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I Want to Go Back to Summer Camp

Horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills during summer camp.

I miss summer camp. Sure, it’s been about 30 years since I went but I miss it and want to go back. I don’t give a fig about the rickety cots, prisonlike food or even fist-size insects, I still want to go.

Growing up in Los Angeles we had a lot of places to choose from for camp but my Camp Fire Girl (Wohelo!) club chose to go to Camp Hollywoodland, which was located, you guessed it, right under the Hollywood sign. I know you have visions of Troop Beverly Hills  in your head but it was quite the opposite.

Although I didn’t like waking up early during the summer that was quickly forgotten after we started out on a hike to Lake Hollywood or over to Griffith Park. We’d come back for a swim or crafts, inhaled lunch, then set back out again to do something cool like horseback riding. At night we’d have the camp sing-a-long (“I said a boom chick-a-boom“) around, what else, the campfire. It rocked!

So I ask myself: How come I don’t do that anymore? Why don’t I hike, swim, have my own sing-a-long?

My Camp Hollywoodland patch

As we age we get more responsibility that makes use sacrifice free time, such as for caring for parents, spouses or kids, working overtime or two jobs. Zoning out in front of the TV at the end of the day watching I Love Lucy reruns is certainly a lot easier than mustering the energy to do something that invests in you.

Camp was easy: Wake up, eat, explore, sing. I wish Donut, my camp counselor, was at my house to help me remember this every day.