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Was I the only one who wanted to go to Atari Computer Camp?
During my childhood, I never had the chance to experience a summer camp, and truthfully, I wasn't particularly drawn to the typical camp activities. However, everything changed when I came across ads for the Atari Computer Camp in the 1980s – it was love at first sight. I became so enthralled with the idea of attending that I started pleading with my Mom to let me go. My enthusiasm even led my Mom to contact them to gather information about the cost and program details.
As far as I recall, the camp offered a one-month program that included two hours of daily computer classes, alongside various other camp activities. And the best part? We would have "Free time" to use their Atari 400 and 800 home computers. To be honest, I wasn't all that interested in the other activities; all I wanted was to indulge in some serious computer time.
Unfortunately, my dream of attending the Atari Computer Camp never materialized, mainly due to my overly protective Mother who harbored reservations about summer camps (though I'm not exactly sure why). However, that wasn't the only obstacle; the price tag for the camp was astronomical. If my memory serves me right, it was somewhere close to $1600, which was way beyond our financial means. Let me emphasize – way beyond.
As an alternative, we decided to invest in a new computer for our home, and we ended up getting a Commodore 64. That summer, and many more to come, I found myself firmly planted in front of that beloved Commodore 64, immersing myself in its wonders. Looking back, it's probably for the best that I didn't attend the camp.
You see, I tend to be quite loyal to specific brands, and had I gone to an Atari Summer Camp, I would likely have become fixated on Atari Computers. This could have led me on a different path from my trusty Vic-20 to eventually owning a Commodore 128. So, it's intriguing to wonder how things might have unfolded differently. Yet, deep down, I'm content with the course my journey took.
Still, I can't help but entertain the curiosity about what could have been. And there's no denying that the camp's t-shirt would have been nothing short of amazing, becoming a cherished memento of an adventure that never was.