Remember summer camp? It was always the very best week of the whole summer. I used to get all tingly as a kid, just thinking about it. You got to leave your parents and chores and regular life behind and if you played your cards right, you didn’t have to see your siblings at all if you didn’t want to. For a whole, entire week.
Of course, by the time the week was up, you missed everyone terribly and were ready to head home, but for those magical few days, anything was possible.
I grew up in New York, but I went to camp in California with my cousins. Not that we were wealthy, by any stretch of the imagination, but my Dad worked for TWA, so every summer, Dad put my bother and me on a plane and my aunt scooped us up at the other end.
It wasn’t a regular camp, either. My parents are German and so we went to “German camp,” put on by a local German church. It didn’t mean we hung around speaking German; it just meant all the kids came from German families, so there was an instant sense of belonging that was often missing at other times in my life.
Camp was always a surprise, too, because it was held somewhere different every year. One year we camped on the beach; another year we went to a campground in the mountains. But always, always, there was laughter and late-night giggling, drama and tears, games and crafts and fabulous food—since they brought the church ladies along to do the cooking.
I’d been seriously missing those wonderful days when I stumbled upon the perfect grown-up solution: summer camp for writers. Put on by the folks at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), Camp NaNoWriMo offers a virtual escape to “An idyllic writer’s retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life.”
Doesn’t that sound perfect? CampNaNoWriMo starts today and runs all month. Come for as long as you can and get that novel out of your head and onto the page.
If you want, they’ll even assign you a cabin with a couple of fellow writers.
Care to join me? Just go to Camp NaNoWriMo to sign up. (It’s free!) Let me know you’re coming and I’ll save you a couple of s’mores.
And if you have a favorite summer camp story to share, I’d love to hear it.