10. You can do absolutely nothing together and still have immeasurable amounts of fun. This past weekend, four of my camp friends and I sat on a couch from 10 AM until roughly 7 PM, talking and watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, briefly emerging into public only to seek out food. It ranks in my top 5 best days ever.
9. Good friends look at pictures of your ex’s new girlfriend and say you’re prettier, but camp friends see the picture and compare her to different kinds of zoo animals, demons, and their deceased grandmothers.
8. No topic is off limits. Not only can you talk about poop with your camp friends, but you can also talk about the shape, size, and smell of the poop and they will listen intently and probably ask for more details.
7. They actually love you for you. When you live with someone for seven weeks for seven years, you get to know each other incredibly well. My camp friends have seen me at my absolute worst and my absolute best and everything in between and shockingly still associate with me. That is because they are superstars (that and they also might be psychotic. Jury is still out on that one.)
6. Camp friends call you out on your shit. My friends still tell the story about how I had an emotional breakdown after losing my prescription lens goggles when I was 10, in addition to the story about how I spilled a full water bottle on my bed at 11, then after remaking the bed, proceeded to spill a second full water bottle on the new dry sheets. Completely unsympathetic to both plights, my bunkmates spared my feelings and told it to me how it was: the world wasn’t ending, I could get new goggles, sleep in a sleeping bag. Chill the fuck out.
5. Clothes are but a formality. Nudity was the norm at camp– we compared budding boobs, streaked through camp, and generally were more comfortable in our birthday suits than any other item of clothing. Changing in front of any other friends might be uncomfortable but with your camp friends, you can strip down without a single thought.
4. They know your most embarrassing moments. My camp friends saw me through every awkward stage. They knew me when I was an owl-shaped glasses wearing kid who thought the brooms in our bunk were supposed to be used for playing Quidditch as opposed to cleaning, and they knew me when I thought all denim outfits were the coolest. They still make fun of me for the whole broom misunderstanding, but they never told any major media outlets or any of my friends from home, which I guess is proof that they really love me.
3. You have your own language. Camp friends can reference anything from your ten summers together and you’ll immediately catch on. Sorry, you don’t know what ropeburn, Jamboree, or Birthday Ball is? Why are chipwiches so great? Did you just ask what a green flame is? You can’t sit with us.
2. They always have your back. The summer that I was thirteen, my bunk decided that it would be hilarious to steal all the toothbrushes and toothpaste of all the other bunks in our age group, including our own. We would leave one bunk’s toothbrushes untouched, essentially framing them. When the disappearance of all dental hygiene materials was met with tears and tattling, our division leader had us all stay after flagpole to investigate who was the culprit of the crime. The girls who’s toothbrushes we left alone all were bawling, asserting their innocence repeatedly. After about ten minutes of silence, I stepped forward: “I stole the toothbrushes.” Immediately, one of my bunkmates jumped in front of me: “No, I stole all the toothbrushes!” In true Spartacus-style, each of my bunkmates began to profess their guilt. We ended up confusing our division leader so much that she didn’t punish anyone and just let us go to breakfast, grinning with yellow-tinged teeth. Those are true friends for ya.
1. They know you better than you know you. The people I’ve met at camp are the most important people in my life. I could be whomever I wanted around them and they accepted me: quirks, huge glasses, irrational emotional breakdowns, and all. My camp friends had a better handle on who I was than even I did. They probably still do.