Originally posted September 27, 2005
There is a hardy amount of legitimate reasons why I hate girl’s camp. The whole crazy idea that it turns everyone into drama mode for a whole week…you got it folks, a whole week. And all of that “girls camp in Utah is different that everywhere else” business, is a bunch of monkey baloney, if you are a girl and are required to wear a bandana and carry a camp book of songs, then its all the same (and I am sure the craft tent in New Jersey produces the same ‘families can be together forever’ puff paint portrait as in Utah too.)
Anyway, having gone to camp a few years, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. So for you future mothers or mothers with girls coming on camp age I have some helpful strategies to follow so that your little beehive will have a good time:
1. Don’t cut their hair shorter than the deacons.
And that is all I could come up with.
Twice I visited girl’s camp and both times I was mistaken for a boy. Now if you are wondering why I was determined to have and keep short hair all of my childhood, if I was commonly mistaken for a boy. Well, for one reason I seriously thought that Demi Moore copied my haircut for the movie ‘Ghost’, and then it just confirmed to me that the haircut was awesome (well, it was for a 20 year old, not a 9 year old).
I was loading the bus and noticed the bus driver staring at me sharply; I was timid and rushed to the back of the bus and sat down by my cousin. I looked up and saw his piercing eyes glaring at me in the long rectangle mirror near the windshield. In my mind I kept thinking, “why is he staring at me? What’s the deal?” Then it happened. He could see that I was looking at him in that long rectangle mirror too, and he lifted his hand up and motioned me with his pointer finger. I ignored it, looked out the window. Then he yelled:
I ignored it again. What did I do wrong? Why does he want me? Then in the corner of my eye I watched him pick up the dispatcher device and instantly the bus with 50 loud young girls screaming and yapping with excitement became quiet and still.
“Hey, you in the back of the bus” the driver began, “No boys aloud at camp, is this a joke? Who are you here with?”
My heart was breaking with every word and I knew he was talking to me. All at once, all the girls stood up to see who’s brother was being devious and snuck on the bus without anyone knowing. Sounds like a harmless practical joke and this time the girls began laughing all at once, and my cousin looked at me and said
“Steph, I think he is looking at you.”
Tears began swelling as I crept down further in my seat.
“Hey get off the bus before I notify someone to help you off”
He was cruel, and fat. I kept thinking to myself, well at least I’m not fat you big fat loser! Finally he stood up and walked to the back where I was. Each footstep shook the bus. The bus was quiet with a few whispers here and there. My heart was racing now. What would I tell him, how could I possibly PROVE to this fat man that I was indeed a girl.
Finally he reached my seat and put his hand on my shoulder,
“young man, no boys are allowed at camp”
I looked up with him as a sizzling tear dripped down my cheek.
“B-but I’m a girl,” I said nervously.
He looked at me with an unexpected stare and looked at my cousin who nodded quietly.
Then he walked away and off the bus. I looked up through my tear-glazed eyes and the girls looked at me with pity and embarrassment. Slowly they turned around in their seats and began the whispering tittle-tattle.
The fat bus driver began conversing with my leader outside and then nodded. He walked back on the bus and sat down glancing in the back through the mirror with awkwardness.
I had short, short hair and looked no more than like a girl than Michael Jackson looks black.
My first year at girls camp I was able to go with my mother who happened to be a leader in the stake. We decided at free time to take a walk on one of the beautiful paths. Soon enough we came upon “Papa Joe” as they all called him. He was the caretaker of the land. He was pilling wood on his quad. We nodded and said hello, except he didn’t say hello back, instead he said:
“Ahhh, Excuse me sister” he spoke to my mother then he looked at me with that familiar glare.
“No boys allowed at camp- period. No matter the age, that is a strict rule we have to abide by”
My mother glared at him and I looked away,
“This is my DAUGHTER.”
Then we walked away leaving Papa Joe looking more like ‘Sloppy Joe.’
“Oh, sorry about that.”
He said as he began rattling off a bunch of reasons why he was excused for his endearing remark. (And this is what everyone says)
1. Its dark out here, and the light is bad.
2. My glasses are not on
3. I am old
We left him in his tracks explaining these reasons, and I said to my mother
“Maybe this summer I should grow my hair out?”
“Oh, that would look really good on you darling” my mother agreed.
Then it happened, just like a character in one of Judy Blume’s books. One morning I woke up and looked in the mirror. I was changed. I had female parts…overnight. After that, I was no longer mistaken for a young man.