Adam's Summer Updates

Rosetta Stone

While I try to be a grounded and realistic person, I will admit that, occasionally, I am prone to fits of self-delusion.  Over the course of this first session of camp, I have come to a harsh realization about something that has rocked my self confidence.  It all boils down to “Adam’s Updates.”  One of the really nice things about writing these updates is the very kind feedback that I receive about them.  People are enormously gracious in expressing their appreciation for these narratives.  I have always attributed this to my incredible authoring talents.  I have always patted myself on the back for being so skilled with the written word that I motivate folks to write me to tell me how much they appreciate my musings.

But now…   Something changed this summer that shattered that delusion.  My son became a camper for the very first time in the cabin of Swamper 2….

Now, for the first three weeks of camp, I have been able to stand on the sidelines from time to time and observe him.  Admittedly, this has made things way easier for a dad dealing with his son leaving for summer camp for the very first time!  However, for the past three days, he has been on his cabin trip.  So, all I have had to keep me connected to him were the letters he has written us.

Here is the entirety of what we have heard from him in letters to this point (without any corrections):


Dear Famly (he spells like his dad),

I wish I could spend more time with you.

I am having a great time.

I hope to see you very vrey soon.

Having a great time.

Love Josh


Dear Famly,

I miss you.

I don’t know about your questions  (In our letters we had asked him a series of very difficult questions…”What activities are you enjoying?” and “Which kids in the cabin are you becoming friends with?”  It is no wonder he found these questions too overwhelming to be able to answer!)

I am having a great time.

(no signature)



Dear Famiy,

I am having a great time.

Tell me what you have been doing.

My favorite project is art or athletics (I knew he could figure it out…just couldn’t rush the answers!)

I miss you.

Love Josh



Dear Famly,

I wish you were here in S-2.

I want the same people next year

(no signature)


Ok…so I get it.  My bubble of hubris has officially burst.  My readership has nothing to do with my writing talents whatsoever (I guess my English teachers were right!).  My fan base is nothing of the kind.  They are just DESPERATE to know what on earth is actually going on at the place from which their son is writing the above literary masterpieces.  I can only begin to imagine how frustrating it would be to only receive those letters.  I would be willing to wade through my wordy missives as well to get some taste of what was going on in my son’s world.

So….until you purchase your own summer camp and can experience the wonderfully magical experience of watching your own son at camp (from a distance), you are sentenced to endure my long winded snapshots of camp life.  Having said that, with the benefit of my being here to observe him AND receiving those letters from him, I am in a unique position of being able to interpret some of it for you.

The Rosetta Stone:

When your son writes, “My favorite project is art or athletics,” it means, “There are a lot of really different kinds of things to do here and I like doing them!”  With this knowledge, I can close my eyes and envision him engaged in a wonderfully creative art project or playing his little heart out in an intense kickball game.

When he writes, “I want the same people next year,” it means, “No matter how many petty third grade arguments break out in my cabin, these guys are like brothers, we have been through a lot together, and I love hanging out with them.  They are like famly.”  With this knowledge, I can close my eyes and imagine the cabin group at rest period with a deck of cards out, playing Euchre or I Doubt It (which some of you may know by its less G-rated other name).  Occasionally a dispute breaks out…but they work it out and keep playing.

When your child writes, “I don’t know about your questions,” it means, “Aw, come on Dad, do you really think I am interested in sitting here and detailing all of the different things I have been doing here and who I have been hanging out with?  There are WAY more fun things to do than to sit and write you a marathon letter.  Just because you go on and on and on and seem to have no idea when something that you are writing gets to be too long and it is time to cut it off, doesn’t mean that I am going to fall into your same absurd verbosity!  I am done writing….I want to go fishing!”  With this knowledge, I can close my eyes and…well…um…feel silly.

When your boy writes, “I miss you” or “I hope to see you very vrey soon” or “I wish you were here in S-2” it means, “Sometimes I really do miss you and for some reason, it makes me feel better to write that to you.”  With this knowledge, I can close my eyes, think about him, how much I love him, and how much I miss him too.  And despite the fact that this is somewhat painful, I know that I am fine, and he is fine, and we are both capable of having fun…even when it hurts a bit.

And one last bit of interpretation.  When your son writes, “I am having a great time!”  simply put, it means “I am having a great time!”  With this knowledge, I can close my eyes, envy him a bit, smile, and know that my son is doing great.

All is well in the North Woods…