Back in the early 1980s, kids didn’t have cell phones, nor did they have access to anything that would allow them to “instantly” communicate with any other humans outside the radius of a can with a string or dialing a rotary phone. Or possibly walkie-talkies (which were SUPER fun, BTW, my brother and I had lots of fun with those)!
If you went to summer camp? You had only ONE way of communicating with the outside world, besides setting the whole camp on fire – and that meant letters. My mom kept all of the letters exchanged between me and the family while I attended Camp ‘O Fair Winds Girl Scout camp in the summers of 1981, 1982, and 1983. The camp was located about 25 miles northeast of Flint, MI, and is now closed. The letters have proven to be kind of a neat time capsule! You get to read ALL of these letters in their entirety (starting with 1981)! You might want to save this for when you have trouble getting to sleep at night (LOL), they’re sure to be so boring you’ll drop off instantly with ennui!
June 21, 1981 (From my mother)
Hi Heather! It’s a little wet out tonight. I bet it’s neat being in a tent in the rain. Sylvester (our black and white cat) came in soaking wet a while ago. That’s nothing new though, he loves to get wet.
This isn’t the best photo in the world, but here’s a pic of Sylvester the cat, circa 1979-1980
I noticed you took the wrong mechanical pencil, the one you have must have no lead. Oh well, you have others.
Don’t forget to get your vitamins from the nurse either after lunch or breakfast.
It sure seems wierd (sic) not having you here, but I know you are having a lot of fun.
Edward Burzyck was here swimming today with Blain’s babysitter. Grandma, (Aunt) Ginny, and (cousin) Clarissa were here too. Grandma brought you a Chinese yo-yo.
Daddy is in bed and (brother) Mikie is watching a dumb movie on TV called Bite The Bullet.
Poster from the 1975 western film Bite The Bullet. Can you name the 1992 Western film for which Gene Hackman won an Oscar?
I’m writing a letter to you because I miss you.
P.S. Have fun and don’t forget to write!
Monday, June 21, 1981 (from my mother)
How are you after your first night in a tent? It must have been great. Did it rain there? It rained here all night.
How is the food so far? I hope you are eating enough. I don’t want you to get skinny.
Grandma just called, she doesn’t get out of the hospital today, maybe she will tomorrow.
It looks like the sun is going to shine pretty soon. I hope we don’t get any more rain for a while. Mike sure is lazy, I just told him to pick up the junk in the living room and he’s playing with his Chinese yo-yo. He will write you a note soon.
Bye for now,
P.S. DKASR (Don’t Kiss Any Strange Raccoons)
Tuesday, June 23, 1981 (from my mother)
How are you doing today? What kind of things are you doing at camp? Have you seen any kids you know?
Grandma is supposed to get out of the hospital today. She’s going to call me when the doctor gets to the hospital and writes out her forms, and I’ll call to get her.
I hope you are warm enough at night, it was kind of cold last night. Michael (brother) is meowing like a cat to make me think its George, but I can tell a real cat meow. He’s a little bored and lonely without you here to play with.
Don’t forget to get a T-shirt that’s got a little extra room in it and a patch. Oh yeah, and unit pictures too. Also don’t forget we all love you very much. Have fun.
Photo evidence that I did what mom said! I am second from left in the rear in my “roomy” T-shirt! This is the “Sunny Ridge” unit, which was where they generally put camping “newbies,” since it was close to the common area with the pool, dining hall.
P.S. Alice, George, Sly (Sylvester) and Tom say “meow,” which means Hi Heather.
Undated letter (from me)
I know its really about time I answer the questions you asked in my letters. Here they are.
#1 I am doing fine
Oh oh! There was only one! Well most of other girls went to church. But I decided not to go because I wanted to write more letters.
Have you noticed that I always write “ME” for my return address?
P.S. Sorry its all wrinkled (my letter)
Monday, June 29, 1981 (from my mother)
Hope you are fine today, we all are.
Yesterday we went to Mickey’s (cousin) open house. There were a lot of my aunts and uncles there. 3 aunts and 2 uncles.
Editor’s note: Mickey’s granddaughter Marisa just graduated from high school with a 4.0 grade point average and will be attending the University of Michigan this fall. She earned a full ride scholarship for room and board.
My Aunt Anne says her granddaughter is at Camp ‘O Fair Winds now too. She is in one of the back units. her name is Susan Thomas and she is your cousin.
Editor’s Note: I did wind up tracking down where Susan was camped, she was staying in the “Pines” unit, which were made up of log cabin buildings. The other campers and I joked that only the real “sissy” girls camped in those instead of tents (lol), though I am sure we were secretly just jealous of their “cushy” accommodations. I am unsure whether I actually made any contact with Susan while at camp, but we are now friends on Facebook.
I have take mother to get her stitches out today at the doctor. She will be glad to have them out, they feel kind of uncomfortable.
Its going to be hot today, it’s only a quarter to 10 and I can feel it already. I am going to get hot mowing the lawn.
Well I have to go now, take care and don’t forget we love you.
Love, Mother XXX
Wednesday, July 1, 1981 (from my mother)
Well sweetie, only a few more days and I’ll get to see you again. I miss you a lot, but I’m glad you are at camp learning a lot of new things.
Nothing much has been going on around here, so there isn’t much to write about.
Maybe after you come home, we can go see the new Muppet Movie, its called The Great Muppet Caper.
The Great Muppet Caper grossed about $31 million domestically and was nominated for one Oscar for best original song, The First Time It Happens.
Well bye for now,
Hugs & kisses,