My experience with summer camp comes exclusively from friends, horror movies, and that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa and Bart go to Camp Krusty. As far as I'm concerned, summer camp is where your parents leave you to sing Bible songs, camp counselors get naked and stabbed, and then you overthrow the leadership after a string of broken promises.
I doubt that will happen in this book. However, there will be little adventures in this most special of episodes. Just like the previous Super Special, the chapters change narrators, so the essay will be structured in the same way. This narrator switching allows for a range of events to happen — a range of events that may or may not intersect with each other. So pack up that sunscreen, read up on dangerous plants, and get ready to run from murderous killer cams, it's time to go camping!
After some coaxing, Stacey decides to join her friends at Camp Mohawk. We'll get to the problematic name, don't you worry. She joins her friends, but there is one condition: everyone has to keep a diary that she will collate together at the end of camp.
Parents are dropping off their kids at the bus in a cacophony, not unlike the first day of school. Some kids are crying and they're still forced on the bus, I guess. If your kid is crying and they're not even at camp yet, maybe you should just let them stay home. This is not mandatory. Some kid is yelling about turnips. Another is yelling about her goldfish, which I'm sure will be the same one that she left behind.
Also, there are bags. A lot of bags. The campers are allowed to bring necessities and their own shoes and underwear, but all the campers are required to wear a uniform. Conformity is a necessity of camp, apparently. And just to add to the terribleness of this endeavor, all the clothes, including socks, have the same symbol. Stacey, take it away:
A teepee. Now, I don't know a lot about Indian culture, but I know this much. The Mohawk Indians are part of this large Iroquois nation. And the Iroquois lived in longhouses, not teepees.
But what can you do? This was camp, not school.
Time to get into it. Don't say "Indian." "Indigenous" is good. The actual tribe name is better. What's best is to not make a mascot out of the people who were systematically murdered by the government. Additionally, who cares if it's not school? Being empathetic shouldn't be location specific.
Finally, and most troublingly, Ann M. Martin wrote the book. She could have named the camp anything. Even if Stacey points out the problems, it's still inappropriate. If it is a terrible name (and it is), and our characters know it (as indicated in the passage), that should be a plot point wherein a group tries to get the camp to change. Why name it something insensitive and have the symbol be something just as offensive if it's not going to come up as a major plot point? The television changes the camp name to Camp Moosehead. The show is wonderful and perfect, and go watch it if you haven't. And then cancel your Netflix subscription because there won't be any new seasons of The Baby-sitters Club.
Apparently, the whole camp idea started with Dawn. The California girl had been on a camp movie binge including Meatballs and The Parent Trap. Good thing Sleepaway Camp wasn't on that camp movie list, otherwise, Dawn might rethink her camp idea.
Like most things in Stoneybrook, the idea spreads like wildfire, and soon, all of the BSC, plus some select kids, are going to Camp Mohawk, bringing the grand total to twenty-three. With all the kids we know, the random kids we don't know, the BSC and the other CITs (counselors-in-training), and the actual counselors, there's going to be a lot of names, so brace yourself.