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  • Paul Davidson

Camp, Shaving Cream and Psychological Distress

Sometimes, summer camp isn’t all about marshmallows, campfires and the opposite sex.

Sometimes, summer camp represents the darkest time in a child’s youth. A time when the bright light of the future is muffled and darkened by the evil that resides in other camp children. A time when sleep deprivation is forced upon unknowing 10th graders through the devices of buzzing flies and shaving-cream harassment.

This is that story.

In the summer before my 10th grade year I was shipped off to an eight-week summer camp in the mountains of Pennsylvania. The being shipped off part for eight weeks was bad enough, but the living among your peers with an absent camp counselor in a small cabin was even worse. See, without the camp counselor — this group of Lord of the Flies-esque kids were free to form their own leadership positions in ruling this cabin under their own skewed bylaws.

Bylaw #1: First person to fall asleep ends up with shaving cream all over their head, face, arms and legs.

Initiate sleep deprivation program…now

There’s nothing worse than knowing…if you fall asleep and you’re the first one to do so, that in the middle of the night when you went to scratch your face, you’d be doing so with shaving cream on your hands and on your face. I.e., shaving cream (the most wiley of all personal-products) will end up everywhere and anywhere.

It’s hilarious now, but was ridiculous then — to look around at all the faces of all the kids in all the bunks waiting for someone else to fall asleep (i.e. to be thrown to the lions). It was hilarious then, but is ridiculous now — to take part in the festivities when someone else fell asleep before you.

I guess the realization today is this: children who have no real-world worries to think about…no bills no job drama no marriage issues and no stress — have much more time to harass other kids. Which makes me think that it’s a damn good thing that we, as adults, don’t have more time on our hands.

If we did, man, just imagine the chaos.

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