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Tag: summer camp

Sleeping Bags and Books

I love summer for the flip flops, the roasting of marshmallows, and the great summer books. When I was younger, I went to a few camps–Girl Scout day camp and two basketball camps — but there were no cute boys and no campfire, and I never made lifelong friends. When I was young, I loved the Baby-Sitters Club books, and I read and reread Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation because I wanted that experience. In case you’re spending the summer at home this year, you can live vicariously through these fun books.

Sports and Fitness Camp

Huge by Sasha Paley (which was adapted for TV on ABC Family for one season): Wilhelmina can’t believe her parents forced her to go to fat camp. They own a chain of fitness centers and she’s not good for their image. Rebelling, she vows not to lose a single pound during the summer. Her attitude makes her bunkmate angry, especially when the two of the go after the same guy. Will the girls learn to get along?

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis: Shelby follows her heart, which leads her into trouble. This time trouble equals summer camp, and not the leisurely camp with sports or canoe rides down the river — this is brat camp. It’s where the rich send their children for hard work and therapy and to learn discipline. It’s basically the worst possible way to spend your summer. Just when she thinks she might have everything under control, a boy appears. He’s a handsome British boy with a secret, and he has disaster written all over him.

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That Was Then This Is Now: There’s a Bat in Bunk Five

Here I go again, rereading a favorite book from my teen years and seeing how it holds up. This time I’m going to reread Paula Danziger’s There’s a Bat in Bunk Five. The copyright date on my yellowed paperback (which cost a mere $2.25!) is 1980, so it’s over 30 years old, but I swear I still think of this as something kids read. I kind of doubt that’s true, though.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s the sequel to the classic The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (“gymsuit”–that dates the book right there.). Before I start reading, here’s what I remember:┬áthe protagonist, newly pleased with her body which is much less plump than it had been in The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, spends a summer being a camp counselor at a sleepaway camp. There she has classic summer camp experiences, including a romance. Surprisingly I don’t remember a lot of details, but the thing that stands out the most to me is that on their days off they could go into town. As a young middle schooler reading this it seemed so mature to me that the teenage girl and her swell boyfriend could saunter around the hippie town (Woodstock?) buying things and being on their own. That seems like a strange thing for me to remember, but overall I remember thinking that being a camp counselor was the coolest thing in the world…

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