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Monday, February 26

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / August 10, 2010 1:15 AM

Question suggested by Saya, who says, "Had a suggestion for a Fuel topic, based on numerous conversations I've had recently about making an adult summer camp happen. What from your childhood are you nostalgic for and wish you could experience now as adult? I.e. back to school shopping, camp, overalls, having summers off, silly birthday parties, recess, smushed PB&J sandwiches. Why did all that stuff have to end with the onslaught of bills, health insurance, body aches, and cubicles, which is when we need it most it would seem? Bunch of us think it doesn't, and we're looking to add a little childhood back into adulthood. Would be curious to hear others' takes."

I was reminded recently of Knothole baseball at my old park district. Sort of a half step between tee-ball and little league, where the coaches pitched lobs and you got about five strikes before you were out if you were getting close to the ball.

If you have a good question for Fuel, email it to

Saya / August 10, 2010 11:03 AM

As I look to make adult camp a reality, curious as to what you most fondly remember from your summer camp experience? Similarly, if retreats were a part of your past, same question.

I loved:
- capture the flag
- making tie-dye tshirts
- singing around the campfire
- bug juice chug
- lip sync contest
- reflection time [candle, music, sharing ups and downs]
- relay races [dizzy lizzy, wheelbarrow, three-legged, etc.]
- scavenger hunt
- boy-drama!
- talent show
- card games
- storytelling
- letters from home
- team building activities/ice breakers

annie / August 10, 2010 12:48 PM

My camp had horseback riding, if you can make that happen, I would gladly go and pay!

I miss the Wisconsin "resort" we vacationed at each summer for a week, it was our only trip and it was the same week of the summer each year, and we had the same cabin. There was a game room and wild peacocks roamed the property, you could ski, fish, horseback ride and best of all my parents were pretty much loaded the entire time and never said "no" to any request. My brother went a few years ago and was extememly disappointed with all of the modern enhancements, so I won't return b/c I would rather keep the memories original.

And every summer I flirt with the idea of going to Great America, but I fear all of my fond memories will be ruined...

Jen Swanson / August 10, 2010 1:21 PM

Field Days at school! You know, sack races, face painting, trampolines, kickball, ice cream. Pickles. I had my first dill pickle at a field day.

preachy / August 10, 2010 3:13 PM

you know, a great way to relive the fun of childhood is by actually hanging out with, um (dare I say it on notoriously anti- kid Fuel...) kids.

there are plenty of volunteer opps for people in the city and certainly no shortage of kids. Become a girl or boy scout leader- or volunteer w/ a boys and girls club, or just organize fun stuff for the kids in your neighborhood, just because you are a grown up doesn't mean you have to stop being goofy and having fun.

Mucky Fingers / August 10, 2010 4:02 PM

I don't crave for anything from my youth. By seeing the world through my son's eyes, I feel like I'm living my childhood all over again.

mike-ts / August 10, 2010 11:49 PM

The good ole 70's kids' shows like Ray Rayner, Garfield Goose, the original Bozo (after whom Crusty the Clown was made), Cartoon Town. We were kids then and too little to appreciate them, but those were giants, able to whip up an entire show every day from scratch, mostly live, with next to nothing for props or special effects. Imagine, as soon as today's show is over, you're storyboarding tomorrow's, get some basic rehearsal in, come in early, polish it a bit, then wham you're live again. There's some filler (Clutch Cargo, etc.) but a lot is new and fresh every day. And no matter how hard it wants to unravel, you have to stay in character and save the darn show.

Today's kids' shows are all cartoons, half hour toy commercials, or shows filmed all at once and put in the can for the season. I'd like to see them again to get the double entendres and sly jokes I heard were in there for the grown ups (like Looney Tunes had) that I wasn't able to get at the time. And admire the great shows they made on the fly with my grown-up appreciation.

mary / August 11, 2010 6:47 AM

summers off FOR SURE. my best friend, sister and mom are all teachers and get their summers (though admittedly they each usually have a part-time job). i used to go to the beach or pool at least three times a week. i have now been once all summer (an all-time high for the past 3 years).

flange / August 11, 2010 9:46 AM

i'm actually a little bummed that people are nostalgic for "team-building activities." but to each their own i guess. i'm happy i had friends, not teams. (and i obviously never went to camp.)

what i miss most about my youth is the thought that, when i was grown up, the world would be a better place. who could anticipate neocons, fundies, and teabaggers?

Spook / August 11, 2010 10:45 AM

Saturday morning,

a bowl of Count Chocula,

& Fat Albert!

Jennifer / August 11, 2010 3:12 PM

Kiddie Land and Dispensa's Kiddie Kingdom.

Mike / August 13, 2010 12:01 AM

I lived in a large, semi-protected military housing neighborhood in Honolulu called "Makalapa" between 1980 and 1985 ... 2nd through 6th grade. There were lots of kids. It was great and I think I experienced (and luckily survived) a type of childhood that's largely gone nowadays.

On a Saturday afternoon as a 5th grader, I could say, "bye Mom," hop on my Mongoose, and be pretty much gone and out of my mom's sight all day. And we didn't stay in the neighborhood ... we went everywhere. Me and my friends built a tree house twenty feet up in a banyan tree all by ourselves. We built ridiculous ramps for our skateboards and bikes and bashed the hell out of our bodies. We dive-bombed each other at the pool, completely unsupervised.

Those days are over. I think even in the early eighties most kids didn't have the freedom I had. I'm so glad I did.

I should also add that I had my neighborhood military friends and my local school friends. Most of my school friends were Japanese and Chinese ... so, as a "haole" (whitey) I got to feel like a minority at a young and impressionable age. Another thing I value to this day.

I recently found out my old neighborhood in Pearl Harbor has a Facebook page and there are people younger and older than me who had similar experiences. We were all very lucky. I guess today, I'd hope there are kids that get to have freedom to be kids and situations where they're different from what seems like everyone else.

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