We’ve been writing about camp all year, so when nudged to write about our fears this month for the Scene 13 Blog, my brain went to Camp Fear and what a cool series that would be.
Summer camp is such a great setting for a scary book or film. Plenty of horror movie villains have already terrorized hapless campers, after all. The reason? The camps are usually in remote places and the campers purposely try to leave technology behind. There may be no phones or no cell service even if there are phones. Sometimes, there isn’t even any electrical power. And how spooky is that to be chased around the woods with nothing but a flashlight in hand.
Until you drop it…
Camp Fear is also a scary place because you’re usually with a bunch of equally clueless friends. You go to camp to goof around and cook s’mores. Only the truly hardcore types show up with survival equipment. When I camp, I’m more likely to have bug repellant and sunscreen then mace or pepper spray.
But I think the main reason camp can feel scary is not because of knife-wielding maniacs or hockey-mask-wearing killers. Camp takes away our toys and the trappings of modern society. It puts us in touch with nature and the big, scary world beyond our safe experiences. That’s what makes it fun and exciting. That’s what inspires us to link arms with our best friend while we’re walking through the woods at night. Because, you know, what if a creepster hopped out of the trees like in every ghost story ever? Or a bear?
Camp Fear—and camp fears—are great reasons to have the summer camp experience. You learn to deal with those jitters and feel more self-reliant because of them. You learn practical ways to address the real fears and safety protocols to increase your personal confidence. Also? You learn to carry a stick when you head to the bathroom at night. And keep a steady grip on the flashlight!