Monday, July 2, 2012

Camp Classen

Well, we got the house we want! I cannot express my excitement. And just at the right time too- we had to give a 30 day notice to the apartment complex letting them know if we'd be moving out or going month to month for an expensive 170/month more. We will be moving by the end of July, so we've got a crazy 29 days in front of us. We're supposed to be going to Colorado and then spend some time in Plano, but who knows now. I just feel great knowing that I haven't been packing aimlessly but actually with some purpose! And since I got the call from our wonderful realtor I've packed as many boxes today as I had all month. Let's do this!

In honor of being so excited about this, I've decided to give you all something you've been asking for. For a while now people have been telling me I need to write. I have news for you: I do write. I write a blog. But you know this already. What you don't know is that I've been writing for years, since elementary school. In 3rd grade I wrote and illustrated a book called "The Phony Manager". In 4th grade I completed my autobiography, and in 5th grade I finished probably my masterpiece, "Barney in Jurassic Park". Not that I made these books of my own ambition- they were assignments. Which is crazy to think about now... I wrote more in a Plano ISD elementary school than most Houston schools do in a 4-year period of regular  high school academic classes. Talk about a disparity...

Anyway, since I've been packing anyway I rediscovered some of my classic elementary works and decided that I'm going to share them with you all, piece by piece, so you can see into the mind of Tracey Allen, 1994-1997. Today we begin with some 1996  work about Camp Classen. This would be fall of my 5th grade year. Every year the 5th graders at all PISD schools would take a weeklong trip to Camp Classen and stay in cabins with one parent. It was so cool to get away from school, our homes, and go on hikes, hunt for fossils, play on the lake. When we came back we had two writing assignments: one was to write a paragraph about our favorite Camp Classen memory for a 5th grade memoir. The other was to write a small chapter book about everything that happened at camp. You'll see my humor and enthusiasm for writing about the obscure and random began very early.

Hedgcoxe Fifth Grade 1996 Camp Stories

"My Most Memorable Moment at Camp Classen"

At Camp Classen, my most memorable moment was actually in my cabin. We had four imaginary angels in our bathroom. They were Joe, John, Moe and Will. We liked to pretend that they were there even though we made them up and we knew that they were not real. The angels stayed with us for the whole week. It was pretty cool actually. We pretended to talk to them when we were bored. They could not come with us, so they will stay at the best cabin at Camp Classen, Anthony, to meet the other people that will be coming in the years to come.

Story by Tracey Allen

(I'm a little surprised I didn't have to talk to the counselors about being in 5th grade and admitting to inventing imaginary friends).

Camp Classen

(I won't bore you with the details of every page in this oh-so-important novel. I'll include the noteworthy chapters with some 2012 commentary.)

On the Road- (I  made sure to write down who I sat next to, in front of, and diagonal from both to and from camp. Also, we apparently watched "Angels in the Outfield" and part of "Dragonheart" on the way there, "Homeward Bound" and part of "Fievel Goes West" on the way back).

Chow Time-
First chow time- I got 2 salads, 3 breadsticks and 1 cup of fruit punch. Second chow time I got 2 pieces of sausage, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 waffle and 1 bowl of cheerios. Third chow time... (and it goes on like that through the 12th chow time. Riveting.)

Cabin Counselor-
My counselor was Mrs. Ebling and she was very nice. She's Ian's mom and I am glad she was my counselor. She let us stay up on Halloween doing the laughing game and trying to make people float (some good old fashioned seance time never hurt anyone, right?).

Classen Comrades- (apparently I wasn't aware I was not living in the USSR during the Cold War when I wrote this. This is where I described everyone as "nice and" something. My adjective vocabulary wasn't great, obviously.)

Cabin Catastrophes-
1. Kerie thinks the fan is haunted- it keeps turning on by itself.
2. Stephanie, Kerie and I got stuck while in a John Boat on Lake Classen. (There is a picture of Kerie rowing saying "My arms feel like anvils", Stephanie saying, "We're gonna die!", and me saying "I wish I could row" with a big frown on my face. For being my best friend, Kerie sure was a bully!)
3. Wasps ate part of our pumpkin.
4. Our t-shirts and sweatshirts are smeared.
(Talk about your serious catastrophes!)

Bonfire Bonanza-
Our bonfire was fun... we sang John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt (which I think is a pretty impressive spelling for a 5th grader, and probably the way I would still spell that song today).

And of course, my final page simply declares: We will all miss Moe, John, Will and Joe- the Angels in Da Bathroom (which makes a lot of sense now that I read we watched "Angels in the Outfield" on the way to camp. Inspiration comes from many places).

Tune in next time- there's more where this came from!

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