Humor Parenting

So Long to the Many Characters at Summer Camp!

By Nicole Hardy of She Emerges

Summer camp is winding down, and I’ve gotten to know many of my daughter’s new friends better than I had hoped or expected.

Last week, a 6-year-old boy stricken with diarrhea of the mouth began exposing family secrets, mostly to horribly embarrass his mother. He yapped away about how his mommy gulps down grape juice each night with dinner and wont give him a sip because it’s some kind of gross medicine just for adults. Oddly, he doesn’t think it works at all since he hears his poor momma sick in bed, making peculiar noises while Daddy stays up late trying to make her feel better. (Ewwwwww.)

“Mr. Truthful,” as I now call him, outed his mom on more medical quandaries, leaving me fearful that my admission that “I tinkle when I sneeze, too” may become fair game in a tête-à-tête with the teacher. So I kept my distance from Chatty Charlie and starting carefully observing my daughter’s summer camp posse.

Call them interesting, insightful or downright hilarious, here’s a list of summer camp characters I’ve gotten to know along the way:

The Rockstar

She shows up late every morning with knotted hair, wearing over-sized aviator sunglasses and henna tattoos plastered all over her bruised legs, saying “Wasssuuup” with a scratchy voice like she’s been raging all night at a Metallica concert.

The Allergy-Stricken

He eats a bowl of dry Cheerios for morning snack and regularly has a gluten-free sandwich for lunch, which equates to a slice of turkey rolled up around a bed of kale. His picture is on the wall to identify him as a potential “code red” if the lunch lady makes a ghastly mistake with the menu, and Lord, I hope he’s got an EpiPen.

Kim Kardashian

The only kid whose parents let her bring an iPhone to camp, she incessantly takes selfies during centers because she signed up for “photography” and actively uses Snapchat on water day, rocking her polka dot bikini.

The Social Coordinator

This child knows EVERY single mom, dad, nana, pop-pop, and auntie on a first name basis and notoriously suckers every unprepared, unlucky bastard into sharing their personal cell phone number and vacation schedules for her playdate planning calendar.

The American Girl Doll

The ever-so fabulous, real-life American Girl doll dazzles her friends with a fabulous twirl dress adorned with sequins and lace, along with miraculously scuff-free ballet flats and a large white bow in her tightly curled, stiffly sprayed bouffant that’s picture perfect in every way.

The Bully

Persistently hogs the one and only classroom computer, flicks off other children behind the camp instructor’s back, and doesn’t share crap. Ever.

Linus from Charlie Brown

A quirky 8-year-old thumb-sucker who uses his free hand to hold his tattered Star Wars blanket and offers wisdom to other campers before he has a panic attack when the Bully hides his beloved blankie.

Kate Middleton

Graceful, soft spoken, and highly adored. Receives hugs from everyone except the Rockstar before she can wedge her way into the door. She is the first person chosen to be on a team and enjoys creating posters for humanitarian campaigns she independently organizes throughout the summer session.

The Kiss-Ass

Receives the evil-eye from 95% of her annoyed peers (minus Kate Middleton) for performing self-initiated duties to gain praise and an extra goodie from the treasure chest. Each day she can be found passing out afternoon snacks of goldfish and juice boxes to everyone (except the Allergy-Stricken) long before the camp counselor asks.

The Stuntman

Lacks the ability to keep both of his feet on the floor simultaneously, and is either jumping off a piece of furniture or karate chopping his friends like he is on the set of a Bruce Lee movie.

The Victim

Typically sulks in the corner with his arms tightly folded across his chest while blaming his highly strategic opponent again for cheating during another round of checkers. Because it’s JUST.NOT. FAIR!

The Interrupter

Destroys the beauty of a complete sentence by interjecting her thoughts immediately after three words are spoken by anyone who dares to start a conversation in her presence.

Mr. Truthful

You’ve already met him, but be prepared; he’s got some dirt on you and may use it one day to blackmail you into the playdate you keep avoiding. So be sure to feverishly speak in code in his presence, because more than likely, you will see him again next year.

While I am sad to say goodbye to our newfound friends, I’m happy we met because summer wouldn’t have been the same without them.


About the Author

Nicole Hardy is a 40ish-year-old mom of two, obsessed with coffee, her children and her hair. After 14 years in Corporate America, she’s ditched her cubicle for her calling, and launched her blog: She Emerges. She’s finding herself, feeding her soul, and baby she’s emerging! Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.