“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
I will be taking a few weeks off for rest and family. May your August be filled with childlike joy!
At my first summer camp, when I was eight, my roommate and I heard a rumor that some boys had put itching or sneezing powder on the beds in the girls’ dorm. We were so convinced we had a counselor search our beds.
I wasn’t entirely satisfied, but I didn’t know how the boys would’ve gotten in unseen, nor did I know what itching/sneezing powder is. I still don’t. Pepper, maybe?
However, I loved going to my church’s annual summer kids’ camp. In fact, since much of my summer camp perceptions were built around the movie The Parent Trap (starring Hayley Mills), I was a little envious my own camp lasted only five days instead of multiple weeks like the movie camp.
Camps are still a huge thing for kids. And there are so many options to choose from: church camps, sports camps, art camps, music camps, scouting camps, 4-H camps, etc. They often involve making crafts, swimming, boating, horseback riding, and singing around a campfire.
There are lots of kids’ books about summer camp. Here are more than 25 (most of which are new to me):
Picture Books and Early Chapter Books:
- The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries by David A. Adler
- A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
- Cowboy Camp by Tammi Sauer, illus. by Mike Reed
- The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder by Peter Brown
- Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London
- Agnes Parker…Happy Camper? by Kathleen O’Dell
- Camp Confidential series by Melissa J. Morgan (more than 20 books)
- The Baby-Sitters Club Super Special Edition #2: Baby-sitters Summer Vacation by Ann M. Martin
- The Great Summer Camp Catastrophe by Jean Van Leeuwen
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- How Tia Lola Saved the Summer by Julia Alvarez
- I Want to Go Home by Gordon Korman
- Letters From Camp by Kate Klise, illus. by M. Sarah Klise
- Like Bug Juice on a Burger by Julie Sternberg, illus. by Matthew Cordell
- Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill by James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts, and Laura Park
- Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
- Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary
- Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs
- Summer Camp, Ready or Not! by Sandra Belton
- Hidden by Helen Frost (older MG/younger YA)
- Jersey Tomatoes are the Best by Maria Padian
- Lumberjanes series by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brooke Allen
- There’s a Bat in Bunk Five by Paula Danziger (older MG/younger YA)
Did you go to camp as a kid? As a counselor? What are some of your favorite camp memories? What are your favorite camp books? What books should I add to the list? Do you know what itching/sneezing powder is?
Last week I wrote about one of the staples of summer–roller coasters. However, another one of the much-loved things about summer is ice cream.
On a hot day, it’s a treat to open the freezer, take out the container of ice cream, and scoop out a bowl-full of the cold, creamy good stuff.
In the past ice cream was an extra special treat because if you wanted some, you needed cream, eggs, and sugar–all of which might be in short supply. But first, months earlier, you had to cut ice out of a lake or pond and store it until you wanted it.
In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Farmer Boy, Wilder relates a story about a time Almanzo and his siblings are home alone and decide to make ice cream for themselves:
They dug a block of ice out of the sawdust and….pounded it with hatchets till the ice was crushed. Alice came out to watch them while she whipped egg-whites on a platter. She beat them with a fork, till they were too stiff to slip when she tilted the platter.
Eliza Jane measured milk and cream, and dipped up sugar from the barrel in the pantry. It was not common maple sugar, but white sugar bought from the store. Mother used it only when company came. Eliza Jane dipped six cupfuls….
She made a big milk-pail full of yellow custard. They set the pail in a tub and packed the snowy crushed ice around it, with salt, and the covered it all with a blanket. Every few minutes they took off the blanket and uncovered the pail, and stirred the freezing ice-cream….
They could eat all the ice-cream and cake they wanted to; no one would stop them.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful–except for all the work and waiting?
I confess, I’ve never liked homemade ice cream. I’m a hard-packed ice cream girl. And I like my ice cream with bits of chocolate, nuts, or peanut butter in it.
What’s your favorite ice cream? Do you make homemade ice cream?