I have mentioned before here on the site that I was fixated on summer camps, mostly because of films like Meatballs. I never got to go to one and neither did most of my friends. In retrospect, we weren’t missing much. We spent out times playing outdoors that we had a good chunk of the camp experience while getting to sleep in our own beds. At the time I didn’t understand this and when one of my friends told me he was going away to camp, I was jealous and told him that.
When I did he got angry and told me he hated the idea and did not want to go. Like the idiot I am, I wouldn’t shut up about it and one day while playing Atari at his house he exploded on me and told me to get out. I was shocked, but I left. That weekend he left for camp.
When I told my sisters about what had happened, they told me something I did not realize, he was going away to “Fat Camp”. I am not sure that is the proper term anymore, but it was what everyone in the area I lived called these summer camps for kids who had to lose weight. Having only heard of them from TV, I did not know how to react and asked my sisters if I should apologize, they said I should not. That his was something he obviously didn’t want to talk about.
So when he came back, I did not bring it up, even though it was really noticeable that he had lost a lot of weight. He remained a fairly thin kid after that, so maybe the camps helped?
Here are some ads for some of these camps I found in an old magazine.
I also found this ad for a bed wetters camp. I had no idea that these existed…