I walked into a building today that smelled exactly like the cabins at Camp Eberhart. The smell, combined with the extreme heat, took me directly back to the hot summer weeks spent there when I was young.
The memory triggered most clearly by this olfactory sensation was of nap time, the period of the day between lunch and afternoon activities. Seeing as most of us were between nine and fourteen years old, nap time was really for the counselors.
You know? When you're little, you take naps because you need them to survive the intense day of growing, playing and imagining. After that, for a good six years, you hate naps. Then, the average person (my family not included) learns to enjoy naps again. So, the beloved nap time was really for those college kids.
I remember we would lay in our beds in the 100 degree cabins, writing letters home (we were gone for six whole days, now) and waiting, just waiting for the snacks to be delivered.
We'd whisper quietly, only to be hushed by the counselors trying to sleep, and stare out the windows.
Every camper had an account at the store that their parents paid off at the end of the week, so you could pretty much order anything you wanted at the store. My personal favorite were the Sour Skittles.
Some lucky person was assigned the job of going to the store to get the snacks that day. It was a coveted job for a few reasons: 1) You got to be outside during most of nap time. 2) You got to talk to the other snack people. 3) (Most importantly) You got the snacks first.
It was a little bit tricky because you actually had to journey quite a long distance with a heavy, blue plastic crate full of candy, chips and drinks for the entire cabin of hungry girls.
I remember one time, when I was the snack girl on Wednesday, the 11&12 cabin snack boy asked me to go to the dance with him on Friday. Unfortunately, I was only in the 9&10 cabin. I told him this, but of course, he did not believe me.
He said, "I know you're in 11&12, you just don't want to go with me to the dance."
And I said, "Actually, I'm in 9&10. I'm just tall. And we're having an ice cream social."
And then he probably was either (a.) Feeling rejected or (b.) jealous we were having an ice cream social, and all he got to do was go to the dance (alone, apparently).
I'd imagine he was probably more concerned about the ice cream. Luckily, the snacks were soon delivered, and he got a Drumstick, so his ice cream desires were temporarily satisfied.
To be completely honest, it scares me a little that I still have such a keen recollection of the entire saga, down to the ice cream he was eating (and the fact that it quickly melted and dripped on his red Nike shirt before we parted ways at the 9&10-11&12 split) .
But, that's the beauty of those olfactory bulbs. I'm just glad that the room I walked into this morning didn't smell like the infirmary at Eberhart, because the time I skinned my knee while playing capture the flag was the worst! I'm not trying to relive that.
*Note: I'd like to apologize for failing to blog on the 40th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination. I understand that you may question my devotion the the Kennedy family due to this failure (Courtney, ahem), but I promise my oversight is not due to a lack of concern for their well being. I was just distracted by playing in the sun.