Summer camp carries with it a particular kind of nostalgia. In memories, conditions were perfect: You were away from your parents, away from school, away from your regular ol’ friends—and hey, there was a whole new batch to bond with.
Much of that bonding takes place over shared activities, a brilliant effort by camp directors and counselors-in-training everywhere to further hone a developing person’s dependence on schedules. For some of us, “activities” meant sessions on the loom or crowded around a table making God’s eyes from rainbow yarn (it was the ‘90s and no one had thought to tell us about cultural appropriation yet).
For others, like these readers, it meant guns:
My first experience with guns was at an all-boys summer camp in 1984. I was 11 years old. It was the first time I was away from home.
We shot .22s, single-bolt action. I remember being very careful handling and carrying the rifle. Even at that age, I knew this was the real deal and not the toy guns I played Army with my friends at home.