Summer Camp

June 9, 2011

I saw these camp bunkhouse plaques on Handmade Charlotte and they made me think of the Haley Mills Parent Trap movie.

I never went to sleep away camp as a kid. Did you go? What was it like? Will your kids go this summer?

images by Candler Arts


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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sherri June 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

Love these. And the original parent trap!

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2 Heidi June 9, 2011 at 7:27 am

My 9 yr old will be attending 4-H camp for the first time. It is a 3 day overnight camp at a state park. I am not worried b/c she has the personality that will love it.
My 15 year old on the other hand would never attend any kind of camp. She went to Girl Scout day camp one year when she was about 6 and it ruined her. The person in charge was cursing and my daughter looked at me and said ” Do you think my idea of fun is sitting on the dirty ground eating my lunch?”. I knew she was done after that. lol.

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3 Jenny June 9, 2011 at 6:51 am

Well, aren’t those just the cutest camp decorations ever? I think you are so right, the first one does remind me of the parent trap. I went to girls camp every summer. Never had a problem going. I loved going and being with friends. I have a daughter on the other hand who cried every night when it was time to go to bed. Because she missed her mommy. Thank heavens she had an Older sister to help her out.

Have a super day!

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4 Jenny P June 9, 2011 at 6:58 am

The only camp I ever went to was my backyard! About half my friends attended sleepaway camp and I could never understand it. As a kid, I thought their parents must hate them if they wanted to send them away as soon as school was out. Of course now I know that’s not the case and that my friends loved camp, but I still know I will not send my son to sleepaway camp. Nolan is only six weeks old so I think he’s a little young for camp anyway :)

PS The Haley Mills Parent Trap is amazing! It took about a dozen people telling me it was one actress before I believed anyone that it wasn’t real twins.

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5 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

I didn’t believe it either! : )

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6 Jenny P June 9, 2011 at 7:01 am

Can I just say how freaked out I was to submit my comment and look back and see another Jenny’s comment? At first I thought, hey! That’s not what I wrote! And then I realized, yes, there are more Jennys out there!

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7 Aliesha Fullerman June 9, 2011 at 7:09 am

I was the shyest kid, but for some reason I always wanted to go away to camp. I think it was from all the books I read where kids went away to camp and had the time of their lives…and movies like The Parent Trap…they made me think I would love it too! So, I would go and then hardly talk to anyone and be terribly homesick the entire time I was there. Two of the years I went, my younger brother and friend went along too, and those years were great–I could always come out of my shell if I had just a little help from knowing someone else. Ahh, memories!

My daughter is only 5 months old, but I believe I’ll send her to camp if she wants to go–not for the whole summer though! My camps were always a week long, and that seems long enough to me.

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8 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

So funny, Aliesha! I love how kids have real personalities even when they’re very young.

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9 porter June 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

Parent Trap was one of my favorite movies growing up and I always wanted to like Haley Mills!!

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10 kristina@beancakes June 9, 2011 at 7:49 am

NICE! i absolutely loved the parent trap ~ it’s one of my favorites actually. i never went away for camp ~ i just did the daily thing, you know, arts and crafts, sports, singing pow-wows & playing in the fire hydrants, {i grew up in D.C.} it was a lot of fun!
xoxo~ kristina

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11 Josephine June 9, 2011 at 7:50 am

I went to a week-long (overnight) horseback riding camp for two years and loved it. Both of my daughters (now ages 13 and 15) attended 4-H camp and I was more nervous to have them be away from me than they were! At their middle school, 6th graders got to go to an outdoor adventure camp for a week as a school trip. It included fun activities like a zip line and kayaking as well as learning about ecology and picking up trash on the beach. It was a great experience for them.

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12 vanessa June 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

We are going to have to watch Parent Trap on a rainy day very soon!

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13 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

I think my kids have only seen the Lindsey Lohan version. I’ll bet they’d love an introduction to Miss Mills.

