General Writing

Camp Marydell (Throwback Thursdays)

I am Baptist now, but was raised Catholic. Twelve years of school in a uniform and attending Queen of All Saints for service and Sunday school. You know what else Catholicism gets you? CAMP. An all-girl, Catholic camp in upstate Nyack with uniforms and cabins named after Native American groups. And almost no Catholic girls. These girls were crazy in the best way possible. We’d listen to Dr. Ruth on our Walkmans after lights out (naughty!) and wolf whistle at our very mature (20 year olds!) counselors as they headed out for dates on their nights out in ‘real clothes.’ Sister Veronica (head nun in charge) found a circulating copy of a prostitute’s memoir & made all our heads hang in shame over her disappointment (“but do we get the book back?” someone whispered.) I wore braces and never smiled with my teeth (see below). Movie nights included viewings of Pollyanna on a projector screen in the mess hall and small ziplock bags of popcorn. We’d regularly barter canteen goods: I craved candy, and would trade off a Coke or Sunkist for a Baby Ruth. Daily mail call was similar to the scenes in “The Wire” where dealers threw out free samples of new product. The library–always a sanctuary–was a schoolbus set on cinder blocks with no circulation. Enjoy.

marydell

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