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A Baby Boomer's Strategy for Camp

Written by Marilyn Moeller Hiebeler

Paris? Aruba? Not! Give me a place where I can make snow angels and be a child again.

There's this trip I've been dying to take.

Not to a spa. Not a dude ranch. Definitely not a hotel with Jacuzzis and aromatherapy. I want a week in pure nostalgia , where I can be five-, seven-, 10-years old again.

Imagine how the brochure would read for a place like this.Summer fun for baby boomers wanting to relive their youth

Dress code:

Clothes from JC Penney or Sears.

Menu:

Donuts for breakfast, alphabet soup for lunch and macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Exercise:

Spontaneous. Absolutely no running allowed, unless it's to beat your friends to the lake. Rolling down a hill is fine.

Rules:

No Prime Time TV. The only shows you are allowed to watch are re-runs of Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob and I Love Lucy.

No talking about what you "do." (Bragging about what your dad does is permitted.)

No foul language. Using bad words like "calorie" is forbidden.

No sunblock.

No kissing on the lips. Kisses on the cheek are fine, as long as the recipient wipes it away dramatically and yells "YUK!"

Available on the campgrounds:

Swings wide enough for post-childbirth spread.

Slides that burn the skin.

Teeter-totters that cause back injury if partner jumps off.

Bunks with large quilts with teddy bears on them; flashlights, Little Lulu comics and a deck of Old Maid Cards (to be used only after "lights out") will be provided.

On the itinerary:

Morning
Marbles. No stealing! Offenders will be beaten up.

Afternoon
Fishing for bullheads in a dirty river; bicycling into town along a busy highway.

After dark
Tag

Winter package activities:

Dangerous sled rides

Snowball fights

Snow angels (These get you extra credit. As does breaking your glasses. There are radiators to dry your mittens and boots on when you come in.)

Farewell party

Picnic includes hot dogs, Kool-Aid, roasted marshmallows, potato chips and Popsicles. Activities: Tree climbing

I know I'd go home relaxed. In fact I might not go home. If you know of such a place, send me the brochure. I'd make you my best friend.

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Marilyn Hiebeler was born precisely at mid-century, the middle child to a middle-class family, in Middle America. She's been writing most of her life, but changes careers as often as hair color. In order they are: teacher, editor, reporter, producer, press secretary, actress, screenwriter, author, brunette, redhead, brunette, blonde, blonder and blondest. She's married and has two sons Adam and Alex are an X and a Y, not chromosomes, but generations. She likes raspberries, opera, deep-sea fishing and the movies. And she loves Rod Stewart. When she grows up she wants to be just like Tina Turner.


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