Camp: A Slice of Happiness

By Abby McLaughlin

Camp is more than a four letter word to me. It’s that feeling you get when you’re first driving in and you realize you’re home. I’ve been going to summer camps my whole life, I went to Camp Kitaki and Camp Foster mainly. This summer was one of my final chances of being a camper at Camp Foster in Okoboji, IA, so I compiled a list of my top 10 favorite things about camp. (In no particular order):

  1. The memories: I will never forget my first day at summer camp. I almost fainted, I was so nervous! But after a stop in the dining hall for some water I quickly realized that this wasn’t a place to be nervous or anxious at.
  2. The friends: I will always cherish the friends I’ve made over the years at camp. Making group chats with out of town camp friends is key for when you’re all missing the best place on earth.
  3. Spending time outside away from your phone: During the summer I often found myself sitting on my couch aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, so having a week without my phone was a great detox.
  4. Working on your Chaco tan: Chacos are a go-to at camp, and life in general, because they are perfect for walking around outside or taking a dip in the lake if you’re feeling up for it.
  5. Not having a voice by the end of the week: If you go to camp and come out of the week with a voice you did something wrong! From all of the laughter and singing/ screaming at the top of your lungs, it’s a given that your voice will be gone by the end of the week.
  6. Campfire: One of my most favorite parts about camp. I love sitting on the logs and hearing all of the cabins different role calls because they’re all so creative. When you get home and you can still smell the campfire on your sweatshirt, you are always comforted.
  7. Hobo’s and orange cakes: Both are cookout essentials. If you’ve never been to camp and are not familiar with these staples here’s the down low. A hobo is a mix of a  hamburger patty, cheese, mixed veggies and a pinch of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt all done on a piece of foil then cooked on a campfire until everything is nice and melted. An orange cake is equally as delicious but requires more work. You hollow out the orange, fill it with cake mix, then roast on the fire. I like mine more on the less cooked side, but you do you!
  8. Bracelet making: A camp staple. Perfect for if you need something to do during free time or if you want to give someone (or yourself, I’ve been there too) a little something to commemorate your week at camp.
  9. The scent of bug spray and sunscreen: Another necessity for camp. My hands always seem to reek of these two, but I’m not complaining because I usually come out somewhat bug bite and sunburn free.
  10. Never wanting to leave: While time always seems to be going faster and faster, it seems to slow down at camp. Andy Bernard from The Office put it best, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” Except at camp you know you’re in the good days. And you know don’t want to leave.

Campfire memories: Camp is the perfect place to enjoy delectable Hobo’s (left) and campfires (right)!

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