May 28th, 2014

The No-Campfire Girls cover

A Novel Solution To Saving Camp


            There I was, happily whacking away at the keyboard, working on a story that poked a little fun at the space opera genre, when they tried to shut down my wife’s Girl Scout camp.

            Well, we couldn’t let that happen. So I came back down to earth, rolled up my sleeves, and began whacking away at the keyboard.

            What? I have only so many skills.

            Emily’s second home was Camp Latonka. She first went there when she was three days old, became a counselor in training as soon as she was potty trained, and at age 12 was made a wrangler and put in charge of a string of eight hundred horses, which were later used to film a Clint Eastwood western.

            It’s possible I’m exaggerating. Just the same, my wife did spend many a summer there, became a counselor and an assistant wrangler, which I think means she had to hogtie the bad kids. She took me to tour the area in the off season, and I was also enchanted with Camp Latonka: rustic in a good way, wooded and hilly, bordering a beautiful lake. It’s a place, to coin a cliché, where memories were made. And of course, as any Scout will tell you, once a Scout, always a Scout.

            Then they, by which I mean the bigwigs in the Girl Scout organization, announced they were shutting it and a bunch of other camps down. I’ve already written a column about that momentous mistake, so all I’ll
add is that saving Latonka seemed a lost cause.

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