) keeps pushing me in the lake. My bunkmate wears a night brace and makes noises like Darth Vader when he sleeps. And if I have to sing “Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore” one more time, I’m gonna start breaking stuff. So I figure the least you can do is send me a care package. Here are some suggestions (Grandma’s fudge just ain’t cutting it):

1. Candy. Think of it like camp currency. The more you have, the nicer people are to you. So buy in bulk.


2. Preventive products. Last I heard, Lyme disease wasn’t part of the character-building camp experience. I’m itching for some heavy-duty bug repellent.

no chigger bites!

While you’re at it, send some more sunscreen. SPF 30, please. I don’t plan on aging prematurely. (Think it’s easy to look this good at ten?)

no sunburn!

3. Speaking of looking good, bring on the HBC (health- and beauty-care items). That leftover chlorine smell isn’t helping any with the dates. How about some super shampoo?

smells delish!

And I think a raccoon ran off with my toothbrush. (They’re actually very sanitary animals, apparently.) Why not send a few?

brush brush!

If you must send something cutesy, it might as well be good for something. Better Buddies are huggable stuffed animals with inserts for a hot or cold compress, depending on the ailment.

cutey patooty!

4. Equipment. A lantern is always a good idea, especially for card games after lights-out.


And a flashlight with some James Bond action. The dual action provides radio entertainment and comfort on those long trips to the far outhouse.

no killers!

I never knew what a charmed life I led until I spent a week without air-conditioning. I could use a little help cooling down with a mini fan.

cool off!

As a firm believer in the buddy system, I shall depend on my Motorola talkabout two-way walkie-talkies to ensure that I shall never lose my buddy again.

so cool!

I’m no stranger to the night, but I could get more acquainted — with the help of a portable telescope and night-sky maps.

so cool!

If I’m to lead my cabin in hiking miles, I need a pack that can also hydrate. The CamelBak Scout with built-in water reservoir holds up to 35 ounces.

wa wa!

5. Activities. If you must send educational tools, allow me to make a few more suggestions. Nifty Plates from the Fifty States is a fun yet fact-filled book of all of the nation’s license plates, with info about each state on the back. It will prepare me for my postgraduate cross-country tour. Heaven forbid a rainy day, but if the gods insist, I can prove my Connect Four prowess with the dainty travel version. For larger crowds, there’s always Taboo or poker … Oops, I mean King’s Corners.

card sharks!

When I feel like me time, I can lose myself in the Start Exploring Architecture coloring book or flip through The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book o’ Fun.

fun stuff!

6. Now when it comes to keeping in touch, it’s best to keep it simple (especially if you want a letter a week). These postcards should do — if they arrive self-addressed and stamped …

dear ma!

7. And when it all comes to an end, I’ll still have my memories, thanks to my journal, my waterproof disposable camera, my pocket i-zone, and the stuffed campfire log all my new friends will sign.

dear diary!

Well, I guess that’s it. Thanks a lot. And when I get home, let’s discuss sending me somewhere more fun next year. Like summer school.


Your Devoted Child