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14 Sherry June 9, 2011 at 8:00 am

Our kids LOVE camp. They’ve been going for year. Our 16 year old even did the 2-week sailing camp, the whitewater rafting camp, and the camp counselor training camp. She says it’s her favorite place in the world (besides home). Our youngest is leaving soon for 2 weeks. It’s always the same camp–about 2 hours away and all their friends go too. The parents have a big cookout in the neighborhood the first night they are gone and then we all rush home to see what photos the camp has put on their website–because by bedtime we are already missing our kiddos :) It’s such a great experience for them. We love picking up our kids and they sing all the songs the entire way home, talk about the conselors, compare bug bites–it’s like they have a special bond because they’ve all done the polar bear club, climbed the rope swing, and made friendship bracelets all week. LOVE CAMP!

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15 elz June 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

So cute. We all went to sleepaway scout camp. In fact, my favorite camp was Camp Lachenwald in Germany. Years of happy memories. My oldest will go next year and I’m currently debating which camp to send her too. It’s such a fun rite of passage. We love The Parent Trap too!

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16 Sarah October 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

I was just looking through girl scout camp options for my 9 year old for next year. I was a counselor at Camp Lachenwald and started seeing if it was still around. It is but changed location in 2007. It was such a great summer! Camping is such an amazing experience! Sad when kids don’t experience it!

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17 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag June 9, 2011 at 8:16 am

The original Parent Trap is one of my favorite movies of all time! I went to a sleepaway camp in Carmel, California when I was 7 — it was almost 4 weeks long!! And I was from Hawaii, so it was really a haul for me to get there! I went for two summers. I was a very shy kid, but I had a great time. My brother on the other hand, was very social, but he HATED sleepaway camp and refused to go after the first time. For my own daughter, I think we’ll stick to half day local day camps when she is a little older. We’re excited for THE BACKYARD this summer!!

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18 Ana June 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

I never went to Summer camp. so weird.

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19 christy June 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

I LOVED summer camp! That said, I have no idea if I’ll be brave enough to let my own kids go when they’re old enough..times have changed. Or I’m just a scaredy-cat?

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20 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I wonder if current camps outlaw things like cell phones and ipods?

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21 Claire June 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

The camp I went to as a kid allows iPods but no phone calls- at all. There is no cell service, so even if you have your phone it won’t work. And there are no pay phones or any other kind for campers to use. It’s letters/packages or nothing. We had “letter home day” twice a week when we were required to send mail to our house. They checked it against a list! You couldn’t do anything fun unless you had written.

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22 Lilli June 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

I went to an 8 week summer camp for 9 summers and LOVED it. I am now 53 and those are some of the best memories of my childhood. I am still good friends with many of the other campers all of whom cherish the memories. In fact, the camp was the same camp that my father attended when he was a child. ( A few years ago, his bunkmates — all now in their eighties – got together for a 60th reunion.) I always talked joyously about my camp experience with my children so when they were old enough they begged me to go to camp. I know some of the people I worked with thought I must hate my kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love my children. my husband and I saved all year so we could send them to camp. They are now in their 20′s and they too cherish the memories and the friendships and I bet they will want to send their children to camp.

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23 Mary June 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

Grew up overseas, so I never went to camp, but my daughter did. She had a good time, but must admit she came back with so many mosquito bites (despite using bug spray) she looked like she had the measles.

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24 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Oh dear! I’m itchy just reading about it.

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25 Lynne June 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

My daughter went to her first sleep away camp last summer–A wonderful Quaker music camp. My daughter plays the viola, and she also loves to sing–since the camp has a mandatory chorus (as well as private lessons in the camper’s instrument) this camp was a perfect match for my daughter. I had the option of sending her for 2 or 4 weeks. Money would only allow 2 weeks, plus I felt two weeks would be more than enough since it was her first time away from home. Well, she wasn’t a “happy camper” her first week–Everything was so new! And she and her roommate didn’t get along either :-(. Once she got half-way through the second week, however, my daughter called home to see if she could stay for the additional two weeks! Unfortunately we couldn’t make that happen last year, but she will get to go for the full four weeks this year. She can’t wait!

