Today we are looking at two books, “Letters from Camp” by Bill Adler (1962), and “Kids’ e-mail & letters from camp” by Bill Adler, Jr. (2000).
When reading today’s title did you immediately think about any letters YOU may have written to home from while you were at camp? How many years did you go to camp? What is your fondest memory? Both of these books I ordered on line and they arrived a month ago and I have enjoyed going through them.
“Letters from Camp”
In “Letters from Camp” by Bill Adler at the beginning of the book in A Note of Explanation “… You will notice that most of the letters in this book are very short. There is a reason for that. It seems to be an unwritten law among our children that, if you can’t say it in less than 25 words, don’t say it at all…”
Here are two excerpts: “Dear Folks, I am sending you twenty postcards today so I won’t have to write for these rest of the summer. Love, MONTE”.
and this one:
“Dear Mom and Dad,
Monday we played baseball.
Tuesday we went rowing.
Wednesday we went on a hike.
Thursday we had a campfire.
Friday we played tennis.
Saturday we played basketball.
Sunday we played volleyball.
I am bored. There is nothing to do up here.
Your son, FRED”
“Kids’ e-mail & letters from camp”
From the Introduction “In 1958 my father wrote Letters From Camp, …has sold over one million copies and is regarded as a classic. ..was a reflection of the idealism of childhood and sense of wonder in the late 1950s. Now, forty years later I have written a new volume for the twenty-first century…But as much as times have changed, at least one thing has remained the same – kids still go to camp. …Some of the letters, as you will see, relate to this new technology, which has permeated many summer camps, but many of the letters are about, well, camp stuff.”
Here are three excerpts:
“Is it okay if I take the laptop you loaned me on a canoe trip? We want to use it to figure out a new route through the Saco River, and nobody else’s parents will give permission to use their computer on the trip. Love, Jamie”.
“There’s a virus going around camp. It’s nothing serious, but you should destroy all my e-mail after reading it so you don’t catch anything. Love, Karen”
“We learned a new camp song last night: ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.’ Actually it’s an old camp song from the days you were in summer camp. The song’s about a kid who really doesn’t like camp because there’s lots of rain, lots of food poisoning, kids getting lost and other bad stuff. Was summer camp really like that when you were campers? Love, Howard”
It is easy to get lost in the pages of both of these books, reading “just one more” before putting it back down. And they build on each other, and among the pages you will see some of the same names appearing as they wrote home more than once. I’m trying to recall if I even wrote home while away for a week at camp one year? Obviously there are no letters from camp in my scrapbook, but if I chose to get creative I could make a page for my album and recall the week of camp and journal memories of it – even if it is years later – and so could you!
For those of you lucky enough to have any surviving Letters from Camp, be sure to share their stories with your friends and loved ones. ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.’….