summercampI get it, parents need a break in the Summer, and camp is what people do. I mean it is a childhood rite of passage is it not? Loads of movies and youth themed books are set at Summer Camp. It sounds ideal, but as in all things shiny, the reality isn’t all that perfect.

First of all, for those of us who aren’t raising our children with any religion, try finding a camp that isn’t put on by the local Baptists or Seventh Days or whatevers. I don’t want to send my kid away for a week and have him come back a Mormon.

Then, if you are lucky enough to find a camp that isn’t enforcing the Lord’s prayer over marshmallows, it is a theme of some sort. No seriously, there is Engineering camp, Computer Camp, Fat Camp, Theatre camp.. the “all horses all the time” camp was on the list. Look out for Band Camp – they aren’t blowing flutes. There is even a camp for annoying yoga chicks… oh no wait, that is the gym down the street that I don’t go to. Never mind.

Still on the hunt for  “normal” camp I found a few promising options… then checked out the prices. Damn people, I didn’t expect you to give the kid a nose job and a master’s degree in that week… why so expensive?

Then the idea of putting a bunch of near teens all together in one place and teach them to sing Kumbaya… maybe. But then realizing that they do swimming and water sports out on a lake that smells more like a bog, being overseen by pimply and easily distracted teen counsellors? Even if I thought they could be trusted to keep my child safe, I worry about some of the other “adults” that are drawn to hanging out at camps. I read the news people…

Maybe camp is perfectly safe and somehow worth the money. Maybe my experience with bible camp was somehow unusual, but we had a lot of access to contraband – serious contraband for that week. There were also many couplings going on in the shrubbery and it wasn’t always the counsellors… mostly, but not always.

I think I will go with my gut on this one. No camp this Summer. Maybe not ever.


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(Photo credit: Fundacioesplaigirona via Wikimedia Commons)


Our Editor-in-Chief Magnolia Ripkin is sort of like your mouthy Aunt who drinks too much and tells you how to run your life, except funny... well mostly funny... like a cold glass of water in the face. She writes a flagrantly offensive blog at Magnolia Ripkin Advice Blog answering pressing questions about business, personal development, parenting, heck even the bedroom isn't safe. She is the Editor in Chief at BluntMoms. Other places to find her: Huffington Post, The Mighty and Modern Loss. You can also check her out in two amazing compendiums of bloggers who are published in “I Just Want To Be Alone.” And most recently, Martinis and Motherhood, Tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF


  1. I agree with you on the religious camps but my boys went to Camp Summit in Squamish this year & loved it. No religious overture; they’re were still half Jewish agnostics four days later.

  2. You may need to broaden your horizons a bit there darling. I went to “bible” camp as a kid and it didn’t destroy me. Now, it was the United Church so pretty much anything goes but seriously camp is great. Don’t let your kid miss out because you think it’s “creepy”. Nothing wrong with exposing young ones to new adventures and experiences even if it’s against your non-religion.

    • I have sent them to a Christian day camp in the past. They still talk about it, and not in a good way. Clowns scare them and so do people speaking in tongues apparently.

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