Footloose and fancy free…

A couple of weeks ago, I made the near 13-hour drive to pick up my youngest son from camp, all on my own.

I was quite content to drive all by my lonesome.  I relished the quiet.  On the other hand, I loved cranking up the Classic Rock and Alternative 80’s stations when I needed a little pick-me-up.  Pandora, the music app, was my constant companion.

Then, of course, there was the hotel room…


Freezing cold.

Big, fluffy comforter.


No Nickelodeon.

No pillow fights.

Just me and the…

Blackout curtains.

And, no alarm.

One night of pure, unadulterated aloneness and bliss.


The next day, I drove the last 3-4 hours and met my sister- and brother-in-law.  They were there to get their two kiddos from camp, as well.  My brother-in-law, Gregg, was going to one camp, near town, to get their daughter, while Sherri and I drove about an hour out of town to gather our boys.

While driving out to the camp, she and I discussed how much fun the boys must have had while at camp.  …how sad they would be to leave. …what they learned, both spiritually and in their basketball specialty clinic… and …how different this year’s experience at camp was different from last year’s experience… We couldn’t wait to find out all about it!

We knew it would take the boys a few days, maybe weeks, for us to hear all the gory details about camp; they are boys after all.  But, Sherri and I were excited to share in their experiences, even if it was a little bit at a time.  So, we asked a few questions on the ride back to the hotel.

Here’s what we learned about the boys’ camp experience:

  • The boys did have more fun than imaginable this year.
  • They were sad to be leaving.
  • They learned a great deal about God and His love for them.
  • And, yes, this year was even better than last year! (Sorry, Disney, camp is the happiest place on earth!)

But, that’s not all.

Sherri and I also enlightened by the following:

  • No matter how many times you tell your son before he leaves for camp to hang up his wet board shorts and to NEVER put them in his laundry bag with the dry clothes, he will forget.  Every single year.
  • Did you know a boy can go two weeks without actually using shampoo?  Rinsing off in the shower and chlorinated pools apparently suffice.
  • One whiff of a laundry bag full of dirty, sweaty, mildewing camp clothes can knock the breath out of you for a good 6 minutes; it’s quite terrifying and revolting.  I suggest you never, ever try it.  Even if your son dares you to smell the laundry bag….
  • Did you know a boy can go two weeks wearing the same 3 shirts and the same two pair of shorts?
  • Never send a boy to camp with new tennis shoes; they will not return in a condition worthy of keeping.  Burn them immediately.

And, most importantly…

  • Did you know a boy can go two weeks at camp without wearing underwear?  It’s apparently quite possible.  But, I don’t want to think about it anymore.
The End.  Forever.




  1. Sherri Rogers

    The smell of that camp trunk will be forever etched in my mind and I cannot hear the word “camp” without thinking of that smell…

    • Elizabeth Simmons

      Oh, Nana…that’s why we love you so much!!
      But, believe me, you wouldn’t have wanted to stick your nose in that laundry bag either…

  2. Pingback: Chief | Out to Lunch...

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