I have a memory of camping, when I was a pre-teen Boy Scout.
It was the summer of 1984, and I was eleven years old. I was exiled to a week at the Camp Tanah Keeta’s summer camp for Boy Scouts in Jupiter, Florida. I say exiled because I really don’t think I wanted to go. Both of my brothers were Boy Scouts as well. They each attained the rank of Eagle Scout, and Jonathan also reached Order of the Arrow. Where my brothers saw community and fun, I saw something that kept me from television. I would much rather have been home watching new episodes of Automan than going to meetings.
This particular run at summer camp was during the summer of 1984. I know this because when we went to the mess hall to get dinner one night, someone was playing the brand new Ghostbusters soundtrack on a portable boom box near the dinner line. Music is always memorable to me, and to eleven-year-old me, the original red plastic cassette box of delight that Arista used for the Ghostbusters soundtrack was like catnip.
This is also the summer that I nearly got lost in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, but that’s a story for another time. Besides which, Jonathan Dickinson is only a few miles wide. No matter how immense it seemed at the time, I wouldn’t have been lost for very long.
Back to the camping. A few lucky souls had cabins, and some of the cabins even had air conditioners. I was not so lucky- my camping area contained pre-set canvas tents set on wooden slabs. There were cots. On the bright side, I did not have to pitch my own tent or sleep on the ground. I was still sleeping in a tent, though, and it was open to nature.
A recent post by Controlled Chaos recounts a time that she was sleeping in a tent and was terrorized by a small (and probably adorable) wild animal getting into their stuff. That post made me remember a similar experience from Tanah Keeta. During that week of summer camp, I had a box of Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies zipped into my duffel bag. One day I came back from the day’s activities to find the cookies gone. A tiny rip in the side of the duffel bag suggested that a raccoon had gotten into my bag and had made off with my cookies clenched in tiny paws.
Except I’m no longer convinced that it really was a furry masked bandito. The post by Controlled Chaos mentions “tiny little nibble holes,” but the rip in my bag didn’t have that shape. It looked like two straight-line rips. The box that had previously contained the cookies wasn’t nibbled through or torn either, and there was no cookie dust around the scene of the crime.
With perfect clarity, I realize now, more than thirty years later, that some kid ate my cookies and staged a crime scene to frame the local wildlife. What a dick!
Have you ever realized after many years that your perception of a past event was incorrect?
Editor’s Note: I’m attempting to blog every day in November with CheerPeppers. I don’t expect to succeed because life be crazy, but any blogging in excess of my previous post-free month is a win, right?