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26 stacy June 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

Yep, and I loved it! Growing up in Arizona, any sort of break from the summer heat was welcome, but this camp also had horse. I got to ride every day. That’s a big deal for an urban, city girl. I cried when I left camp because I didn’t want to leave “my” horse behind.

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27 Dee June 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

I didn’t go to sleep away camp…but I spent every summer in St. Lucia as a kid…not too shabby! I also went away to a ballet summer intensive one year. My boys are going to day camp this summer. My 6 y/o is going to a science/nature camp and my almost 11 y/o is going to an outdoors camp where he will basically be an assistant counselor. He’s going to earn his red cross babysitting certification there, too. My daughter is going to a sleepaway ranch/horse camp (Girl Scouts). I am thinking of volunteering for her camp b/c it sounds so cool!

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28 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

St. Lucia? Sounds good to me! : )

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29 Becca June 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

I grew up going to YW girl’s camp, which should have it’s own movie, don’t you think? I did, however, work at a sleepaway camp in Vermont for three summers and felt that I was living the parent trap! Complete with fancy, high-rolling New York families, cabins, uniforms. The only sad thing about it was seeing a few of the campers go straight from camp to boarding school, year after year.

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30 Corrie Anne June 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I love those movies! I went to camp every year, and it was huge highlight of my summer! We talked about it for months ahead of time and the girls even went “camp shopping.” We bought cute new clothes and snacks to share in our cabins. My fiance and I say that we will send our future imaginary children there someday so we can have a break. He had equally memorable experiences. :)

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31 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I think I would enjoy “camp shopping”.

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32 jen June 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm

i went to sleep away forever! it all started in grade 4 when a camp close to us offered a french week. this way we kept up with our french through the summer. we did that for two years then they abandoned the program and we all ended up just at the regular english version. we were so excited for summer to figure out when we were going to camp – the same group of girls went every year. had a lot of first during those summers – first boyfriend, first kiss. i then myself became a counselor and did that for three summers. i can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to go – some of my best memories are from those summers.

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33 jen June 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

did i forget to mention that this camp was on it’s own little island and you had to take a camp boat to get there and everything?? you really seemed like you went away. the best. we might be moving back to the west coast *newsflash!* and i’m hoping my kids can go to the same camp as me. what a cool tradition to start.

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34 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

What? You had to get there by boat? That’s the coolest!

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35 jen June 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

it was the coolest! for the longest time i thought that all camps were like that as that is all i ever knew. i thought it was strange to see in the movies that people got driven to camp – didn’t seem real somehow. now that i am older and wiser i realize how lucky i was.

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36 Claire June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I LOVE CAMP! I went every summer for 6 years as a camper and then 5 as a counselor to an all-girls sleepaway camp. Only a lake (no pool), no a/c, nothing fancy- old fashioned and fantastic! My kids are too young and camp is too expensive for us to send them (and I only have boys so I’d have to find them somewhere else to go) but if I had the money I would absolutely send my kids to camp. It was one of the most formative experiences of my life. I’m still good friends with many of my camp friends. I would live there if I could- it is still my favorite place in the world! My husband makes fun of me but if you didn’t go then you don’t understand.

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37 Gretchen June 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I went to camp as a kid (only a week at a time) and worked as a counselor for two summers too. Camp is a special place because that is where I met my husband :)

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38 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

How romantic, Gretchen!

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39 Anneliese June 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Never went as a kid. I feel a bit mixed about it. I think they sound fabulous for a week or so, but the summer-long camps seem too much like getting rid of the kids for the summer. I have a friend who was a counselor at one and I’ve heard some sort of sad tales. BUT, I am dying to take my family to a camp during “family week” at the end of their season. Someplace in Massachusetts perhaps. I can live the week I never had! Sounds dreamy.

