For several summers as a child, I went to sleep-away summer camp – Camp Calumet in Ossipee, New Hampshire, to be exact.
At the time, I didn’t realize how kumbaya-y it was; it was where all the other kids in my hometown spent their summers, so it was where I had to be. But, that’s another story. I loved it – especially the rainy days.
Most would think rainy days at an outdoor swimming/boating/archery-ing summer camp would be a total bummer. But not for us, for at Camp Calumet, when the gods gave us puddles, we went stumping.
Have you ever puddle-stumped?
When the rain came down, we merry campers put on our crappiest clothes (even PJs), zippered over our raincoats (of the L.L.Bean variety, of course) and headed out.
The New Hampshire woods provided plenty of natural divots in the earth and since the walking paths were covered in moss, dirt, and – look out – rogue roots, when it the clouds opened, the entire camp became a kind of muddy slip-and-slide of mud pie-making fun.
So, my cabin mates and I (yes, cabin mates – not sure how many of you can picture my flat-iron and Keihls’ eye cream-toting self in a wooden cabin without screens on the windows, but go ahead, imagine away, it happened, ask my mother) would make it our mission to stump (read: stamp, jump around in, punish) every puddle in our path.
That was, until, we hit up Sasquash, the granddaddy of all Calumet puddles. It was gigantic (read: 5’x7‘), deep (um, knee-height on a 10-year-old), and dangerous (filled with unknown contents left up to the young stumper’s imagination – dread). We would dare each other to walk the length shoeless, do the feared dead man’s float, and even drink the mysterious Sasquashian juices. (Gulp.)
And when the sun poked through the skyscraper-esque pines, we would reclaim our flip-flops, peel off our half-hardened mud shells, and spend the next 24 hours plucking pine needles from our ear canals, having relished every moment of the parent-disapproved, squealingly sloppy, blissfully memory-making rainy-day fun.
The Boston weather has been a bit crappy these last several days and my resolve to not only get my tush out there to run, but to then report back with miles and minutes and songs, has dwindled, but I’m thinking, if this marathon is going to give me puddles, I’m going to stump the heck out of them, and take a more Calumet-y approach to relaying the storms, mud pies, and pools of splendid Sashquashian delight.
I hope you like my new angle.