I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.
Summer Camp and Practical Jokes Go Hand In Hand
I was fortunate to be able to go to summer camp in northern New England from the age of eight through my Junior year of high school.
I matured at camp. I became more independent and self-confident. It was at summer camp that my love of the outdoors grew and led me to me become an avid hiker and long-distance backpacker. I learned a lot at summer camp -- new outdoor skills and sports, arts and crafts, boating and water safety, leadership skills.
And, of course, the art of the practical joke.
Here, I'll share with you several of the pranks I remember from summer camp and show you where you can pick up more ideas. I'd also like to hear your practical joke stories, so be sure to share them in the guestbook below.
Did You Go To Summer Camp? - After answering the poll, you'll be able to leave a comment. Do you have a favorite summer camp memory? And where did you go to cam
My Favorite Summer Camp Movie - Which includes some funny practical jokes
I first saw this film in the mid-90s, and I've watched it a couple of times since. If you went to summer camp (or still go) and enjoyed it, I think you'll really enjoy this film too. It's funny and heartwarming and makes me really want to be a camper or camp counselor again.
The Huge Pile Of Shoes Prank
Mixed and matched at that
I must take partial credit (or blame rather) for this idea, concocted one afternoon while floating around in a kayak on the lake. I was a "Counselor In Training," and I and my fellow CIT's were exempt from evening activity that night. A perfect time to carry out the plan.
So, while the rest of the camp was attending the talent show, my compatriots and I set to work. We gathered all of the shoes we could find in the deserted cabins and transported them in tarps, one CIT on each corner of the heavy loads, to the big field. There, we deposited the shoes in a great pile. We didn't purposely mix and match, but such was the result.
Needless to say, there was quite the ruckus later that night, when the victims returned to their bunks to find notes from their shoes, explaining they'd walked off to the field for some star-gazing. Actually, I don't really remember what the tell-tale notes said, but I do recall the chewing out we CIT's received from the director the next morning, as campers were still lamenting two left or two right shoes, neither of which seemed to fit right.
The Loud Speaker Under The Bed Summer Camp Lark
It's time to get up, counselor!
Talk about a rude awakening. But it was pure justice, given all of the mornings we weary campers had been jolted from our beds by the sound of the head counselor's much-too-cheery voice over the loud speaker not long after sunrise, followed by a blaring bugle playing Reveille. (Listen below)
I mean, c'mon, our parents paid for us to go to camp! Why couldn't we sleep in when we wanted to? Who needed breakfast anyway, when we had our care packages under our cots?
So, one morning, our grumpy bunk of Senior girls hatched a plan to get even. And we enlisted the help of the Senior boys to carry it out. What we did was remove one of the loud speakers from the tree near our bunk and place it in the head counselor's private cabin, beneath her cot, hiding the wire as best we could. (Which turned out to be good enough.) The ingenious prank wasn't discovered until the next morning, when our own bunk counselor, who was in cahoots with us, went into the main office a bit early and did the morning wake-up call and the playing of Reveille herself.
Moments later, the head counselor came flying out of her cabin, red-faced and mighty ticked, in front of a howling audience of Senior girls and boys. We didn't mind getting up a little earlier than usual that morning.
The Raising Of The Cot
With the sleeping camper in it!
He was a very deep sleeper, the boy in our brother cabin. The morning Reveille never woke him up. No, it would usually take a pile of his bunk-mates on top of him to rouse this particular boy.
How do I know this, being that I was in their sister cabin on the other side of camp? Um ... well, a little bird told me. (I can't remember his name all these years later, but I remember he was cute!)
Anyhow, I had some advanced notice of this practical joke (since I helped devise the raising system), so I was present the morning that the sixteen year-old heavy sleeper was raised, cot and all, to the rafters. Needless to say, he was suddenly very much awake when his bunkmate's rendition of Reveille on the electric guitar roused him from his slumber. Then the rest of us left for the morning flagpole ceremony, with the cot and its occupant still hanging around.
The Old Toothpaste On The Toilet Seat Summer Camp Gag
This one certainly wasn't original, having been a tradition at every summer camp I attended for years before my arrival. But it was always funny nonetheless.
But be sure to use white toothpaste. If you use the blue stuff, it'll be too easily spotted on the seat before the victim sits.
This (what I call) minor practical joke is harmless, as I see it ... unless, of course, you use a fellow camper's toothbrush to apply said toothpaste. I don't recommend that practice, however; you might end up cleaning all the toilets with that same toothbrush. Believe me, I know.
What Would Camp Be Without A Bra Up The Flagpole?
And of course it was always the biggest bra that could be found and pilfered. Which usually belonged to a counselor, since most of the campers hadn't developed enough to wear bras that were much more than double-A's.
This is another traditional summer camp prank, and I always thought it was rather lame ... especially by the time I was a Senior camper and well beyond double-A's myself. (I was always worried it would be my bra up there, so I kept those I wasn't wearing well hidden.) Funny thing was, no one would ever claim the chosen bra once it was brought down the flagpole. Not unless the owner had written her name in it, as campers and counselors often did with their clothing. In that case, her name would be called, and she'd have to walk to the center of the circle of at least 200 campers and retrieve her brazier, much to the delight of the boys while the girls rolled their eyes.
Summer Camp Pranks -- What Do You Think? - Are they a natural, fun part of camp, or are they just naughty?
Do you think these kinds of practical jokes are basically harmless or should the pranksters be punished?