I don’t remember a lot about this book, but I do remember a lot of the plot surrounding Mary Anne and Logan. Seriously, it is burned into my brain that Mary Anne gets in trouble for sneaking out to see Logan, and when she gets banned from something for three days and is all, “oh how sad.” Then her counselor tells her how she once snuck out to see a boy. Then Logan gets in trouble for starting a food fight, and he gets a similar punishment, and is all, “oh how sad.” Then his counselor tells him he started a food fight once too.
I think I only remember that because it seemed so unbelievable that they would have such similar experiences and it felt out of place. I mean, it was done to be funny (or something), but the BSC books did not usually go for plot devices like that.
Oh, and this book may or may not have been one of the reasons I begged to go to camp when I was thirteen.
While watching the Parent Trap, the girls in the BSC decide it would be fun to go to camp. They all end up signing up for two weeks at Camp Mohawk. Stacey’s living back in NY at this point, but the rest of the girls talk her into going as well. In addition, the BSC inspires some of their siblings and clients to go, and there ends up being 23 people from Stoneybrook. Seven from the BSC (including Logan), six of Mallory’s siblings (Claire was too young), Karen, David-Michael, Becca Ramsey, Charlotte Johanssen, Haley and Matt Braddock, Buddy Barrett, Shea and Jackie Rodowsky, and Nancy Dawes (Karen’s friend).
The older BSC members are going as CITs, or “Counselors in Training.” This is an excuse to get them to baby-sit while off at camp. Basically, they help the counselors with the kids, but have some free time, and get to do things like attend a dance and movie night with the boy’s camp. Mallory and Jessi are too young to be CITs, but on their applications they write about how much they like baby-sitting, and so they get to be “Juinor CITs.” This means that they are regular campers, but get the “special project” of helping some 8-year-old girls prepare a dance number for Parents’ Day.
All the older girls end up assigned to different cabins so they have their own little adventure.
- Kristy: Is assigned to Becca and Charlotte’s cabin and has to deal with the fact that Charlotte is crazy-homesick. She also has to deal with her co-CITs, who insist on giving her a makeover for the big dance. They do, she’s actually impressed with how she looks in make-up, but was happy to take it all off after the dance.
- Claudia: Falls in “LUV” at first sight with some guy CIT she saw when some boys visit her cabin to officially invite the girls to the CIT dance. She moons over him until the movie night when they finally talk. He’s totally into her as well, and they get to spend two evenings together (a movie night and the dance) before going home.
- Stacey: Gets poison ivy, a cold, impetigo, pinkeye, and a ton of insect bites. She ends up spending several days in the infirmary. That’s what happens when you take a city girl out of Manhattan.
- Mary Anne: Her fellow CITs don’t believe she has a boyfriend, so she writes this flowery note to Logan for them to “find.” When they read it, they talk her into sneaking out at night to walk around the lake to see Logan. She gets caught, but earns the respect of the other girls. However, she is embarrassed that Logan saw the note, since it wasn’t the type thing she usually gave him. But he seems to like it anyway. She earns their respect again when another CIT asks to pierce her ears. Mary Anne tells her to go ahead and do it, but the other girl can’t go through with it.
- Dawn: Is intrigued a camper that is quiet and bookish. Then, on an overnight camping trip in the woods, her cabin gets lost and ends up back at camp 24 hours late. And the quiet girl saves the day, of course.
- Mal and Jessi: Get a total of three chapters between them, even though most of the other girls get three or four each. They have the same story, which is: Their cabin mates are really bitchy to them because they think Mal and Jessi are babies. A couple of them are racist on top of that. But Mal and Jessi cast Charlotte and Becca as twins in the dance/skit they are preparing and this magically gets a couple of them to apologize.
- Logan: He gets teased by his fellow CITs when they hear about Mary Anne sneaking around the lake. He even starts a food fight over it. But his friends come around when they meet Mary Anne at the dance.
- So, Camp Mohawk is one camp, owned by a couple – The Means. It has a boys’ camp on one side of a lake (where Mr. Mean’s in charge) and a girls camp (where Mrs. Mean’s in charge) on the other. We find out that both camps have cabins, a mess hall, an infirmary, an arts and crafts cabin, etc. This seems really impractical to me, because it they’re paying twice for the same staff/services. Why not have one of all the general stuff and just have separate sleeping cabins?
- The campers at Camp Mohawk range in age from 6 to 11, but you have to be thirteen to be a CIT. I guess all twelve-year-olds who want to attend are just screwed?
- There are two adjoining cabins for each age, with six campers, two CITs, and one counselor on each side. Has anyone been to camp where the cabins were that small? The one I went to had about twenty kids in each, and some age groups had more than one cabin. But, every camp book I’ve ever read had cabins with really small numbers of people – I guess to make the story easier to follow.
