I probably would have started writing earlier if I had gone to camp…

Going to camp was one of those rites of passage I never experienced as a child. The closest I came to it was an overnight stay at Girl Scout camp, and that was a disaster.

First, I got stuck in a canoe in the middle of a lake during a thunder storm (imagine three 9 year-olds dropping their paddles and screaming for help while the fourth paddler tries to convince everyone to abandon ship). Then I braved the dark outhouse and was bitten by a bug. I never wanted to go to the bathroom again… And finally, I spent the night beneath my mosquito net begging for it to end. Thankfully, the camping experience was too short to get out a letter, because believe me, I would have sent pages and pages…

However, thousands – if not millions – of children do write letters home from camp. And writer Diane Falanga captured the essence of those in her book, “P.S. I Hate It Here,” which was featured on today’s CBS Sunday Morning. The letters of desperation from youngsters claiming to be held prisoner in a hell filled with cafeteria food, outhouses and creepy crawlies made us laugh and commiserate with them at the same time. Falanga was inspired by her own child’s letters and soon found that almost everyone she knew had similar pieces of paper stored away – and that’s how books are born. She wrote the book to share hilarious stories with other parents who she thought would understand, but both parents and their kids find the humor. They also both use the book to help them cope with the first tough days apart. Well done, Falanga!

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2 responses to “I probably would have started writing earlier if I had gone to camp…

  1. Thanks for your great posting! Really glad you like my book. Thought you might also want to see this Youtube clip from CBS Sunday Morning this past week. Bill Geist did a great segment on my book and camp life. Enjoy and again, thank you very much.

    Diane Falanga

  2. Here is the CBS Sunday Morning link to youtube and P.S. I Hate It Here Kids’ Letters From Camp book

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