I had my first summer camp experience when I was eight. It was the summer after second grade, and I would be spending two weeks attending day camp at a lovely day camp my mother knew about, a camp I will not name at this point in time. Somehow, it was decided that I, a supremely awkward and shy young lad who would rather be a cheerleader in the dugout than every do anything on the T-ball field, would enjoy being outdoors with a bunch of kids I didn’t know all day for two weeks.
I would slog every morning to the bus stop down the street from my house. I would always sit in the very front seat of the bus, scoot up against the window and pray no other kid would sit next to me. The bus seats were all brown, instead of the green I was used to, so everything was always cast in a vaguely rusty light when the sun would shine in through the windows. I would pull my backpack up against me and read the latest Baby-Sitter’s Club book, or reread a passage from my favorite book at the time: “How To Be A Successful Writer.”
(I was a weird kid.)
The bus ride was a jaunty ride through the suburbs, about forty-five minutes in length. And so for that part of the day, I felt safe and happy as could be, because reading was my favorite thing in the whole world. I projected myself into the world of the BSC and made friends with the characters in my head, and basically have a grand old time in my imagination until we actually rolled up to – ugh ugh ugh – camp.