Summer Camp Phrases That Stick With You The Rest Of The Year
Start writing a post

Summer Camp Phrases That Stick With You The Rest Of The Year

These Phrases Aren't Just Relevant At Camp

Summer Camp Phrases That Stick With You The Rest Of The Year

Summer's right around the corner! Which means, at least for me and several of my friends, it's almost time to go back to camp! If you're cringing as you read this, then you don't understand. For most summer camp staff, the perks include s'mores every week, the beautiful outdoors, access to a lakefront, and the opportunities to change the lives of children. Of course, every camp has it's culture, with it's staff and campers returning home with habits and mottoes they learned at camp. Some of these phrases are inside jokes or references that will only make sense to fellow camp members. However, there are a few phrases and mottoes I learned at camp that I have found to be relevant in my life outside of the cultures of cabins, bug spray, cliff kids, and blobbing.

1. Milk and Bricks



[rebelmouse-proxy-image crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//" expand=1]

Because I was a camper (and staff member) at a Christian camp, there are signs with Bible verses or messages on nearly every tree. One of these is a simple wooden sign with the picture of a cow next to a pile of bricks. My first year at camp, this sign confused me. When I asked my counseor what it meant, she told me it referred to the verse from Ephesians 4:29 that says: "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen". "Milk and bricks" is a phrase to remind people to say things that are wholesome (like milk) and that build each other up (like bricks).

After learning this, I noticed at camp that whenever campers said something mean or excluded others, a counselor would say "Milk and Bricks!" to remind them of what they should be saying or doing instead. Is it dorky? Kind of. But as a college student surrounded by relationships, gossip, drama, and competition, I think having the phrase "Milk and Bricks" is a handy reminder to have in your back pocket.

2. Modest Is Hottest

Listen, when you work at a camp where girls have to wear one-piece swimsuits and wide-strap tank tops, this phrase is thrown around a lot to make them understand why they can't wear everything they packed.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//" expand=1]

This phrase isn't meant to slut-shame or praise a single way of dressing. However, there are days, where you will not have much time to put together a cute outfit, do your makeup, or have clean, styled hair. But does that mean you shouldn't still feel beautiful? If you're feeling frumpy, the phrase "modest is hottest" doesn't have to mean that everyone who isn't dressed like you is lower, but you feel that you have the right to be just as hot and confident as they are.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//" expand=1]

3. Just Drink Water

At camp, water has a healing properties. At least, that's what the staff makes it seem for the campers. Have a headache? Drink some water. Stomach hurt? Just drink water. Can't use the bathroom? Where's your water bottle, you need to drink water. Homesick? Water cures homesickness, now CHUG. You're dizzy, hot, and have chapped lips? Kid, you're dehydrated. Drink water and go to the nurse.

In the real world, I don't think that this is such a huge deal, but it doesn't hurt. How many times do we go for the sugary soft drinks, sweet tea, or specialty coffee when we have a meal? How many of actually get the recommended 8 glasses of water a day? Why not remind ourselves to "just drink water" and do our bodies a healthy service?

This is taking the phrase literally, which healthy and necessary to survive. But what about metaphorically? Well, think about those health experts and articles that recommend drinking a full glass of water before every meal.

4. It's Fine

"It's fine? That's not a camp phrase! Everyone says that!"

Well, last summer it was pretty much the theme for camp because it was said so much. In my book, "It's fine" is a camp saying. There were two ways to interpret "It's fine".

In one scenario, it was the worst answer in the world.

Supervisor: Hey, you were on gym duty and none of the equipment was returned.

Counselor: It's fine. I'll make sure to remember tomorrow.

Supervisor: *Breaks clipboard because it's NOT fine*

In another scenario, it was a phrase of optimism and strength.

Supervisor: Hey, you're going to have to teach Nature Study even though you wanted to teach arts and crafts.

Counselor: It's fine. I'm flexible.

This use of "it's fine" is the phrase that is helpful outside of camp. Sometimes things get overwhelming with homework, deadlines, events, and obligations. But you just got to tell yourself "It's fine" and then carry on. Stay positive and believe that in the end, it will all work out fine.

5. Taps

I'm cheating with this last one because it's a song, not a saying. Anyone oppose?

Every camp is different so they might not all use this military song. But at the camp I go to, every evening program ends with a solemn singing if taps. If you don't know it, the lyrics are:

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky;

All is well, safely rest

God is nigh

In the Paradise of Youth that is summer camp, this song can get very old after weeks of singing it every night, and you can take it's message for granted. However, much like, "it's fine", these lyrics are relevant outside of camp life because when reality overwhelms us, we need to remind ourselves that when this day comes to a close, it means that a new day is just around the corner. These lyrics are also comforting because they reassure us (no matter who you are or what you believe in) that when the sun goes down after a long, hard day and we finally close our eyes to get a break, there's someone out there who loves us and wants us to succeed.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Is Meaningful Casual Sex A Paradox?

Why noncommittal sex is more complicated than we'd like to think.


I lost my virginity to a graduate student from Los Angeles. We’d met at a rundown cafe whose Yelp page complained of an alleged rat infestation. His name was Ken and he was 25. What drew me to him was the peculiar way his mouth was perpetually fixed into a sideways, half-moon shape that was like a smirk but without any trace of smugness. But the two most striking parts of Ken by far were the dinner plate roundness of his face and his small, expressionless teddy bear eyes. Of the things that mattered to him, there was his best friend, a college dropout who sold computer parts in Toronto, and sex.

Keep Reading... Show less

A Conversation About Sex

"Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature." - Marilyn Monroe

Thinking Beyond Barriers

There it is. Even though I'm not around you, I can feel it. Was there a flutter of embarrassment in your mind when you saw the word sex in this article’s title? Did you look over your shoulder to ensure nobody was around before you began to read this?

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Signs You Are A True Cancer Of The Zodiac

Calling all babies born June 21st - July 22nd!

My Astral Life

I'm the first to admit that I am one of THOSE people who uses their zodiac sign as a description of themselves. I realize not everyone believes in astrology-related anything, and there are plenty of people who don't fit their signs. However, I'm one of the people who truly fits their sign to a tee. I'm a Cancer, a Crab, a Moon Child. It's currently our season fellow Crabs! So without further ado, here are all of the signs that you're a Cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Blessing of Lacking Sex Appeal

To all the fellow non "it" girls out there


Lacking sex appeal is not a desirable thing. It makes you fee not ugly, but wrong. Not having charisma is not a life goal. It doesn't make you fee friendless, but isolated. Not being the "it" girl happens, and tonight (and every nigh prior to this)

Keep Reading... Show less

Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

It is truly the worst place to be

Confessions From the Single Friend of the Group

Look. If you are anything like me, complaining about being single is such a hard thing to because you are genuinely happy for your friends, but as they continue to be happy in their relationships, the ever crushing weight of being the single friends can become overwhelming. For context, my primary friend group consists of four people. We are all roommates and it is a great time here. All three of my roommates have boyfriends/girlfriends, which makes our friend group of four quickly jump to seven, and it is wonderful! I love my roommates so much and I love their S.O's, but no matter how much I love them I always get extremely jealous and sad. The sad thing is that the only part that ever truly ends up bugging me is that since I am single, they are my go-to top priorities and it has been really hard to watch myself slip from the top of their go-to's to not being their go to when they feel the weight of the world. What makes it harder is that expressing that I feel alone and unwanted makes me sound jealous and like I don't want my friends to hangout with their people. I get it. I do. But there are just days I want to be someone's first pick and I'm not.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments