If you’ve ever been to sleep away camp, there’s a good chance you’ve had a “camp playlist”. As a camper, mine were always scribbled on the backs of torn-open envelopes and written in the back pages of notebooks, ready to be downloaded and listened to as soon as I returned home. Camp playlists are funny. Most of the time 8-14 year olds are not into the same indie-pop/acoustic/electric music as you are, so they often consist of Taylor Swift, One Direction and the occasional Jonas Brothers (the band, or one of the brothers) tune. Your playlist has to start with “wake-up songs” or you could risk waking up to Justin Bieber or “Vamos A Los Levels“. My kids became obsessed with the order of the songs I played in the morning. They were able to sing the tunes of the songs, in perfect order, by our second week together, and one breakfast we only talked about why I added a new song to the wake-up part of my playlist. 12 year olds can be so funny. In every cabin I’ve ever been in there has been a single sheet of lined paper, with the little frills still attached, duct taped to the wall. It was titled “song suggestions”, and was often full by the third day of camp. This year some of those suggestions included “Sweatshirt” by Jacob Sartorial, any and every Shawn Mendes song, and “Kill Em With Kindness” by Selena Gomez. I learned a lot about what’s popular among kids these days, that’s for sure.
One song that consistently appears on my camp playlist is “Reflections” by MisterWives. It’s one of those so-called “camp songs”, up there with “Juliet” by LMNT, “Africa” by Karl Wolf and “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn. Everyone knows it (even if they don’t know the actual words) and freaks out whenever it comes on. “Reflections” is the song I listened to while getting my girls to do their inspection jobs two summers ago, the song I listened to in the van ride back from my overnight hike this summer, and the song that would get people pumped when we were stuck in the dining hall on rainy days. It’s a true feel-good song — perfect for camp, and perfect for remembering camp during the school year.
I’m sure you’re sick of me talking about camp already, so this is my last camp-y post — I promise. These are photos from some of my favorite moments at camp this year — playing ukulele at the peak of a mountain, sunsets on sunsets on sunsets, hike food, cool walls in Burlington, that time I (almost) cried on the giant swing, a selfie ft. a flying bug, the magical sunflower patch I happened upon on a day off, and some polaroids from banquet and July 4th. I’ve been reflecting (ha, get it) on camp a lot lately, maybe because I miss it and college is definitely a different kind of experience, or maybe because it really is something special. There are very few places that are as silly, care-free, emotional, supportive, exciting, beautiful, boundary-testing and indescribable as camp is. One Direction concerts come close, but just aren’t the same. You can listen to my camp playlist below and follow it on Spotify if you find your music taste aligns with 22 different 12 year old girls and a 19 year old serial boyband obsessor — maybe it’ll make your summer feel a little longer, too.