Top row, last kid on the left.
This is a picture of me at camp.
Student Council Leadership Camp.
From the writing on the board it looks like I belonged to the Lincoln tribe. I suppose it was a great place to be. It's ironic that I belonged to the "Honest Abe" sector at this camp because it is now my duty to inform you that I had no business being there.
I never served as a representative, a board member, or on the cabinet of any school Student Council in my life, before, or after this picture was taken.
I remember my mother waking me up on the first day of summer vacation and driving me far, far away from home, too far in fact for me to walk back home if I got the notion, and too far to remember my way back anyway. She didn't even let me finish my Pop Tart. I could have left crumbs to find my way home. I think she drove in circles just to confuse me and through some bad neighborhoods to scare me. She had three other kids that didn't drive her crazy like me. I guess Student Council Camp was the answer.
I remember this camp was at a Seminary and we all fervently hoped to see some boys. It wouldn't have done us any good as any boys we might have seen had taken a vow of celibacy and wouldn't have looked at us anyway. For the record, we didn't see one man, child, or animal other than girls, ladies and women at this camp. I'm beginning to see a theme here from my last post.
I also remember that it was my birthday while I was away at camp. I made sure everyone knew it too. I revealed this information at dinner the night before my birthday and then told all my new camp pals that the gift shop was open the next day from 8 to 1 and that I had left a wish list under my pillow in case anyone was interested. The next day I was showered with toothbrushes, toothpaste, a toothbrush holder, a shower cap and some Dial soap. I found out later that they searched the wrong bed for my list and picked up the kid next to my bed's checklist of things her mother sent from home.
My parents didn't forget my birthday. They sent a chocolate orange. I felt like Tiny Tim. I also received a card telling me to behave ( like I was someone else ?) and not to shame my family in any way. It was a shame that they sent that measly foil wrapped chocolate orange, that's what it was. I do remember telling "Abe's Babe's" that I was an orphan who had been adopted by my cruel family. I had the full sympathy of my camp troop from that moment on. They rallied around and sang "Happy Birthday" as I let each of them take a small bite or lick of my orange slice. They shared their tater tots and gave me extra dessert that night. I told them that I was probably going to be up for adoption again if any of them were interested, especially after my parents found out about my little (big) white lie.
Soon camp was over and I had to go home. I packed up my hundred toothbrushes and remaining sliver of orange and waited forlornly by the gates for someone to come get me. My mom drove up in the family car and honked the horn. I stood up and bid my pals a tearful goodbye as she loaded the trunk with my suitcases.
I got in the car and my mom asked me how camp was.
"Fine." I answered.
"Just fine," she pressed me for more information but I didn't feel like talking just then.
When we got home I jumped out of the car anxious to see everyone. I opened the door and ran through the kitchen. There on the table was pile of gifts, a birthday cake, and some party hats. I ran back the way I came and met my mother at the door and said, "If you get any calls in the next few days about an orphan for adoption, just hang up."