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More Than Just Bug Juice

In this morning’s New York Times, a sports writer and avid foodie fondly recalls his favorite meals during his six-year stint as a baseball reporter. Like Proust’s madeleine, the taste of certain foods can unleash many happy memories.

Some camp food is better than others. A colleague recalls how she brought packets of Cup-a-Soup to camp and asked for hot water at every meal because she refused to eat the food served at camp. However, even she fondly recalls George the baker’s chocolate chip cookies and the baked Alaska that was served every year at the farewell banquet. She still remembers the camp-wide barbecues and the sweating pitchers of bug juice on every table. She remembers the songs and cheers in the dining room, and the grilled cheese that finally made her forego her packet of soup. She remembers taking a trip to Boston as an older camper and eating a lobster roll at Faneuil Hall that was so good that she wrote an essay about it in school.

The food is much better and fresher at camp these days. Some of the camps even incorporate lobster into their farewell banquets. Others serve specialties such as Frito or brownie pie for special occasions. And today, camps are adept at dealing with special dietary requests.

Still, whether the food was good or bad, most former campers remember certain meals— what they had, where they were eaten, and who they were eaten with— very fondly. (Let’s not forget where many of us first experienced s’mores— at the camp fire!) Camp memories are indelible for life!

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