The first time your parents loaded you into the car and hauled you off to camp you were bitter. Why in the heck would the people who were supposed to love you be ready to abandon you in the woods for two weeks? It was criminal! Then, you got there and you met your bunkmates and you realized the gift you’d been given. You got a few precious weeks to commune with Mother Nature, learn the finer points of crafting, archery, and rowing. It was a time you treasure to this very day, gone too soon, but always dear. It was camp, and it’s equipped you with a set of skills and memories that are unlike anything else.
1. You Have Two Sets Of Friends
Ah, the camp bestie, the person who believed all that malarkey you shoveled them about how wonderful your non-camp life was. Did you know back home you’re cool, and not the awkward nerd with pasty legs? Yeah, so are they.
2. You Can Identify 37 Types of Edible Foliage
Okay, so it’s highly likely that you’ll never need to forage in a nearby wood to feed yourself, but it’s nice to know that you could. Or, at least, you could when you were eight. But that vital information still has to be rumbling around in your brain still, right?
3. Sunset On a Lake Simply Can’t Be Beat
Some people like a dark movie theater. Some people like the city lights coming to life. You know, though, that both of those scenes are nothing compared to the majesty of a sun setting over a quiet lake, the water shimmering like glass, woodland creatures calling as night falls. It’s perfection.
4. This Sparks Fond Memories
Kids who didn’t have the joy of summer camp likely also don’t have the joy of rolling around on a giant inflatable bag and being launched into the air by the next person in line. You can only hope that the biggest person in camp is right behind you. Better lift that way.
5. The Status Symbol
Every camp kid has at least one memory of a friendship bracelet. Maybe it was the jealousy you felt when your new best friend decided to gift one of these bad boys to someone else, or maybe its the exhilaration you felt discovering that the shy girl across the crafts table had made something just for you.
6. Worms Aren’t Gross, They’re Tools
Only sissies squirm when they look at a pile of worms wriggling in a bag. Those aren’t slimy creatures, they’re the first step to the best meal you’ve ever eaten. Thanks to camp, you’re the consummate fisher person, able to bait a hook and nab a fish with ease.
7. You’re Handy With a Carving Knife
The love you felt for old … what’s her name … is as powerful today as it was when you carved your initials into that majestic old tree. It’s a testament of your love that will stand the test of time. Now, if only you could accurately recall her name.
8. You Spent Two Weeks Telling Everyone Your Name Was “Spider”
Camp is the perfect time for a little reinvention. None of these kids know the “home” you. For all they know you’re the toughest kid on the block. Why not let them believe that? Everyone needs a few weeks of their life when the people around them thinks they’re a total badass.
9. So, That’s What the Counselors Were Up To
Camp was so freaking awesome that even when you were too old to attend, you still felt compelled to get back to the lake. So, it was only natural to sign up to be a counselor. Even better, you’d finally find out what those cool half-adults were doing when the lights went off. Bonus: You also learned how to ride out a bad hangover.
10. You Can Read a Map
Other people might need landmarks or their smartphone to get from point A to point B, but not you. All you need is a map and you’re good to go. Even better, you can always find north and you know how to use the sun to navigate. Some people can get lost, but that’s not even an option for you.
11. No Lessons Necessary
You’re a pro when it comes to taking the canoe out, thanks to lessons learned and hours spent perfecting them as a kid on the lake.
12. You Can Make Camp
All you really need for complete comfort in the woods is a tarp, some string, and a pen knife. Heck, the string is even optional. Thanks to your years at camp you know exactly what you’re doing when you’re confronted by the wilderness. Sure, you’ll pack a tent for this camping trip, but you don’t need to.
13. It’s Knot a Problem
Here’s a skill that’s come up more times than you’d expected. You can tie ten different kinds of knots with your eyes closed. The Barrel Hitch, the Monkey’s Fist, the Constrictor Knot, even the Slipped Buntline. They’re all in your arsenal and you have your time at camp to thank for that.
14. This = Art
Picasso doesn’t have anything on your inspired works of art. Your parents’ house was filled with machinations sprung from everyday items. A few cotton swabs and some tongue depressors may have been mundane items in the hands of lesser mortals, but you and a tube of Elmer’s glue was all you needed to create a masterpiece.
15. You Can Build a Fire
Thanks to campfire cookouts and spooky stories, you don’t even need proper matches to craft an impressive blaze from some moss and twigs. All you need is dry ingredients, enough friction, and a can-do attitude … some flint helps.
16. Being Homesick Isn’t a Thing
When most people went to college, they spent a few weeks moping around and missing their friends and family. Not you, though. You have experience getting out there and making friends along with an innate confidence that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
17. This Is the Hottest Thing Ever
Years of crowding around a campfire and singing the old Queen standards has instilled you a love of acoustic guitar. Pretty much anyone who picks one up around you is instantly ten times hotter, and if they can play, “We Are The Champions” without missing a string, just forget about it.
18. A Badge Of Honor
You have at least a handful of small circular scars, mementos of a time when you didn’t think bug spray was necessary. Sure, there were bloodsuckers in the air, but if they got you, you just itched. And itched. And itched. No way you’d give those pests the satisfaction of knowing they’d scared you into actually preparing.
19. You Have a Whole Collection of These
The camp T-shirt, your souvenir from two weeks spent exploring the woods with brand new friends. Okay, so it’s way too small for you now and the logo is faded and a few small holes are starting to crop up, but this baby is a fixture in your closet for all time.