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To feel I had a horribly deprived childhood because I never went to summer camp?

(53 Posts)
AaronPurrSir Sat 24-Feb-18 21:52:35

Lately I’ve been bingeing on “Wet, hot, American summer” on Netflix and it’s reminded me of how when I was a teen growing up in dull, rainy England, I DESPERATELY wished I was American so I could go to an American summer camp. Sleeping in log cabins around beautiful lakes and scenery, fun activities, making friends and flirting with boys. The summer holiday day scheme my mum sent me to at the local church hall just didn’t cut it sad

Fully expecting American MNers to come on and say it was actually awful and not that fun to shatter my illusions, much in the way my friends who went to boarding school have shattered my Mallory Towers illusions grin

Did anyone else share my summer camp fantasies? Or anything else from different countries/cultures you wish you could have done?

IveGotStupidHair Sat 24-Feb-18 21:54:09

I used to dream of going to an American summercamp too. I’d love to know if they’re as fun as books/ films make out. I was considering trying to find a whole family one when my dc’s are older.

MrsFionaCharming Sat 24-Feb-18 21:55:22

I watched The Parent Trap obsessively as a child and was desperate to go to Summer Camp.

I did Camp America as a student, best 4 summers of my life.

redexpat Sat 24-Feb-18 21:56:47

I worked at one for 3 glorious summers in my youth and YANBU. Our cabins werent made of logs and we didnt have a lake on site but other than that your description fits.

Did you not go on a pgl trip with school or anything?

AaronPurrSir Sat 24-Feb-18 21:56:54

I think my fantasies were triggered by a fly on the wall documentary filmed in a summer camp that was shown on kid’s tv in the late 90s called “Bug Juice”, that made it look super fun.

Does anyone else remember that show?

PrincessHairyMclary Sat 24-Feb-18 21:57:09

I worked at a British summer camp it was a lot of fun. I regret not doing Camp America though many of my friends did and had an amazing time.

AaronPurrSir Sat 24-Feb-18 21:59:00

Ah yes, the parent trap! The original wth Hayley Mills trumps the remake, obviously.

redexpat, I did school residentials but it was never the same. Lots of rain, mud, and the same bunch of arseholes I had to see at school every day grin

VimFuego101 Sat 24-Feb-18 21:59:50

We stayed in a log cabin for 2 days last year (we live in the US) and got absolutely bitten to shit by mosquitos despite using the repellent stuff. I don't think you're missing much.

LadySainsburySeal Sat 24-Feb-18 22:00:36

Summer camp - the idea abhorred me

Herbalteahippie Sat 24-Feb-18 22:01:21

I went to sea cadets in my teens, we had our own summer camps at different Royal Navy bases it was AWESOME 😎

OutyMcOutface Sat 24-Feb-18 22:03:34

I don't think I would have been able to cope with your run of the mill American summer camp. A gold standard Swiss camp in the other hand may have been a bit more palatable. I love the outdoors but the idea of spending months with a bunch of sweaty teenagers with inadequate shower facilities is not a nice one

Legwarmersareohsoeighties Sat 24-Feb-18 22:04:38

I didn't PGL about 20 or more years ago! At age 14 I was getting drunk and stoned with the staff!! I had the BEST summers - but pretty sure they don't do it like they did then!!! And I'd be v v reluctant to let my DCs go, based on my experiences!!!

I worked at America summer camps in my 20s, it was great! smile

Legwarmersareohsoeighties Sat 24-Feb-18 22:05:20

'did' not 'didn't' !

ShutUpRobert Sat 24-Feb-18 22:06:14

As I understand it, American summer camps exist because US school summer holidays are four months long but parents are only entitled to a day and a half annual leave.

LilQueenie Sat 24-Feb-18 22:07:03

No not my thing at all but I longed to go to space camp at NASA

UpstartCrow Sat 24-Feb-18 22:08:35

I wanted to be a cowboy.

HermanMerman Sat 24-Feb-18 22:08:51

I went on PGL and was horrendously bullied. No great memories and definitely would think twice about sending my kids

Sparklesocks Sat 24-Feb-18 22:10:11

I always wondered if the US camp thing came from US parents not having much annual leave (compared to European countries anyway) and so needing childcare for the summer?

fruitlovingmonkey Sat 24-Feb-18 22:11:20

I loved Bug Juice!
I used to dream of going to camp.

BertieBotts Sat 24-Feb-18 22:12:31

Yep pretty much!

I don't think I would have coped with American summer camp, but we packed DS off to a German one at 8 and despite me having a huge wobble the night before that it was too much, he didn't even phone us once! He had a great time and even had a few showers.

BertieBotts Sat 24-Feb-18 22:13:03

I went to Brownie camp and found it all very overwhelming.

BananaInPyjama Sat 24-Feb-18 22:13:44

I worked at Camp America many light years ago.
Place was run like a prison but on a shoestring budget. Half the cabins burnt down when the drunk workman left a small blowtorch blasting while he passed out (kids away for weekend, hence work being done then).

We had to sleep in the open on a huge tarp.
Owner was tighter than a duck's arse. I loather the whole thing.
Bloody awful place but it made me a lot stronger as I can know stand up for what is right and wrong.

cadburyegg Sat 24-Feb-18 22:14:37

I did PGL. Not my thing at all. I was horribly homesick and hated the whole week. Biggest waste of money my poor parents ever spent.

JustPutSomeGlitterOnIt Sat 24-Feb-18 22:15:36

Ugh, god no. Ugh. Brothers and I got sent on them every year in the summer hols while parents were at work and hated them.

So many happy clappy bouncy bloody grinners trying to get me to sing songs and run around.

God I just wanted then all to fuck off and just leave me alone to sit on my ass and watch telly.

JustGettingStarted Sat 24-Feb-18 22:17:05

I went to various summer camps. Girl scouts, church youth group, Christian youth organisation (Young Life), band camp, performing arts camp... Most of them were one week long. Maybe two. I generally went to two or three over the summer (10 weeks long).

They were all different. I guess the girlscout camp was most like what you see in the movies: general outdoorsy fun. The others had educational or service goals. They were all good times.

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