Football Camp

I took the photo for this post from my office window earlier this week.  Our building looks out on the college football practice field where a high school football camp was in session.  It is always rather entertaining to see them run around, skip, hop, and tackle while the instructors scoot around on golf carts.  I can hear the grunts and sounds of  tackle impacts all the way up to my fourth floor window. There must have been a hundred players.  Their buses fill the college parking lot.  Many come from little towns from Montana or the eastern part of North Dakota, and get to stay in the college dorms for the duration of the camp. We can hear them clatter past our building in their cleats on their way to the practice field.

You can always tell who the local campers are, since they drive their own vehicles, park along the drive up to my building, and then strip down to their skivvies while they change into their football uniforms.  We drive past them on our way to our parking lot. Some have the decency to go behind the large spruce trees that line the drive, but most just stand there in their shorts while they change.

I never went to a sports camp in high school, but trips for speech and music were both fun and stressful at the same time.  I hope the boys at the camp had the same sort of experiences.  I have worked at my agency for 18 years, and I have seen the local campers  in their underwear every year. They sort of signify the arrival of summer, just like the return of the swallows to Capistrano.  I think, though, that I would find the birds more interesting.

What are some of your high school camp and activity memories?

42 thoughts on “Football Camp”

  1. Good post, Renee. According to the latest rules for the Trail, we need not apologize excessively for OT comments.

    My daughter, grandson and erstwife are on the road from Oregon to Michigan. Their route takes them from one tourist attraction to the next as they move toward a new life on the shores of Lake Huron.

    Liam, now seven, has begun to experiment with cursing. When he beheld the Morning Glory Hot Springs he yelped, “Oh, sweet Jesus!” Molly was quick to correct him, saying she was disappointed to hear him talk so.

    But when Old Faithful erupted, Liam cried, “Sweet Jesus!” again. And got corrected again.

    Molly was driving a tiny asphalt trail when a bison erupted from the grass along the road and dashed in front of their car. Two huge bison lumbered after the first one. “Holy shit!” cried my astonished daughter.

    From the back seat, a voice noted, “Mom, I’m disappointed in you.”

    Liked by 8 people

        1. My son called my mother “Fart Face” once while visiting her without me. She was in a real huff about it and called to ask me where he might have learned such a term, tacitly accusing me of poor parenting. It was a new term to me, so I did not know. This from someone who could swear a blue streak in her day.

          But I certainly understood his need to say it.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Well, I have found that certain boys (and this may well apply to girls, too, just not the ones I’ve lived with) don’t need to have heard certain terms before they say them, especially if it has to do with certain extremely funny body parts or sounds that bodies make. One of the twins thinks “butt” is just about the funniest thing ever and attaching “butt” to any other word makes the world’s biggest and best joke. Hence, we hear things like “book butt” or “table butt” etc. followed by loud laughter frequently. He also thinks that having a big butt is desirable so if he says you have a big butt, it’s best to take it as a compliment. So I could see that Fart Face could be just something humorous to your son and not meant as something mean.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Given their relationship, he meant it to be mean and to prompt her to back off. I get it too. I would have also said it had I been able to get away with it.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I must be really old. I attended church camp in grade school and junior high. By the the time I was in High School, there were no camps. But then there were no girls’ sports, either. Girls were entirely expendable in my High School world, unless, of course, you needed a baby sitter or a girlfriend.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My church camp was Camp Onamia (Oh-nah-MEE-yah), not to be confused with the similarly named town Onamia (Oh-NAY-mee-yah). No fancy stuff, just cabins, a waterfront, a little canteen for buying candy in the afternoon, and the campfire circle. We were Lutheran – anything more would have been prideful, and therefore, all together sinful.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember riding the bus to Girl Scout day camp, singing all the stupid songs we did. I was in sports in high school, so when we had to travel to different schools for volleyball games or track tournaments, we would come home by bus late at night doing the crazy stunts high school girls will do. I was usually too shy to be a part of it, but it was fun nonetheless.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Not really. I think one time we thought it was really funny to put our butts up against the windows with our head on the seat (fully clothed, of course). Anything seemed crazy to me because I was so serious and intense in high school.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. in my high school days i had the vw van and let my dad know i needed to go explore before responsability stole the ability to do so. i attended the nation parks tour the summer of 1971 and 1972 west tot he mountains the north to canadian rockies over to vancouver and down the coast to california. after high school i went on my winter true before settling in as a worker in the world,
    i was laughing at the thought that my 16 year old new to driving is now the same age i was when i ventured out into the world. i was so much older than the 16 year olds today. i think it was knowing that at age 18 you were headed for viet nam that made me age so fast. i was really worried about it.
    i did outdoorsie camps as a little kid. get on the bus at the corner and go to the park where 17 year olds taught us to make fires and pick berries and sing group songs for a two week ditty. i went to st johns leadership camp with cousin dan from ( for you bill) fargo and had fun smoking cigarettes in the woods by the secret rope swing and sleeping in the dorms with freezing cold showers every morning.
    my kids now thats another story. i had the money for the first wave to go where ever they wanted. football , baseball basketball sovcer swimming band camp acting, my oldest got kicked out of karate camp for hacking some little kids throat the first day. (isnt that what karate is all about? didnt the instructor watch the pink panther.
    i was the dad in residence sleeping with the lilttle enthusiasts often. had one kid in the dorm at hamline who wouldnt stop crying the first night of camp. at about 12 or 1 i was instructed to call his parents to coma and get him from albert lea or where ever. about 2 hours later they arrived but he stayed awake sobbing in the dark corner at the entry way. isnt if funny that you remember how hot and humid those dorms are with no air conditioning and hundreds of little boys fidgeting all through the night. waking up to find the bathroom the hall or scared to be away from (bill)home.
    i was the compassionate hard ass who comforted them and laid down the law that they needed to go back and put their head on the pillow

