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Sleepaway camp is not just a summer activity…it’s a lifestyle. From roasting marshmallows and singing songs around the campfire to fighting your damn heart out during color war, here are 24 things everyone who’s attended summer camp knows to be true.


1. For most of your childhood, you were living ten months out of the year just to get to the best two months.

2. Every now and then you still come across a sock with your initials marked in it.

3. Your special talent? You can make a bed so tightly that you can bounce a quarter off it.

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4. The annual swim test was literally the bane of your existence. The only thing worse was being forced to get in the lake on cold days.

5. Co-ed socials were the highlight of the week--maybe month. After all, when else did you pull out that jean skirt?

6. In fact, it was probably at a social where you had your first kiss with your camp boyfriend, with whom you exchanged letters (or emails) all school year and learned the trials of a long-distance relationship.


7. Rainy-day activities were the freaking bomb. Bingo and movies indoors all day? Sign us up.

8. “You’ve got mail” had a totally different meaning.

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9. And canteen was both the most exciting moment and the hardest decision of the day. Root beer or Charleston Chew? If only you could have both.

10. Because let’s face it, camp food was not the best.

11. But for some reason you still find yourself craving it.


12. Chacos with socks was not just accepted, it was the rule of law.

13. You had a dozen pairs of Soffe shorts and at least two pairs with words like DANCER or CAMP on the butt. You most likely got in trouble for double-rolling them.

14. And for church campers, there was definitely no way around the one-piece bathing suit rule, so you stocked up on the coolest ones.

15. Shower shoes were nonnegotiable. Those shared bathrooms. Yuck.


16. You were basically a professional friendship-bracelet maker, and you handed out matching ones to your clique (and maybe your favorite counselor).

17. You were never as prepared as you should have been for actual “camping” things, like hikes. Are we there yet?


18. The moment you hear “Brown Eyed Girl,” “The Circle Game” or “Cat’s in the Cradle,” you’re transported back to a campfire.


19. You lived for color war. Ate, slept and breathed it.

20. But, full disclosure, you’re still a little bitter toward Jessica. You would have been a way better color-war captain.

21. Despite all that, you still made your parents drive you an hour so you could see her in the fall.


22. You had two distinct groups of friends: your home friends and your camp friends. They didn’t mingle, and you were totally OK with that.

23. You spent at least $100 developing your disposable cameras once the summer ended.

24. When your parents picked you up in August, you cried the entire ride home, making them wonder if they unknowingly paid for you to join a cult. They kinda did.

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