Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remains of My Youth

A woman I went to summer camp with published this photo essay about our camp.  The camp seems gloriously unchanged since the 1980s.  Camp wasn't perfect, and I'm sure not all kids had as good a time as I did, but I loved it.  As my parents struggled with their own demons, and benign neglect became active dysfunction, camp became the best part of my teenage years.  A hippie, sex-positive, lefty camp catering to slightly damaged punk kids, what could be better?  Our counselors had done a lot of est, and were into "rapping" in the '70s sense.  We always had contra dancing, visiting tax resisters, sweat lodges, and went to a nude beach.  We were required to do much of the work of cleaning the place ourselves and everyone did regular kitchen and cleaning shifts. There was a never ending coffee urn and we spent a lot of time sitting around on the big porch drinking coffee and smoking (I doubt they are allow to smoke now, but in the 1980s we were also allowed to smoke outside my high school-different times).  There was also a lot of head shaving and manic panicing.  For me, it was a place where I could be transgressive in safe ways and talk honestly about the stuff that was going on in my life.  I sincerely hope that LB will not need this place as much as I did, but I would love for her to have a similar place to go as a teen.

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