My nieces recently went to girls camp. They go to the same camp that I went to when I was their age (well, two of them do- the other lives somewhere else and they have a different camp). The came back telling me of all the changes that have happened up there. There are actual flushing toilets! And real hot and cold showers.
That just boggles my mind! That's not camping! When *I* went camping we had latrines. Super stinky, leaky latrines. After my fourth year though I learned not to bad-mouth them. On my fourth year hike they took us up Soda Peak and made us dig an 18 inch hole and go in that for two days. Icky story short, I held it for two days. I couldn't go- even if I tried. I vowed never to be ungrateful for a latrine again.
And if we wanted a shower (which were new in my day- even my sisters didn't have that during their years), we had to haul a log up to the shower stalls to keep the the fire going if we wanted warm water. You had to shower in your bathing suit because the wall slats were far enough apart to peak into- and you had to beware of falling buckets of ice water because there were no ceilings. (for the record- I was never party to the said dumping of ice water on certain people) (on a completly different, unrelated note, sometimes I lie).
Camp wasn't camp unless it rained. Hard. I'm talking "everyone get out your shovels and trench around your tent" rain. In fact, a few years ago (I think I actually blogged about this) when I went as a leader, It rained and thundered and lightening-ed so much, that half the camp blew away and my tent was completely flattened. But that's one of my favorite stories from that not so awesome experience! We'd be wet for days- with shoes sitting (and sometimes melting) on the rocks surrounding the fire- trying to dry them out. Mud everywhere (you needed at least three showers once you got home).
The crafts were always cheesy but fun- and the games and the pranks and the stories and songs- I loved it all- but still, we had to rough it. I still remember a lot of the songs- not the ones that *everyone* sings, but the ones that we wrote for our own skits.
Esther's in the cellar,
Golly can't ya smell her,
cakin on that heavy perfume?
She's gotta look the better,
to take the King a letter,
to save all the Jews from their doom
The girls today have similar experiences- the songs, the tents, the pranks... well, not so much the pranks because everyone is so easily offended that it's not fun anymore. It just bugs me that they have it so easy at camp. But then again, I don't come from a very outdoorsy family. I was telling my aunt today that other than ward camp outs, I don't remember *ever* camping with my family. I guess my mom had a no so awesome experience camping early on in my parent's marriage and she vowed never to do that crap again.
I know it's from her that I get my "anything less than three stars is roughing it for me," attitude. I like being out in nature just as much as anyone- but why do we have to pretend to be homeless? I have a bed. Can't I spend time in the mountains and then sleep in a real bed?
Which brings me to another point (yes, mom- this is where I whine about my deprived childhood [roll eyeballs]. I have always had friends who talk about going camping with their families every year. They go to their cabin- or they go to the lake or boating or whatever they call it. Here I always thought they were all so rustic- but it turns out that cabins are really nice! Cabins are just houses in the woods! I could get used to that! I always pictured a cabin as like... well, like what pioneers lived in. You know- just a stack of logs for a shelter. So they stayed under logs instead of a tent. NO! It turns out that these places are actual houses in the woods- with running water- and dishes and stoves and flushing toilets! and BEDS! *Real* beds! *Anyone* can get used to that kind of camping. Of course they could!
And my friends from other states who had their girls camp in places where they had cabins- what a cheat!
Once on a leadership retreat we went to Island Park and stayed at Max Inn. They called it camping. Camping? It was an apartment in the forest. How is that camping? If that's what camping is, I've seriously been missing out. Why did I have all the crappy character building poo-in-a-ditch experiences and others got to stay in luxury? I would like to submit a do-over. Not. Fair.