    Liked by 4 people

  5. When I was growing up summer camp wasn’t really a thing. I never went off to Camp – I just messed around and played in the neighborhood with my friends. In high school I did take some summer school classes, more to get them out of the way then because I was interested. 6 hours of biology a day for 5 weeks seemed much better to me than a whole year of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I finally went to Church Camp after I think it was 9th grade, at Lake Okoboji. I remember two things – being out on some boat on the water hoping to experience God (which was one of our goals for the week, if memory serves). The other was sitting at the table of Charlie, a favorite adult and probably director, as he led us singing “Let Us Break Bread Together on our Knees”, which I found really moving and it sometimes brought me to tears. Realized much later that the communal singing was where I “found God”.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I mostly did not attend summer camps. In some parts of the country there is a strong tradition of sending kids to one or more summer camps. That tradition is particularly strong in the northeast and particularly weak in the middle of Iowa at the time I was growing up.

    My erstwife, whose roots were in New York, insisted that our daughter attend camps. She went to French language camp entirely against her will and came home proud of the fact she had not learned a word of French. She had more positive experiences in her two Chinese camps. After an accident she was treated by a visiting Chinese doctor who cured her deep bone bruise with a poultice of ground deer antlers. My daughter adored her Chinese doctor, partly because he had smuggled a tiny monkey into the US when he came. It lived in his shirt pocket.

    The boy scout camp I attended was a miserable experience, brightened only by my induction into the Royal Order of Siam. That was fun.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hmmm, I’m not sure what to tell you, Renee. You really need the atmospherics of a camp at night in the woods to do this right. You should have a lot of silly kids around a campfire. The inductee is given solemn instructions for the ritual that might allow him or her to join the Royal Order. That person addresses the fire and shouts the magic words: “Owah tagoo Siam! Owah tagoo Siam!” The inductee is encouraged to do this faster and louder until at last the magic happens.

        It always works.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. The Order of Siam? Reminds me of what my dad would do to us sometimes for fun. He would tell us something like, “in order to reach enlightenment, you have to chant this phrase over and over, until you understand.” So we would chant over and over again: “owah tagoo siam”. It took us a while to achieve the “realization” and my mom would chide dad for making us say that. My dad had a wry and ironic sense of humor.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. I took field biology in the summer months, for extra credit toward graduation. We would assemble at the high school in the morning, pile into the teacher’s pickup truck, and go to parks and fish hatcheries and wildlife refuges and that sort of thing. Identified trees and rocks and birds. I remember collecting leaves from trees and pressing them into an album with the type of tree identified on each page.

    I don’t think it would be allowed today, since we were riding around in the back of a pickup without restraints of any kind. The guys were sort of prone to horsing around – it’s probably just luck that none of them ever fell out of the moving truck.

    It was just fun, not stressful at all.

    The best thing was that I got to finish high school a semester early, because of the extra credits.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I went to only one camp during my youth: a girl scout camp on the island of Tåsinge. We were about a dozen fourteen year old girls along with two young adult female leaders. Public transportation in the form of train, bus and ferry were used to get there. We camped in tents, prepared all our own food, hiked and foraged in the woods, swam and frolicked on the sandy beach, and sang songs around a campfire at night. Perfect!

      One morning, midweek, we awoke to find our camp had been “raided” during the night. All of the tents had been collapsed around us while we were sleeping inside, and our pots and pans were gone. The culprits turned out to be the boy scouts from a neighboring camp.

      The following night we had great fun exacting our revenge. We stole their entire stash of toilet paper and uniforms that were hung on a clothes line. The next morning, clad in PJs and waving a white flag, Colonel Læssøes troop came to our camp with a peace offering. They invited us to their camp for dinner that evening, performing skits and singing around a campfire. Would that all of our skirmishes could be that easily resolved. Sixty years on, the memory still makes me smile.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. i really wanted to do outward bound as a 12 or 13 year old . i read about one in colorado and really wanted to go but it was way beyond hope to fork up dough to go camp. my dad thought maybe we could look at the boundry waters before the boundry water was a park but i wasnt interested.. i really wanted the mountains. i remember one on my questions asked by natural voodoo doctor ( homeopathic ) it was do you prefer mountains or ocean. i like ocean but mountains was a hands down choice.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Honestly, I didn’t do any high school camps or activities. I just never was terribly interested and way too introverted to do those things. And at 16, I started working at the DECC. Which meant that I was typically working on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

    My folks did sign me up for little league when I was in 6th grade. Totally hated it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. No camps for me either. Once, long before high school, I went to a day camp. For a week. Not my favorite time.

    No such thing as camps for high schoolers where I was, and even if there had been, I wouldn’t have gone. I did no extracurricular activities and never even went to a high school football or basketball game. Not once.

    I did join 4H for one year, in late grade school, because that’s what kids in my family did. Hated it and dropped out.


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