- Also, what are the chances that every single age group would have the same number of campers (for both genders).
- The number of cabins also means that Camp Mohawk has 144 campers and 48 CITs, at any one point in time. This means that the Stoneybrook crew accounts for about 10% of the customers. I wonder how the camp survived before that? Seriously, the camp has that many new customers from one place and it doesn’t affect their total attendee-number?
- Dawn is a CIT for one of the 11-year-old cabins, but not the one Mal and Jessi are in. And Dawn’s campers all seem like cool, friendly, girls, while Mal and Jessi get stuck with the bitchy racist ones.
- The only two BSC members who are in the same cabin are Jessi and Mallory, so we end up with almost no interaction between all the girls. The only chapters where they talk to each other are in the first couple chapters, and then the chapters about the CIT dance.
- Apparently, there’s one person at Camp Mohawk with an actual Mohawk….a counselor named “Mohawk Jo”. She actually showed up at camp with it dyed red and blue, so when Mrs. Means complained, Joe washed out the dye and just had a normal Mohawk. However, Mrs. Means thought she had won some battle because the color was gone. Kristy describes this as “smart.”
- This book sucks in terms of outfits, because everyone has to wear the camp uniform – shirts, shorts, socks, and sometimes sweaters that have a teepee on them. But we still get several instances of people describing their whole outfits they way they normally describe Claud’s outfits. If I thought the ghostwriters were smarter, I’d call it satire.
- For example, this is Logan’s outfit: “I put on my teepee shorts and polo shirt and tied my teepee sweater casually around my shoulders. Then I put on my teepee socks and my Reeboks.”
- Stacey points out that the Mohawk Indians are part of the Iroquois Nation….who lived in longhouses, not teepees. I can’t imagine how it feels to be thirteen and see a continuity error in something.
- In this book, Emily Michelle exists and Mimi is still alive, which puts this book somewhere between Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise and Claudia and the Sad Good-Bye in the BSC chronology.
- Mallory puts up with a lot with her siblings. Since Margo gets carsick, Mal carries a barf bag onto the bus, and sits with sick Margo on the drive up.
- Claudia writes a letter to Mimi that starts with, “Hi, Who are you?” I mean, poor Mimi has enough problems with language after her stroke, and Claudia goes and writes something like that?
- The bathrooms are apparently in separate cabins. That seems a little….not smart. I know camping is roughing it, but what if a six-year-old wakes up in the middle of the night and has to pee?
- Mallory makes armbands that label her and Jessi as “Juinor CITs.” Even Jessi knows it’s just going to make them look like more of an outcast. But she puts them on anyway, because she wants to be a good friend.
- Not only does Stacey get sick, but she’s the CIT assigned to Karen’s cabin. Poor girl.
- Mrs. Means gives a talk the first night of camp about how Lyme disease has only recently become a problem. And that makes me feel old, because I remember hearing about Lyme disease when I was pretty young.
- Is it wrong that this book is how I learned what the term “oreo” meant?
- Kristy makes a point of telling us how she feels different from her fellow CITs because, despite having to wear a uniform, she brought the wrong shoes and stands out. The shoes in question are a pair of blue Velcro “ponies” instead of laced white sneakers. And on the cover, they make a point of showing Kristy in blue shoes…but ones with laces.
- At the dance, everyone starts cutting in on each other. This happens in several of the BSC books, and I don’t buy 13-year-olds doing that.
- In Stacey’s cabin, the adjoining cabin does this traditional prank where they “Christmas” the other cabin – put Christmas decorations, powder snow, and stockings with token gifts. They say that no one knows which Age 6 cabin will Christmas each other when, but if one cabin hasn’t heard about it, don’t they kind of know they’ll be the “victim.”
- So, on the last day of camp, all the parents come and watch a show. Then we hear that the Pikes are driving around to the other side of the lake to pick up the boys. So….do they not have a show on the boy’s side? Or is it later so parents can go to both of them?
- Kristy’s co-CIT is named Tansy, who claims her name means tenacious. And Kristy is all, “I looked up my name in a baby-name book and couldn’t find it.” And I have to call bullshit on that, cause I have the same name and have always been able to find it in name books. It doesn’t have an interesting meaning, but it’s there.
- As soon as I started reading this scene, I remembered it: Claudia finds an inch worm and puts it on her co-CIT’s bed to “see how she would react.” Then when the other girl screams, Claud is all, “Oh, I guess that’s how!”
- I remembered this too: Claudia going to the canteen with her campers, and them being amazed at the HUGE pile of junk food she got.
- They make a point of explaining how no one can remember/pronounce the name of the lake at the camp….and every single time the lake is mentioned, it’s spelled differently. Like, Dekadonka, then Deckasaga, then Dekanawida, then Demidonkey, etc. I’m sure I didn’t notice that as a kid, but I think it’s hilarious.