Things I’ve Learned at Camp Haiastan – U. Arev Dinkjian

A List of Things I’ve Learned

This summer marks my 14th year at Camp Haiastan—fifth on staff. Here’s what I’ve learned as I chalk my name up onto the Five Year Club plaque:

  • Bug juice is not actually made from bugs; however, that does not mean you won’t ever find one floating around in your cup.
  • Camp is no place for white sneakers.
  • There is nothing more important to a younger group camper than Camp Store.
  • Don’t start a round of “Che-Che-Goo-Leh” unless you’re prepared to lose your voice.
  • You don’t have time to read. Leave your book at home.
  • Lecture night really isn’t all that bad…so long as the lecturer brings candy.
  • If Like a Prayer is playing, you dance—period.
  • Although counselors are supposed to be the positive roles modes, they can learn a whole lot from their campers. It doesn’t take much to just listen.
  • There is no mercy when it comes to 4-square.
  • If a water balloon is filled too much, it won’t pop when you pelt a camper with it. Always leave a small air pocket.
  • Three parts lemonade. One part bug juice.
  • The trust fall isn’t so scary when you know the hands that will catch you belong to the people who would never let you fall.
  • First-time parents have a harder time adjusting than their first-time campers.
  • No one likes the green freeze pops.
  • One camp day is the equivalent to about three months in the real world.
  • Find your Free Swim buddy before you walk up to the pool.
  • It’s common courtesy to dance with your snowball partner for at least the entire duration of Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.
  • The copier works when it wants to.
  • A paddle boat seems like a good idea, but it’s not. Always go with a canoe.
  • Rain does not ruin a day.
  • Two weeks can change your life.
  • Joe is a pleaser. He’ll take on more work than he can handle.
  • If you don’t take the dance theme seriously, you’re missing half the fun.
  • Traditions are what make camp camp, but there is always room to make it better than it was.
  • It’s possible to survive a summer without AC, cable television and peanut butter.
  • The ducks are much friendlier than the geese.
  • You’re going to smell. Good news is: so will everyone else.
  • The detective game clues seldom point to the actual killer.
  • Just put some witch hazel on it.
  • Senior Olympics is really just a big camp reunion.
  • It’s possible to get sick of vanilla birthday cake with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles. It’s not possible, however, to get sick of chipwiches.
  • The tears that fall on the last Sunday feel different than the tears that fall after you’ve been hit in the shin with a hockey stick.
  • The first day of Camp can be bitter sweet. It may be just the beginning, but it’s also one day closer to its end.

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