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40 Kate Reymann June 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I think I watched the Parent Trap about 6 million times as a kid and always wished I could go to that camp. I did go to an Episcopal camp up in Lake Tahoe for a few summers for a week and loved it. This was back before major liabilities and better safety rules because they used to load up the entire camp (about 75 kids) in the back of a Ryder moving van and drive us to the lake everyday. I didn’t think it was strange at all. We would all sing “sipping cider through a straw” all the way there and all the way back. I always longed to go to a three or four week camp but swim team always got in the way.

My kiddo is 2.5 and will be starting day camp at the JCC next week but I already have my eye on the boys summer camp my uncles went to on Squam Lake when he is old enough to go. It looks dreamy. Obviously, he doesn’t have to go if he doesn’t want to but I’d go in a heartbeat if they took 36 year old moms. :-) Oh dear, I just realized I’ll be well past 40 by the time he goes. Eeeep!

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41 Kate June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

My sweet daughter is away at Camp Greystone for 3 weeks right now. Just got my first letter from her today and she says she is having a blast and thanked me for sending her. I miss her like crazy, but I am so happy she gets this time to make friends, play, make crafts, swim and be a little girl. There is something so special and pure about that.

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42 Design Mom June 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

How fun, Kate! I bet her letters are adorable.

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43 Angela June 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Yes and yes! Growing up in California, I went to to camp with my school a few times – yes, during the school year! I also went to week-long overnight camp with my youth group in jr high for several years. I have such great memories!

My 10 year old is going to Girl Scout camp this summer – we’re talking canoing, archery, the works. She is so excited. I am too, since I’m going along as a volunteer!

ps – I used to pretend I was Haley Mills… my fav scene is when they play the guitar & sing when they’re trying to get their parents back together :) Let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah, We can have twice the fu-un!

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44 diana June 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I will have to see that movie!
Went to horse riding camp and brownie camp- hope to send my daughter to both! We camp a fair bit in the summer so she is used to tenting at least! Do you go camping with the kids?

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45 Cat @Breakfast to Bed June 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm

My Hubbs and I both went to/worked at summer camps in Upstate NY/Ohio. Some of my best summer memories happened there. Truly great stuff. We really loved being able to commune with God and nature that way.

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46 HACB June 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm

I LOVE The Parent Trap with Haley Mills. It makes me wish I had gone to sleep-away camp when I was younger.

My husband went to camp in northern Canada for three weeks each summer and then was a counselor at his camp. He has such fond memories of his time at camp so he really wants to send our children.

Oh, and he saved his canoe paddles from his time at camp and we hung one in the nursery for our second child. So I guess we have camp decor already!

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47 Ann June 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I would love these to collect and do a whole wall of these if I had a lake house. I dream of that sometimes but one house to take care of is enough. My boys are going to day camps this summer. Just a week at a time. All different kinds, outdoor, farm, lego. I hope they love them all.

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48 Barchbo June 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm

I love camp!

My son is 8 months old, but he is GOING! Especially if he is an only child.
It can be bumpy, but I think it’s so good. His teachers already comment on how chatty he is, so I think he’ll be okay.

My sister and I can recite THE PARENT TRAP in its entirety. It was the first VHS tape we owned. “Let’s get together, yeah-yeah-yeah!”

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49 meredith June 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

No family gathering was ever complete without my sister’s and I reciting the Parent Trap and our other favorite Mill’s movie, THe Trouble with Angels. Both accompanied to me at the hospital while I labored with baby #1 10 years ago.

I did LDS girls camp several years and EFY and a couple times at girl scout camp when I was little. I always thought only rich kids like on The Parent Trap went to real sleep away camp. I would love to send my kids. I am sure it is out of our league though.

