When I was a kid I went to church camp in the “mountains” near Altus, Oklahoma.
Quartz Mountain Christian Camp.
We ate in the combination dining/assembly hall. An open air tin building made breathable by swamp coolers.
And we sang this song before every meal:
Oh, did you ever hear of QMCC?
The camp that’s known for Christian charity.
There never was a camp that’s half so fine,
As Q-M-Cee-Cee, that’s the camp-that-I’ll-call-mine . . .
I can’t remember the rest.
I do remember having to walk around the building holding hands with some guy named Clint, though.
During meals the crowd would spontaneously start pounding the table in rhythm, and yell, “sta-a-and up, so-and-so!”
First, the girl.
Followed by more pounding, then they’d all yell, “sta-a-and up, so-and-so!” to the boy.
Everybody would join in singing,
“ ‘Round the building they must go, they must go, they must go.
‘Round the building they must go, Clint and Sally!”
The second verse of the song told you what you were supposed to do while walking around the outside of the dining hall.
Don’t let your imagination run wild here, it’s church camp.
We slept in these “A” frame cottages that had three tiers of bunks on each side, which meant that the person who slept on the top needed to be an orangutan.
And I lost count of how many frogs I showered with in the concrete bathroom.
Black fuzzy tarantulas the size of your hand were everywhere early in the morning. They only came out at that time of day because it was too hot the rest of the time.
Even for a tarantula.
And nobody was allowed to wear shorts.
I still think some people got baptized again just to cool off.
But the kids I got to play with…
I couldn’t wait to go again the next summer.
This past week I went back to camp after a long absence.
It was hot and I had to sleep in a bunk bed.
But the kids I got to play with….