For some Canadian kids, summer means the chance to return to the only place in the world you truly care about — camp.
This ritual of shipping off children to a northern, wooded region has long had the advantage of giving parents a break, and giving kids a world to call entirely their own (perhaps best shown in the 1979, Ontario-filmed classic, "Meatballs").
Forget the life skills like learning to build fires and portaging canoes. As any adult who went to — and loved — camp will tell you, this was the place that helped form who they are today. And here's why.
You have used almost every kind of flora as toilet paper
You understand and even approve of the concept of communal clothing
And think nothing of sharing a razor/bra/toothbrush with a friend
You laugh in the face of pinkeye, but know that mono is no joke
While skinny dipping in a cold lake is good for the soul
You knew the cup song and accompanying moves way before Anna Kendrick did it in Pitch Perfect
And when buying solid-coloured shirts, a part of your brain still thinks 'that will totally work for colour war'
Forget all-nighters, you're versed in triple-nighters
For a long time, gimp bracelets made up the entirety of your jewelry collection
The smell of rain can trigger a dozen bunk day memories
You're not freaked out by spiders in your bathing suit -- after hanging it on the clothesline, there were bound to be some critters in there
Much of your early sex education happened behind cabins (and was exactly this sexy)
Wearing costumes does not faze you one bit
You still think Roots sweatpants with the little pocket flipped out are the epitome of casual cool
And of course, there was a time when all you wanted in the world was Oakley sunglasses
Your lack of fear when it comes to food can be directly traced back to camp meals
However, you still have nightmares about tater tots
Plus, you continue to sleep with one eye open in case someone covers you in shaving cream
The exquisite pain of your impossible crush on a counsellor is still palpable all these years later
But then when they added you to Facebook last year, it was like ...
Forget the Hunger Games — you know the real place to learn archery was among other 9-year-olds
Your smartphone addiction was foreshadowed by the longing you felt for your Nintendo through those summer months
And you've never wanted to hear from your parents more than when mail packages were being called out
Some of your clothes still have your name sewn into them
While the last CDs you want to give up are Dave Matthews Band and Neil Young, for their campfire singalongability
That one time you carried the flag over to your team's side during Capture the Flag remains your most successful moment ever
But that pales in comparison to knowing you've got your camp friends for life, who know all your secrets, and are sworn by blood never to reveal a word