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Pamela Loxley Drake and her sisters never really took to the summer camp experience.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeCan't deny it. I could embellish the story. (Mom was good at that.)

So many years have passed that I could, in all honesty, put it behind me and go forward without a backward glance. I could. Yet for some reason, I can't.

Confession: I was a summer camp dropout.

In a little over a week, my youngest granddaughter will be going to camp on the East Coast. I'm in awe. A week later, her brother will head to a different camp back east as well. The camp sessions run for two weeks.

I am soooo proud of them and their parents.

Summer camp. To most people, there is no fear or trepidation when "camp" is said. To the Loxley girls, it has been terrifying.

Peggy was the first to taste the fear of camp. She managed to stay for her week begging to come home. Mom and Dad made her stay.

No wonder going off to college was so difficult. With Mom and Dad, there was no coming home.

June was the spoiled one. She managed to go to camp for two days before coming home with an eye infection. Mom and Dad were a bit more receptive to the idea.

Of course, the college thing still stuck with her. No coming home.

Then I came along. Three-day camp. Hmm. Doesn't seem like much, does it?

I wrote to my parents that first day.

"Dear Mom and Dad, How are you? I am fine. I am at camp I miss you. Love, Your daughter Pam."

Of course, they had just dropped me off at camp, so they knew I was at Camp Sugar Grove. Since I had just seen them, I knew how they were, and they knew I was fine. Most of all, they knew I was their daughter Pam. Oh, well.

Night one, I was so homesick. Mom and Dad came to pick up the daughter they had just dropped off, the one who was fine and the one named Pam.

Maybe that's why I lived at home and went to college nearby.

I'm sure that my parents chuckled when they found that I arrived home from camp before my letter. I chuckled when I found the aforementioned letter tucked in the family Bible.

Camp. Argh!

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl." You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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