Spring cleaning

So this afternoon my husband and I decided it was high time to clean off our back patio/storage area.  Well, you know how these things go — you start in one corner and move to another, and then pretty soon you’ve dismantled the entire house inside and out and things are strewn across the lawn and everywhere and the junk pile for Goodwill is growing and so is the pile of “I totally forgot we had this!” and “Wow, so THAT’S where this went to!”

On Long Lake in Harrison, Maine


The best thing I unearthed today was this photo.  That’s me in the bow (front) of the boat behind the girl in pigtails, circa let’s just say many years ago.  I was 12.  As you can see, I’m posing with my Twin Pines cabin mates and our fearless counselors (one of whom, that beauty perched on the stern, is a dear friend of mine today — Betsie Ellington Tegtmeyer, you know who you are!).

I’m glad to see that I’m smiling in this picture.  A lot of my memories of that summer are of being homesick.  It was my first time away from home, and camp lasted SEVEN WEEKS.  (What were they thinking?!) Plus, we were stuck in those dorky uniforms.  Can you believe it?  Uniforms at summer camp!

Anyway, to cheer myself up I wrote a story during rest hour.  A story which, over the course of the summer (did I mention camp lasted SEVEN WEEKS?!), eventually turned into my first novel.  It never got published, of course (it was one of my many “practice” novels), but it was the spark that ignited the fuse for me, and eventually led to me becoming a writer.  So thank you, Camp Newfound, for giving me my start!

Who else has a summer camp memory to share?



36 thoughts on “Spring cleaning”

  1. I don’t often go to summer camps, but I go on a lot of vacations. This year I’m going to Alaska! I’ve also been to many states and out of the country a few tmes. One day, though, I want to go to a REAL summer camp, like yours, Heather. (minus the uniforms). Whenever I think of summer camp, I think of the movie, “The Parent Trap.” Have you ever seen it?

  2. I love that photo! But OUCH for seven weeks of camp at that age…I struggled so much at that age with homesickness during my two-week-long camp! I love that you did something so productive as consolation, though.

  3. When I went to summer camp (only for 1 week) we had bunk beds with no railings on the top, and of course I had a top bunk. The last morning we were there I woke up to everyone staring and luaghing at me, so of course I asked, what did I do? My friend then told she I like sleeped talk (screamed) and that I almost fell of the top bunk. My friends and I still luagh about it today! 🙂

  4. I just went to camp for 5 days with my 6th grade class and missed my parents aniversary and also missed one of my norwiegien hollidays. Thhen I went to a soccer tournement in yakima with my mom.

  5. Did you like it in Maine Heather? We have to move there next year. We wanted to go home, but unfortunately we get to go to Maine! 🙁

    As you may imagine, we’re looking for the silver lining…. 🙂

    • Maine is BEAUTIFUL. You will love it! Especially if you’re anywhere near the coast. But the mountains and lakes are amazing, too. I see a big silver lining ahead… 🙂

  6. I went to girl scout camp in kindergarten w/ my mom. It the last night we had an over night, so we switched some of the girls from another campsite to meet new ppl. They brought their snack with them and me and my best friend Sarah didn’t get any b/c we were the littlest girls and the older girls had more than one. We cried b/c they were so mean to us. My mom still hates that trip

  7. When I went to summer camp we had theme meals every night. my outlasting favourite, though was Man Meal. It was an all girls week and all of the girls dessed up as guys and all of the guys (two counsellors) dressed up as girls. We had sausages and watched the owner of the camp wrestle with his kids. It was awesome!

  8. I want to go to a summer camp one day i think it would be a lot of fun. that story kinda reminds me of th camp confidential series 🙂

    • I really should do a summer camp story for the mother-daughter book club. Maybe they could all be counselors together. Hmmm. We’ll see…

      • I mean to go to summer camp
        Ive never been to summer camp but we usually go on a vacation during summer break!!!!!!!

        We’re going to Europe to visit some our realtives there, over the summer.

  9. I remember the summer camp story from your visit! 🙂 Posted my blog post about your visit tonight. If you get a chance check it out. I linked back to your blog.

    • FABULOUS STORY, Mimi! Love those photos! I tried to leave a comment but for some reason it didn’t let me. But I’ve put a new blog post up linking to it — bet you’ll get some visitors… 🙂

  10. Hey Heather, my only experience for camp wass when it was girlscouts. but we stayed inside the whole time (only our tent stayed in side) because ours had bee’s. we didnt have time to tell the other temts but eventually they found out…;)

  11. I went to girl scout camp once for 3 days/ 2 nights when I was 6 (or 7, i dont know). The moment my parents left I started crying and wanting to go home. But now when I look back at it, I actually had a lot of fun. I love Mother-Daughter Book Club!

  12. I didn’t go to a summer camp but I went to a science camp for school for a week. I hadn’t been away from my family like that ever so I was super super super homesick!

  13. My first sleep away camp was a disaster! I fell off the canoe and got a bloody nose at the same time. Now I stick to day camps and traveling with my family.

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