We rounded the final corner on the curvy road to camp. The sign appeared in front of the car and we wheeled right on into the driveway.
The sign said Camp Winnataska Est. 1918.
Henry declared that the camp was OLD! I said that means it has character.
We were greeted by counselors with welcome signs. I got a little nostalgic about cheerleading markers and sign-making afternoons in high school. They were cheering at the kids coming in, asking if they were excited, telling them it’s going to be a FANTASTIC week!
I wanted to stay, right then and there!
There was a line to drop off luggage and get parked. We stopped to wait patiently.
Henry declared, “Ok, well, later suckers!” and tried to get out of the car.
I remembered that excitement.
We parked and stood in line. My friend Dawn’s son Grant is at camp there, too. The boys have known each other for several years and were excited to go together!
Since the camp’s in Alabama and one of the staff members is a sorority sister from Auburn, I figured there would be other people there that I kinda knew. Little did I know, my first suite mate was dropping off HER Henry who would also be a Chico camper!
I haven’t seen Casey and her husband since graduation. It was great to see them!
They let us in a few at a time to head to the Canteen and get their heads checked for critters and to drop off forms. It was hotter than blazes and the sweating wasn’t pretty at all, but the excitement among the boys was just electric!
The Chico campers are the 6-8 year olds. This camp offers a 3 night camp for first timers. Or a week-long camp. We opted for the week — 3 nights is just a tease!
I wanted to stay for 2 weeks!
We wandered from the Canteen up to Chico Hill to the cabins. There we found the tiniest little cabin with 4 bunk beds and a cot. NINE boys would be in that room. It was hotter than snot but all the moms got the beds made and the gear neatly put away.
I’m sure that lasted for all of seven minutes.
Being in Alabama, there’s always going to be a mix of football religions allegiances. That’s a given. In line there were Auburn hats and Alabama t-shirts. There were 2 Auburn chairs and 2 Alabama chairs.
I wasn’t quite expecting a little 7 year old to ask, “Can you plug this fan in for me? Hey, are y’all Auburn or Alabama?” just as serious as a heart attack. I simply answered, “Auburn,” and he seemed pleased enough with that. Even though his mama is for Alabama and his cousin went to Alabama. His daddy went to Auburn so he pulls for Tennessee!
The boys were all set. Henry on the top bunk, Grant on the bottom. Fans installed. Sheets tucked in. Sweat oozing from every single pore in all of our bodies.
I wanted to curl up in one of those bunks and write notes back home to my friends.
A quick picture and they pretty much told us to get out of there so they could have fun!
But not without a few last words.
A hug and a kiss and a reminder to wear sunscreen later and we were outta there!
I wanted to stay as a camper!
But the car was air conditioned and did I mention it was hot as hell?