I have spent many interesting summers at my town summer day camp in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and I am excited to be part of that experience again. I met some very good friends at camp and some people I wish I had not met. The people who are part of the community of a camp can teach you many things and they are often very nice.
My town (Weymouth, Massachusetts) puts on several summer camps, but my favorite has always been the nature camp at Weymouth’s Great Esker Park. I have done so many things there — I learned to rock climb and kayak. My favorite “class” during camp was Survivor, where we learned how to light fires, find fresh water, navigate, and build shelters. We even learned how to
identify some edible foods. “Indian Bubble Gum” was most people’s favorite, but I prefer sea pickles because the Indian Bubble Gum once made me sick.
Great Esker Park has many legends. Whether they were just made up by the counselors I could not say, but all of these legends represented an exciting activity for us. I can remember many times when we stopped to search for the park’s fabled golden arrow when I was younger. In Survivor we some-times climbed to the top of the hill to leave offerings of flowers for the ghost of an Indian princess who lived there. One group made pancakes up there once. We would scramble over rocks by the drainage pipe called the Troll’s Cave and climb through the mud and rubble of the Witch’s House. There was always an adventure to be found.
The counselors — and I can guarantee this opinion is shared by the other campers — were always so cool. All the campers looked up to Spike, the counselor who taught Survivor, and the counselors for the younger kids were always so friendly. If there was a problem, you could count on the counselors to fix it. They were always there for the kids — even if occasionally it meant breaking the rules.
In the marshier area of the park, trenches had been cut to try to decrease the mosquito population. They failed in their intended purpose, but they were great for trench jumping. I don’t know how long before I started attending camp the camp director banned trench jumping, but that didn’t stop the counselors. On one occasion we attempted to jump a big trench, one over five feet across. Our counselor jumped it first. He barely made it but not without getting pretty soaked. And with a little help we all made it across. What fun! Plus, we got to wash off by swimming, which was a treat in the summer.
Camp overall was a great learning experience for me. It was a grand adventure I will never forget, and without the fantastic people who were a part of it, camp would never have been as fun. If all kids had a chance to go to a summer camp and spend time with the counselors and other campers there, I think they would definitely say the same. Camp is a great place and the people there make it special.
Photo courtesy of Whippoorwill Farm Day Camp, Fairview, Tennessee.
Maura Ellett is a 12-year-old day-camper who lives in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and takes full advantage of the educational and entertaining camp programs offered by Weymouth Recreation in Great Esker Park.