Some Fun Summer Camp Trivia

In just a few weeks, buses will arrive with Camp Weequahic campers and the summer of 2014 will begin.  While thinking about how close we are to another camp season, we started wondering about summer camp in general. How many are there? How many campers attend summer camp each year? The more we wondered, the more we asked. In the end, we collected a pretty respectable list of summer camp trivia that we bet you don’t know (We didn’t!)…
1.)    The oldest summer camps in America are the brother/sister camps of Camp Dudley for boys in the Adirondacks of New York and Camp Kiniya for girls in Lake Champlain, Vermont. Both were founded in 1885 and are part of the YMCA camp system.

2.)    It is believed that Camp Pemigewassett in New Hampshire holds the title for the summer camp contiguously owned and operated by the same family—or, in this case, families. The camp was founded in 1908 by the Favers and Reeds families, who both still own and operate the camp.

3.)    The 1961 movie The Parent Trap, a
movie in which a set of twin sisters separated as babies meet at summer camp and swap places, was filmed at Bluff Lake Camp. The 1998 remake starring Lindsay Lohan was filmed at Camp Seely. Both camps are in California.

4.)    According to the American Camp Association, there are more than 12,000 summer camps in the United States.  More than half (about 7,000) are sleepaway camps.

5.)    Eleven million people (adults too!) attend summer camp each year. Those eleven million people are in some good company. Just a very small fraction of famous people who also attended summer camp: Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks and featured entrepreneur/investor on Shark Tank), Michael Eisner (former CEO of Disney), Ralph Lauren, Mark Zuckerberg, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Clinton, Clay Aiken, Adam Levine, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jonah Hill, Zoey Deschanel, Leonardo DiCaprio, Natalie Portman, Emma Roberts, and Seth Rogan…Oh, and Michelle Obama worked at a summer camp.

6.)     More than 1.5 million people can boast that they work at a camp each year.

7.)    The top five camp activities (according to the American Camp Association): Swimming, Arts & Crafts, Ropes, Archery, and miscellaneous water related activities.

8.)    Wayne County, Pennsylvania, where Camp Weequahic is located, is home to 30 Wayne County Camp Association member camps. Collectively, they are attended by approximately 25,000 campers each summer.

9.)    Although “bug juice” is a popular camp term that refers to the flavored drink served by a lot of camps at
mealtimes, like many camp terms and traditions, it has military origins. American soldiers were provided with fruit flavored powdered drink mix that they combined with water. The sugary drink attracted insects. So soldiers dubbed it “bug juice.”

10.) Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp), a famous comical song about summer camp, is based on actual letters that Allan Sherman, one of the writers of the song, received from his son during the years that he attended Camp Champlain in Westport, New York.

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