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That’s One Crappy Camping Trip!

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 31, 2020

During my preteen and teen years, my dad made it a family goal to take me and my brother camping to every cold spring in Florida. After a while of doing this, we had a pretty solid routine down, so one morning, I get ready to go swimming first and grab a couple of watermelons to chill with me while my dad and brother secure the site.

I swim out to the middle of the spring, where it’s blasting out water up from beneath me, and relax back with my fruity buoys. A while passes and I realize that my family hasn’t joined me. I look around and spot them in a crowd standing on the boardwalk on the shore, so I start to paddle over. They must have already seen where I was, as the moment I start moving, they both frantically start waving their arms and making Xs in a clear “DO NOT COME OVER HERE” signal. Not one to argue with that sort of display, I settle in to wait.

Eventually, my family does join me, along with a throng of people who had also been held up on the boardwalk, and I learn what happened. A family had entered the water before everyone and one of their children had apparently soiled themselves to the point that their swimsuit was bulging with it. The child was jumping up and trying to get onto one of the blow-up floats the family had, but kept missing, and each time they missed little logs would pop out and go floating down the river. Obviously, no one wanted to enter the water with this going on, thus the crowd.

Thankfully, my position in the spring kept all the water flowing away from me, and the river itself was fast-moving, so the… debris… was cleared quickly, but I still don’t understand why the family didn’t just take their child to get cleaned up or how they remained oblivious to the problem they caused around them!

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Welcome To Camp Hell

, , , , , , | Learning | August 14, 2020

When I was a teenager, my dad and step-mom sent me to a Christian camp for a week, citing that my brother had loved his time there years ago and that I would have fun, too. A lot of kids from our church in my age group were going, too, but I don’t think my parents realized that I wasn’t really friends with any of them.

The week started off poorly when it turned out that the only bedding provided was sheets — no pillow or comforter — so I had to use about half of my spending money to buy a tiny and overpriced pillow to use. I have no idea how my parents missed that, as the other campers all had supplies, and I was never given any information beforehand outside of “You’re going; isn’t that great?!”

Days at the camp were filled with mandatory sports activities; anything that I actually found fun, like rock climbing or paintball, cost extra money per session that I now didn’t have due to the pillow problem. While I love being physically active, I hate being told how to be physically active, so I half-a**ed my way through the first day or two until life gave me a blessing.

Right on schedule, that time of the month arrived! I might have been a tad too gleeful telling the counselor that I wouldn’t be able to play flag-volley-fris-ball for the rest of the week, as they kind of squinted at me and asked if I was fine with telling everyone I was on my period, which I was.

The rest of the week, I was able to sit in the shade sketching, and I was only required to attend the daily church gatherings where over-excited twenty-somethings would tell us how important it was to make sure we brought all our friends to God so they wouldn’t end up in Hell. Fun for the whole family!

I finished up the week with a dozen sketch pages filled and a frown on my face as my dad asked me how my time was. I told him exactly what I thought about being sent to camp with no friends and people telling me to do things I hate all day. My dad got a thoughtful look on his face and then said, “Oh, yeah! [Brother] actually hated that camp! Sorry about that!”

While I didn’t commit patricide, I also didn’t get sent to camp again, so small victories, I guess.

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Babel-ing On, Part 2

, , , | Right | August 14, 2020

One summer, I am working at a camping site where my grandparents used to live during the warmer months of the year. I’m the receptionist, so I take bookings via calls or face to face. A couple walks over to me one day. One of the customers says something in Dutch.

Me: *In English* “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak Dutch. Do you speak English?”

The second customer says something in German.

Me: *In English* “I’m sorry, I don’t speak German. Do you speak English?”

Still, they don’t understand. They try French and even Russian without success. I’ve taken both Japanese and Chinese in school, but the couple doesn’t know those languages. I took four years of Spanish before entering high school, though two years have already passed since then.

Me: *In broken Spanish* “Habla Español?”

[Customer #1] now excitedly starts talking in fluent Spanish. My coworker, who is still learning German, comes back from his break.

Me: *In Swedish* “GOOD GODS. HELP ME.”

Coworker: *In German* “How can I help you?”

Customer #2: *In English* “Finally, someone who understands! We’ve been trying to ask the lady if there’s a spot available.”

Me: *Under my breath* “What the f***?!”

Babel-ing On

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The Problem Googled Itself

, , , | Right | July 30, 2020

Our campground has a Wi-Fi network.

Old Lady: “I’m having a hard time ‘hooking to my Wi-Fi.’”

Me: “What site are you on?”

Old Lady: “Site 84.”

Me: “Try moving to the clubhouse; your site is too far away.”

She comes back up later, still unable to get connected.

Old Lady: “I still can’t get hooked up. I’m trying to search for [Campground Network] like you told me to, and it’s not finding anything. I brought my laptop so I can show you.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what’s going on.”

The old lady begins retracing her steps and I’m forced to stop her as she begins typing [Campground Network] into Google.

Me: “You should get a job in tech support! You’re already online!”

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Don’t Be THAT Parent

, , , | Right | July 28, 2020

I work as a camp counselor at a day camp, and after several warnings, I have to restrict a camper’s participation in regular activities for punching and kicking other campers.

The camper’s mom comes to drop him off the next morning.

Mom: “Hi. Why did you exclude my son from playing with his friends yesterday?”

Me: “Ah, I believe we phoned home and spoke with your husband about this. [Camper] continued to kick other campers, so for their safety, I had him sit out from some of the activities. It’s protocol.”

Mom: “My son would never do that! I think you’re just picking on him.”

Me: “Ma’am, the other campers have bruises.”

Mom: “He wasn’t allowed to go swimming! You let him sit in the hot sun! You abused my child!”

Me: “He was in the shade and had plenty of water. I followed all procedures.”

Mom: “I shell out hundreds of dollars to this place so my kid can have fun with his friends! You’re a liar! I pay your salary, young lady! Go apologize to my son!”

Me: “If you have a problem with my job performance, you can speak with my supervisor. She’s in the camp office just around the corner.”

Mom: “I will! You can say goodbye to your employment after this! I hope you weren’t planning on paying for university with your salary because I might just sue you after this, too!”

Me: “All right, ma’am. I have campers to watch. Please direct your complaints to my boss.”

The mom storms off to the camp office. Little does she know that my supervisor does not put up with bulls*** from entitled parents. Fifteen minutes later, I get a call on my walkie to speak to my supervisor at the camp office. I leave my campers with a backup counselor and head over to the office.

Me: “Hi. Is this about [Camper]’s Mom? Did I do anything wrong?”

Supervisor: “I just wanted to make sure you were all right. I’ve terminated [Camper]’s enrollment in the camp so you won’t have to worry about him anymore. I also told his mom that if she ever tries to harass one of the employees again, she’ll be leaving in a police cruiser. Also, I made banana bread. Want some?”

This story is part of our July 2020 Roundup – the best stories of the month!

Read the next July 2020 Roundup story!

Read the July 2020 Roundup!

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