Have you ever been camping?

The word “camping” elicits two responses from me:

1) Drag queens frolicking on a stage. Or is that campy?

2) Being outside in an uncontrolled temperature environment, sleeping on hard ground in a tent while being eaten alive by insects.

Since I assume #2 is what the prompt is referring to, the answer is: NO.

Unless you include the time I was a counselor at an arts camp. I actually did it for two summers, which explains that I sometimes don’t learn from my mistakes. Actually, I had very good experiences with my fellow counselors and the students for the most part, but the living conditions were marginal.

We were housed in the bunks, which were sort of large chicken coops. The window openings had screens and wooden shutters that could be closed in case of rain. The campers slept on bunk beds, though the counselors had them unstacked, the only perk. There was a bathroom with a shower and toilet in each bunk, and this was the only time of my life when I got up early just so I could get to the shower first (and have all hot water).

Barring an apocalyptic event, that is the closest I will ever get to camping. For me, “roughing it” means a Comfort Inn or similar level of accommodations. I’ve worked too long and hard to earn a comfortable bed in a better hotel than to go back to my days in Motel 6s and Super 8s. I did stay in those when visiting my mother years ago, but at one point I said, “What am I, a college professor, doing saving money by staying here?” There weren’t even any drag queens to make it interesting, although I think the occasional drug dealer would saunter by.

Your thoughts about camping? Or drag queens? Let me know, and don’t forget to like and follow!

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

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