You hear a series of car horns in the middle of the night. To most people, this indicates a disgruntled driver in the neighborhood. To camp people, the first instinct is: Olympics! Pioneer Days! This is just one of the many examples of what makes “camp people” unique.
Camp is unlike any other experience. You spend two months in the woods, living in a cabin with a group of kids your age and some (really cool) college students. You do everything together; eat meals, sleep, swim, write letters, rock climb, play sports, make up dances, paint pottery – you name it. These experiences cultivate a shared understanding. You develop a respect for one another that’s different from the one you have for peers at school.
Below are some of the things that make camp, CAMP!
There’s nothing like sitting around a crackling campfire under the stars on a Friday night with your summer sisters. You listen to stories, sing songs, and eat s’mores. It’s where you meet your camp big sisters and exchange your first Warm Fuzzy. It’s a shared experience that strengthens the bond of camp friends and represents the unique connection we have with nature. It’s one of camp’s most long-lasting and meaningful traditions, and Timber Tops girls from years past all remember singing the same songs beside Lake Selma. “Mmmmm, I wanna linger, mmmm a little longer, mmmm a little longer with you!”
What exemplifies Camp Timber Tops better than singing? In the dining hall during every meal, around the campfire, and before bed every night are just a few examples of when we come together to sing at camp. We use songs as closure during Olympics and Pioneer Days. We use them to welcome guests and while we wait for judges to deliberate during evening activity. We even have PIZZA and CHICKEN songs! The list goes on. Friends, friends, friends, we will always be…
Anyone who has spent time at camp is familiar with the term “camp arm.” This is used to describe the seemingly endless amount of bracelets that blanket the arms of our campers. The bracelets at camp are certainly not fancy and are not following any specific trend. Friendship bracelets are simple, yet timeless. All you need is string (the more colors, the better), beads, gimp, rubber bands, and just about anything else you can find at Arts & Crafts. They are a reminder of special times with summer sisters and oftentimes remain on camper arms through September!
Now more than ever before, unplugging from the internet at camp has become a sacred tradition. This is something campers come to really appreciate. Interactions become more meaningful, they learn to appreciate time spent outside, they write letters. At camp, there’s no pressure to have the highest number of friends or likes and text messages are replaced with face-to-face conversations. It gets increasingly more difficult with time to imagine keeping ourselves entertained in a room without screens. Then how, we ask, is it possible that you can’t get bored at camp?!
Olympics and Pioneer Days
Down with CTT, up with Olympic games! Something that is unique about CTT is that we have two versions of color war: Olympics (first session) and Pioneer Days (second session). After a big and exciting breakout, campers are broken into red, yellow, green, and blue teams. They show support for their teams by dressing in their colors, from their headbands down to their socks. They lose their voices as they cheer on their teammates in pie eating contests, skits, races, sporting events, and songs. They master the perfect straight line at line-up and can’t be tricked into talking at silent dinner. Tears are shed as these special days come to a close with emotional CA speeches, and CTT unites as one camp family again.
One of the best things about camp is that it allows you to let your guard down and be yourself. It’s cool to be different at camp, and that’s one of the many reasons that camp fosters confidence. Without this added pressure, we’re not afraid to wear underwear on our heads to breakfast (it was a dare!) or a hot dog costume to tennis. Always wanted to dance on stage in a purple wig and tutu? Go ahead! It’s camp.
Everyone is a winner at camp. You are free to try any activity you’d like, no matter what your skill level is. Your camp friends and counselors will be filled with pride as you hit your first home run, master your tennis stroke, or get a leading role in the play. From the beginning of the day when you motivate each other to get to breakfast on time, to doing your assigned job during cleanup, to trying to win the scavenger hunt at evening activity, you spend your day working as a team.
This special summer is a true right of passage for CTT campers. The group of campers going into 10th grade choose a special group name and song at the end of their 9th grade summer. Rather than being referred to as individual bunks, they are united by their chosen CA name. The CAs are role models and big sisters to the rest of camp. Like counselors, they get to learn how to assist with activities, supervise bunks, and even get to take a day off! They truly lead the camp in spirit and sportsmanship and make each summer unique and special for all of our campers!
All of the above elements of camp represent tradition. The word “tradition” is used to describe customs that are passed down from generation to generation. Whether you went to CTT in 1965 or 2015, you likely had many of the same experiences. These generational ties are an incredibly special part of camp. These traditions include creek stomping, Banquet, Warm Fuzzies, Wishing Boats, Friday night campfires, Jelly Beans (formerly known as peanuts!), the camp play, Polar Bears Club and many more. Camp traditions are sacred and represent some of the best childhood memories that Timber Tops girls have at camp and beyond.
What are some other things that only camp people understand?