Monday, May 7, 2012

brain blast from the past

A very dear family friend of my family's has, for years, run what can only be described as a hippie day camp for nerds.* 

I say "for nerds" with the utmost affection, seeing as (a) I spent many a summer day there, both as a camper and a counselor, and (b) I am, and forever will remain, a humungo-nerd.  Also, nerds run the world.  {Apologies to Beyonce}  We all know this. 

Anyhoover, every morning during the months of June and July, kiddos hop on un-air-conditioned blue vans {as a counselor, I was equal parts tickled and horrified that the brightly decorated vehicles I drove out to camp each day were to be the exact same ones I rode on as a camper...a decade and a half later} and head on out of Austin to a rustically beautiful ranch in the countryside.  Campers attend classes in the morning and participate in more prototypical "camplike" activities in the afternoons.  Creativity is fostered.  Forward thinking is encouraged.  Environmental respect is exercised.  We're pretty much talkin' the antithesis of letting your child lounge around playing video games all summer. 

During and immediately following lunchtime {wherein no one is allowed to pack foodstuffs that include high-fructose corn syrup as one of the first three ingredients}, a novel is often read aloud {A Wrinkle in Time was a favorite when I was wee... Harry Potter ruled during my counselor summer} and campers usually participate in some sort of brain power exercise.  I'd forgotten all about this last element until last week when I was reading nursery rhymes to L... She began fussing, so I started singing any little children's song I could think of...

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream. 
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream!

L shot me a look that could only be interpreted as "color me unimpressed."

And then... out of nowhere...

Propel, propel, propel your craft
Placidly down the liquid solution. 
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically
Existence is but a mystic illusion!  


OH YES.  From the depths of gray matter... an old gem from those "let's take a simple song and replace the lyrics with synonyms we've brainstormed" camp games of yore.  

My child considered my souped up, ten dollar version of  "Row, Row, Row," let forth a glorious belch, and gave me a belly laugh for the ages. 

Cracking me up with the sunhat

When she gets older, I'll make her sing it with me... in a ROUND.

Score eleventy-billion for the nerds.

*I should mention the official literature uses the terminology "for gifted youngsters."  There you have it... PROOF OF MY BRILLIANCE.  


  1. haha! I love it! I wish I could have gone to a cool camp like that.

  2. As a kindergarten teacher, I would break out the camp songs with crazy-ass movements involved on rainy days. Said songs were brilliant at making children laugh, and helped release their never-ending energy. Camp songs=WINNING! Glad L is on the song train:-).

  3. Hahaha! This is fabulous, Kate.

  4. hilarious! you should think of more and write a book. It sure would make nursery rhymes more interesting for parents, and would definitely help the kiddos out with their vocab down the line!


happy little comments!