I loved going to camp when I was a kid. An entire week without my parents or siblings, building camp fires and singing songs. I loved swimming and kayaking, and I didn't even mind the tents and bugs. Between throwing up in the camp fire after a game of Chubby Bunny went a little too far and surviving a tornado will camping in the woods, my summers were filled with archery contests and first aid clinics and compass scavenger hunts and botany lessons and adventures of all kinds. And when summer faded into winter, there were plenty of books to read about camp, so the next summer camp never seemed far away.
Even before I was old enough for roughing it, there were picture books like The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp by Stan and Jan Berenstain and Little Critter Goes at Scout Camp by Mercer Mayer about day-camp. And when I got a little older, a few of the Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin took place at summer camp, plus I probably read Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary and Holes by Louis Sachar half a dozen times each.
While I missed out on The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White when I was a kid, I finally read it for the first time this past week. This summer I also read Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan, which wasn't around when I was a kid. Both Summer Camp Secrets by Katy Grant and Camp Confidential by Melissa J. Morgan are newer series that I haven't read, but I'm sure I would have loved them as a pre-teen.
Of course I've gotten wiser with age and realized that I have running water and air conditioning for a reason, but those memories of summer camp haven't faded through the years.