Every year our pack would plan at least one trip to Camp Hooper. It was usually in early summer, before the heat and bugs got too bad. Camp Hooper is the home of some of my favorite memories today. I really loved being a part of the experiences there.
At this camp, we slept in cabins. There were about twelve kids to a cabin, and we slept in bunk beds. I loved the bottom bunk, which worked out well because most boys wanted the top bunks. I didn’t like being able to see the spiders that would crawl on the ceiling.
One of the first things that we always did at camp was split up into “tribes.” Every year, Camp Hooper had a different theme, and the tribes would match that year’s theme. For example, one year the theme was Camp Safari, and the tribes were named after different wild animals. (We were the Hooper Hippos!) Another year we had a superhero theme, and our tribe was the Batman tribe. The tribes would do friendly competitions throughout the week of camp, and see who could rack up the most “points.” I remember waking up early every morning to go swimming in the lake for the “polar bear plunge” because you could earn points that way. For the life of me, though, I can’t seem to remember what the winning tribe could do with their points!
Every day at camp, we were allowed to sign up for a different workshop. There were some really fun workshops! I loved the arts and crafts related ones the most. I remember making a tie dye T-shirt, sand art, a lanyard, and a picture frame. I even made a leather bracelet one year, thinking it’d be a great way to impress the girls back home, but that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped! 🙂
Every evening we would have campfire. We would hike for what seemed like miles, to the campfire ring. There, the counselors would perform skits, and sometimes there would be fun contests, or songs, or stories. That was always one of my favorite parts of my days at camp. On the last evening, we would always hold a mock court, where the camp counselors could “sue” each other for silly infractions. It was always one of the most humorous parts of the entire week!
Of course we also had flag ceremonies, friendship circles, basketball and tetherball, and time to get refreshments from the canteen. Even the chores were made into a fun experience because of the sense of camaraderie of accomplishing something together.
When I got older, I was a camp counselor at Camp Hooper. Anyone age 15 or older could apply to be a camp counselor. I was only a camp counselor for two years, but those are really some of my favorite memories. The counselors played harmless pranks on each other, and we really had a chance to grow closer. It was tons of fun.
One of the other camp counselors, Jason, was actually the one to spark my interest in crawl spaces and crawl space encapsulation. He told me his parents had a crawl space at home and so did mine. Well, long story short, his family was having all kinds of problems with the air quality in their home, and it was causing Jason to have breathing problems. For some reason I became fascinated by this, and for a while I became afraid of our crawl space at home. Jason and I stayed in touch though, and I later found out that his breathing trouble cleared up once his parents hired someone to come out and encapsulate their crawl space. This literally changed the course of my life, because I saw it as a way that I could earn an honest living while helping other people. The rest, as they say, is history!
The best part of camp, however, was looking after the younger kids, and helping them to enjoy their camp experience just as much as we had when we were younger. Being a camp counselor was truly the most fun and rewarding leadership opportunity you could imagine.