Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer camp

Kemo kymo dera wah, mahee mahoe marumpside pommadiddle, soupfat periwinkle, niptom nipcat, singsong city won't you kymeoh? When I was 12 years old I was sent to Camp Waconda. I remember almost nothing of the two week experience of the camp, but I do remember that I hated camp. I think we were still in the mindset of Lord Baden-Powell and the Boy's Own Annual . I can't even remember if my little brother Ken was there or not, but he probably was. The only recollection I have of the camp was the nonsense verse that I learned, and has been with me for a lifetime. So far! What a curious thing is the mind! That one should have committed such a blather to one's soft wear, for life, but blanked out the memory of the unhappy period entirely. I have a vague memory of "pledging myself to thee" ( Camp Waconda), but I'm sure my fingers were crossed. This is not a criticism of the camp . How can you criticize what you can't remember? Some of us are not adaptable to camp life. I'm sure that I was a home boy and was accustomed to a life without much regulation. My parents allowed a great deal of freedom to us in those days and regimentation would have been anathema to us. I'm sure my mother thought camp would be good for me. It's not always possible to determine what is good for someone else, even as loving parents. All my children, however, benefited from my camp experience in that they all have full knowledge, and can recite, Kemo kymo at the drop of the hat.

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