Weekly Blog August 5th, 2018: More 4 – H Camp Stories

Hello Internet!

Well here we are. It’s August now. July is gone and children are now clinging to the last bit of summer they have. I think that also applies to the teachers. Everyone is trying to make summer last, but I’ve always thought that August was the month that flew by. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about school anymore, but I do remember that there was some excitement leading up to the first week of college. Getting to see all my college friends after three months was always fun. If you’re going back to school this fall, I hope that you are more excited than upset that summer is coming to an end. Enjoy it while it’s here and then look forward to the next adventure. This week on the website, we had another great week. Last Sunday I published a Weekly Blog all about People being Blinded By Nostalgia in reference to the new live-action Kim Possible Movie and Netflix She-Ra show. If that’s something that interests you, go ahead and give it a read. On Wednesday I published a Poem titled Dancing In The Light. Just trying to bring some sunshine into your life and make your realize how awesome you are. So give this a read and then dance like no one is watching. On Friday I published a fun story all about a child dying in the snow who then burns down the village named A Child On Fire. You know, one of those happy-go-lucky stories. Hopefully you’ve read all of those, and if not give them a read. So far viewership has kind of stagnated during the summer, but you can help change that by reading my stuff, giving it a like, and then reading it again. In all seriousness, I appreciate all the love and support. Each individual view, like, and comment mean the world to me, so thank you.

This week I had a hard time coming up with a topic. My week has been completely filled with house sitting. I’ve been spending the week watching a house and dog of one of my friend’s parents. It’s been super fun living in this nice house, using their internet, and pretending I could ever afford something this nice. It’s not a million dollar mansion or anything like that, but it’s a really nice house. Anyway, it’s just been me and their curly-haired terrier. I basically summarized my whole week. Not a lot to tell you about there. So instead I thought I’d talk about more stories I had from when I was a kid attending 4-H Camp since people seemed to really like those stories. If you haven’t read the first set of stories you can read them here.

Last time I focused on team-building and some activities I had fond memories of while attending 4-H Camp. This week I wanted to talk about some traditions that we had at the camp. One of the things that sticks out to me the most was the traditions surrounding meals. Before each meal, two cabins, one boy cabin and one girl cabin, would go to the dining hall early and set up all the stuff for the meal. This included plates, bowls, cups, silverware, and everything else they needed for the meal. At the end of the meal, everyone was responsible for taking their plates and silverware up to the kitchen where all the stuff got stacked. During this time there was a tradition that anytime someone dropped anything whether it was a bowl, cup, or metal spoon, people would erupt into applause. One moment there was silence, then the sound of a dropped object, then the sound of the whole dining hall clapping. Usually this would happen many times during each meal and it was pretty enjoyable each time. Some people were embarrassed when it happens to them, but for the most part everyone knew it was all in good fun.

Another thing that happened during meals was that we were instructed to be all proper and not have our elbows on the table. For me it was a foreign concept at first, but apparently it’s considered rude to have your elbows on the table during a meal. If someone caught you with your elbows on the table, they would sing a little song. It went like:

Allen, Allen, strong and able,
Get your elbows off the table!
This is not a horse’s stable,
but a first class dining table!

Around the room you must go,
you must go, you must go.
Around the room you must go,
you’ve been lazy!

At that point whoever had their elbows on the table, would have to run a lap around the dining table while people clapped and cheered. At first this was something people were really conscience of, but by the last day, people were tired and did not care. Again this was all in fun and if a kid really didn’t want to do it, they didn’t have to. I know that sometimes these types of things can get into the bullying area, but that was not the case with these traditions. No one was forced to do anything they didn’t want to; although it was encouraged to participate.

The last tradition I want to talk about is one that was one among the camp counselors. After the meal was over and everything was packed up, one or two counselors would stand at the front of the room. They were in charge of announcements as well as special chants and cheers. They are hard to explain but basically the rest of the counselors would make them do a variety of impressions. They would chant things like “Sizzle like bacon, sizzle like bacon.” Then the person would have to lay on the ground and wiggle around like they were sizzling like bacon in a pan. If the counselors wanted it to happen again they would chant “Do it again. Do it again. We like it. We like it.” Tons of repetition.
Some of these impressions included “The shopping cart,” “The shampoo commercial,” “The lifeguard,” “Legs like a hairy spider,” “Hair like a bird’s next,” “Crocodile hunter,” “Ketchup bottle,” “Earthworm,” etc. There are more, but I hope you get the picture. The thing is that these traditions are kind of hard to explain using words, but if you were there, you’d totally get them. They are very visual. Anyway my favorite was one where the counselors would sing:

“Sing a song, Allen, sing a song” [clap clap]
“Sing a song, Allen, sing a song” [clap clap]
“We won’t shut up till you sing a song”
“Sing a song, Allen, sing a song” [clap clap]

Following this the person would have to sing a song. If they didn’t sing a song or if they couldn’t sing a song in its entirety, the chant would start again but it would be louder. A few times of failed attempts, people would be slamming on the tables instead of clapping. Usually people would sing songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “I’m A Little Teapot” to get out of that. “Ba Ba Blacksheep” was a personal favorite.

Doing these chants and cheers were always big traditions and would sometimes be filled with inside jokes. If something funny happened that week, it would definitely be referenced during these after-meal traditions. I’m really sad that I was never a 4-H camp counselor because it always looked like so much fun. It was a little intimidating to be in front of everyone and it could be embarrassing, but everyone made it look like fun. People laughed and cheered for you and it was all in good fun. But oh well. At least I have fun memories of watching others do it and all the fun times I had as a camper at 4-H camp. There’s still more I’d love to talk about, but I’ll have to save that for a future Weekly Blog. For now that’s a good place to call it.

Thank you for reading this week’s Weekly Blog. If you liked it, feel free to give it a like or leave a comment down below in the comment section. You can tell me all about your camp experiences you’ve had or some fun camp traditions you took part in. I’d love to hear about all the songs, cheers, and everything else you did as a kid at camp. If you want you can spend a minute on the website checking out all the other stuff I’ve written. Start with the stuff published this week that I mentioned above, but also feel free to check out some older stuff. There’s a lot of older pieces that are gems. You might just have to a little bit of digging for them.

Thank you for all the support and I hope you have a wonderful week!



Header Photo Credit to Purdue University’s 4-H Extension Office

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