Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | August 21, 2012

What I Learned from my Kids at Camp

Some interesting things I learned from the kids at camp:

-When you send your son to camp with 2 duffle bags, and the shipping service loses one bag for five days, your son will return with 3 duffle bags, one with ugly Walmart clothing that will all be donated, and large underwear that will be put away for several years.

2 bags for Dori, 3 for Zack. His are also filled with dirt. And each inside-out sock (i.e. all of them) is full of dirt.

-You’ll also find a laundry bag of dirty, wet towels, underwear and socks from bunkmate David N., a labeled shower shoe (not yours), PJ bottoms that aren’t yours, and some other random unmarked socks.

Nothing in this bag says Zack Kaplan

-The swimming instructor was more interested in flirting with the female counselors and giving them backrubs, than teaching the kids to swim proper strokes.

-When you run a charity camp car wash (benefitting cancer research) with 9 year old boys as the workers, those cars will need a professional washing right after. Even the 9 year olds say that. “It was a fail,” said Zack, though he had a great time hosing off the counselor, picking daisies and whacking his friends with towels.

-The kids who kept prohibited food in the cabin had a mother mouse and newborn babies below their bunks. Several of the kids snuck these adorable newborn mice home in a shoe box on the way home from camp. Their parents are in for a surprise.

No, Dori didn’t bring one home. This was from a previous post.

-When you email the kids at camp, it still takes at least 3 days for them to get the email after it’s printed and distributed.

-Laundry service is not individual. As a bunk, you sort your laundry into group bags (whites and colors) and then when it’s returned clean, as a group you sort through all the laundry to find yours, fold it and return it to your cubby. My children have a new task at home now.

-The girls’ bathroom got so gross that Dori proactively got a mop to clean it. I guess our house isn’t that bad after all, since she’s never once picked up a mop here.

-Climbing down your bunk ladder wearing only a towel is difficult, if you actually want that towel to stay on.

-8 loads of laundry is a lot.

-The rain coat with a frog face/ears on the hood, which Zack excitedly picked out before camp, was hideously embarrassing and he needed to tuck the hood in when we wore it, making it partially ineffective but wearable.

We’re in the market for a new raincoat. All leads appreciated. Solid colors only, please.

-When you leave camp before the others, and you leave stuff behind, your stuff gets “auctioned off” which is how we ended up with a really ugly pool towel and hand towel. I would have left those behind too.

-The 2 bottles of shampoo you send with your son to camp will return completely full.

Packed for next year!

-You son will complain that he was bored during rest time, and that it would have been helpful had you let him bring his DS. However the games/activities you sent (Mad Libs, dots, workbooks he wanted) will return unused. As will all the stamps and envelopes.

-Your son will say he didn’t send emails because 1. he couldn’t remember your email address and 2. he’s more of a letter writing guy. Yet, you will have received only one letter from him – from the first day of camp. Turns out, he’s not a letter writing guy after all. He didn’t feel like writing…during that daily rest hour when he was completely bored.

-that Miralax he was supposed to give the nurse (and that the nurse was supposed to be on the lookout for?). Yeah, it came back full. He did get his dose at meals when he felt like it, but that meant he was using some other camper’s. Or maybe the camp supply. Guess I don’t need to get more for awhile now. The camp, however, probably needs to invest in a new plunger.


-They’re excited to go back again next year. Yay!


  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one with these thoughts! Toby came home with three broken brackets in his mouth and a broken retainer – AFTER I sign all these forms giving my consent that in case of emergencies, he could be seen by a local orthodontist. One kid I know broke her toe, the dad was not notified until three days later. And WHY do we spend our $$ on these camps? It’s because for the next 12 months (no, 314 more days) my kids won’t stop talking about the awesomeness of camp. I hope they had a great time in spite of it all!

    • Stacy – ha ha! I heard about a littany of camp injuries in Dori’s cabin alone (one girl needed stiches because a lawn mower kicked over a rock which hit her arm while she played tennis, another kid got a huge forehead bump, 3 kids were on crutches, the counselor got a bad migraine and abandoned bunk for rest hour, and list went on and on). It’s a minor miracle my kids didn’t need medical assistance, though maybe they wouldn’t have told me if they did! Glad to know our camp isn’t the only one with communication issues (and injuries).

  2. Hilarious and all very relatable (except for the mouse, thank goodness).

  3. I’m loving these stories! No tarantulas? You missed out!

  4. […] My daughter now realizes the importance of showering daily and washing her hair. Finally! So I packed her a 15 ounce bottle of shampoo, which I fear will run out in a week, because the girl uses so much shampoo that the sewer system is going to bubble over. For Zack, however, I thought we’d be safe with two travel size bottles that won’t be opened. […]

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