In the U.S., many children and teens attend a recreational and/or educational summer camp where they enjoy a variety of activities from gymnastics to horseback riding, computers, music, drama, sports, and also just general fun. Camps also exist for children suffering from cancer or other illnesses, and for disabled children.
“A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp.”
The idea of sending kids away from home to summer camp originated in the mid-1800s as part of the “back to nature” trend aimed primarily at urban children, as a way of getting them out of the city and into the wilderness. It was seen as a way to build health, character, and moral development. Today, the Fresh Air Fund helps sponsor inner-city children to send them to summer camps across the U.S.
Apart from activities, campfires, s’mores, and sing-alongs, playing pranks is a summer camp tradition that has been around as long as there have been kids spending time away from home. While we don’t advocate practical jokes, and solely in the spirit of good humor, here are some classic Summer Camp Hijinks.
- Fill the sleeping victim’s hand with shaving cream (or whipped cream, or cheese in a can), and then tickle the victim’s face with a feather.
- While the victim is asleep, take paper cups filled with water and cover the floor of the victim’s cabin or put them around the victim’s bed so they can’t step over them. Make a loud bang to startle them awake.
- When the victim is away from their cabin, put all their belongings in plastic garbage bags, fasten them tightly, put in a canoe, and then anchor the canoe in the middle of the lake. As an alternative, tie the bags high up in a tree.
- While the victim is sleeping, in the middle of the night coat the steps of their cabin with peanut butter or other sticky substanc. Steal their shoes. Stand outside and make noises so they’ll have to come out and investigate.
- Coat the doorknobs of cabins and other buildings with petroleum jelly.
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