Letters From Camp Surprise Lake

On the first night at Camp Surprise Lake, Izzy Samuelson wet his bed, a real soaker. He was in the top bunk, above Lester Himmelblatt. Lester slept soundly.

Izzy stripped the sheets off his bed and stuffed them into the bottom of the army-green duffel bag his mother sent with him on the bus from Port Authority.

She had packed three pairs of shorts, 4 polo shirts, underwear and socks for three or four days, depending, one pair of sheets, a pillow case, three pieces of lined notebook paper, a pencil, three envelopes, four Superman comics, a toothbrush, one towel, one change of Lone Ranger pajamas, and a clean black plastic pocket comb with the name ACE printed on it.

He changed into dry clothes in the grey pre-dawn light, wedged the bag into the space under Lester’s bed. He sat on the damp steps of the bunk and watched the fog drift up off the lake.

During rest time after lunch he wrote the following letter:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

Camp is Great. I hope you are having a good time with my new baby sister. Please tell her I said hello. Ha ha! Camp is beautiful. We had egg salad with lettuce, pickles, and Ritz crackers for dinner last night and I thought of all of the starving children in China and I finished it all. Please send me a copy of Moby DICK. Ha ha!

 Me, Age 9

 P.S. Please send me two more sheets. I had an accident.

On Tuesday afternoon, his third day away, he scribbled the following note:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

You did not pack any stamps for me. Was that a joke? Ha ha! Mr. Sherman said the post office wouldn’t take the letter I sent you. He loaned me two stamps, which he will add to the bill. I think Neil Trushin stole my comic books but he said that they were his and they weren’t that good anyway so he sold them.

 Izzy, Age 9

 P.S. We had a social with the girls’ side and a girl with red hair asked me to dance. She had nice breath. I still need the sheets.

 On Wednesday afternoon he wrote the following note:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

I made lanyards for you and grandma and stitched a fake leather wallet for daddy. Does he already have a wallet? I did not know what to make for the sister. Maybe you could buy her something. Things are not going so great here. You forgot to pack my baseball glove and Sidney Hersh called me a homo commie dickweed and then he punched me in the shoulder.

 Your son Izzy, Age 10

 P.S. The red haired girl’s name is Fern. I still need the sheets.

 On Thursday afternoon he wrote:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

Camp is not so turning out so good. Sidney took everything out of my duffel bag. He said he thought it was his. He called me a stinking sissy homo commie creep. I told him I liked homo commie dickweed better and he punched me in the other shoulder. Ask Daddy how the Dodgers are doing. Ha ha! I think I only want to stay one week. Please come pick me up on Sunday but not on Saturday. They won’t let you because of Shabbos. We had egg salad again. I ate the lettuce and pickles but I asked them to send the rest to China. Fern said they tasted like dinosaur eggs. Ha ha!

 Your one and only son, Izzy, Age 10 and 1 day

P.S. Mr. Sherman said he would not charge you for the extra pieces of paper he loaned me but you still owe him for the stamps.

 P.S. Sheets

 On Monday afternoon he wrote:

 Dear Parents,

Do you remember me? You forgot to pick me up. I am not feeling so well. Mr. Sherman said I should not write to you anymore. He said he will call you. I hope you will answer the phone. I am not kidding. Ha ha.

 I found out what the surprise in the lake is. I was swimming with Fern Dorfman today and when we got out the lake, Bonnie Lefrak and Sandy Klein started screaming. The whole camp started to run away but Mr. Sherman threw a towel around us and they all came back. I am in the infirmary. I think they took all of the leeches off me. It really hurt a lot. I asked them if I could keep one to bring home. Ha ha! Please come and pick me up tomorrow. I really mean it.


P.S. Fern needs a ride home too. Maybe her parents can bring me home.

 P.S. Camp was not such a good idea






One thought on “Letters From Camp Surprise Lake”

  1. Ha Ha! I got a good chuckle out of this one. Brought back old camp memories. But so sad that his parents forgot his birthday and weren’t paying any attention to him.


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