To be honest, summer camp was nothing short of traumatic for me – a disastrous combination of flooding, spiders, sunburn, starvation and serious injuries. For years it tainted my relationship with camping, until my faith was restored by a summer-long stay in a little tent in the wilds of New Mexico.
Although I learned to get along just fine with tents, I admit my feelings towards summer camp remained less than friendly. And then one summer my sister and I found ourselves back at the closest thing to summer camp we’d experienced in some fifteen years—a canvas tent in Marfa. Some details still harkened back to our old harrowing experience—spiders in the tent, cold showers that showed a marked absence of concern for human modesty in their design, blazing hot afternoons, dust storms, and rains that rendered everything into mud—but then there were all the benefits of adulthood—freedom, good food, and margaritas.
We spent our days out in the shady hammock near by, or sprawling over the bed and gazing out at the pretty sunlight filtered through the canvas. In the evenings we took walks around the campground and read stories aloud by lantern light. We even sang a song or two from our old camp days: “The coffee at the camp they say is mighty fine, it looks like murky water, and tastes like turpentine…”