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50 Design Mom June 14, 2011 at 3:44 am

I actually did girls camp every summer since I was 12, but for some reason never think if it as sleep-away camp. Maybe because we were in tents instead of cabins, there were no boys, and it was only for a few days. : )

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51 bdaiss June 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I went to Girl Scout camp for a number of years and always *loved* it. My littles are still much to little for overnight camp, but every now and then the Boy (4.5) does go with my in-laws across the state for the weekend to visit my SIL.

Loved the Parent Trap growing up!

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52 Kelly@TearingUpHouses June 9, 2011 at 9:58 pm

looove parent trap! classic.

i went away to summer camp a couple of times. it was only a couple of weeks each time, but i remember getting so homesick. but i also made really great friends and made some of the best memories.

kelly

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53 nicole @ deliajude June 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm

i am sending my kids to sleep-away camp this summer…grandparent camp for 3 weeks. yippee

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54 Alisa June 11, 2011 at 1:09 am

When I was young I went away to gymnastics camp at Michigan State University. Loved it. Now we run summer art camps for kids in France. Our first group comes on the 18th. We can’t wait to show France to kids who have never been here before, maybe to Paris but not to our rural area. Hopefully we’ll open some eyes and change some lives.

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55 Terri June 12, 2011 at 7:01 am

I went to a few week-long camps when I was a teenage and had a lot of fun. I loved watching Parent Trap while growing up & always fantasized about spending summer at camp!!

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56 Lola June 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I love those signs – and shamefully, I had no idea the Lindsay Lohan version wasn’t the original! Summer camp isn’t a big thing at all here in the UK, but boy did Parent Trap make me want to go … But I went to boarding school, so it was like summer camp all year round, anyway!

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57 Design Mom June 14, 2011 at 3:43 am

Hah! Too funny, Lola. I actually like the Lohan version too. : )

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58 Susan June 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I loved Girl Scout summer camp as a girl, and all my kids did scout camping as they grew up. My oldest daughter is a wilderness guide at Chewonki School/Camp in Maine now, so I have to assume she liked the experience. I think kids need an opportunity to live in the wild in some fashion!

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59 David June 14, 2011 at 10:38 am

Yes, the first day of summer camp is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SSxZZAzIMg

Who is more anxious? Mom or camper?

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60 Claire June 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm

What a great idea! And yes, very Parent Trap!

We don’t have summer camps in Australia (that I know of) but my elder sister went and worked in a camp in Oregon a few years ago and loved it. I imagine it would be a great experience for the kids!

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61 Valerie June 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I still judge all camps by Parent Trap standards: I want the cabins to look just like that. In fact, I discussed that with friends as I visited my daughter at church camp tonight and was properly pleased with the grand little rustic cabins. They were definitely there in 1961. Excellent.

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62 samantha June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm

I wish there could be a camp like the movie WILDCHILD starring EMMA ROBERTS AND ALEX PETTYFER. it’s not really a camp its a bording school in england. it would probually be fun acting out the movie you no thinking your poppi more aka emma roberts who’s going to bording school and gains new friends and ennimies. they should have a camp called “wild Child”. and that would be cool if they bring in the actors emma roberts and alex pettyfer. to show what camp is really about. my friend jenny is from england and she said her and her friends would always talk about the movie wildchild and how they would act out scenes and such. haha sounds fun!

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63 samantha June 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

my favorite show is House of Anubis its a teen nick show its about 8 students but one of the students named joy dissapears. and this new girl moves in Nina Martin and Joys best friend Patrica Willams is mad and wants to no where joy went. and the other 7 fabian ,mick ,jeromne ,alphy,mara and Amber are also part of the anubis house, but then Nina Fabian and Amber, make a club called SIBUNA and they start finding misterys through out the house of anubis and theres a creepy house owner name victor and he has something to do with joy’s dissaperance.
there should be a camp like that!!!! also

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