About Me

My photo
I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Letter From Camp # 1

This is part of my final project for Creative Writing, it covers my humanities credit for Gen Ed. We were instructed to take two genres and write a ten to twenty page project between the two of them. I chose first person creative fiction and poetry. For my creative fiction section I wrote a series of four letters from the point of view of a thirteen year old who has been sent to fat camp against his will. I wanted it to be a sardonic, nihilistic piece but my teacher said that was too glib and wanted my character to change "for the better" while I agree that helps me to branch out as a writer I still feel that the original idea was more humorous.

Letters From Camp

Letter 1

To my dear Mother and Father,

Hey, family unit! It’s me, your loving first-born son, Billy, writing you all the way from the sunny, lakeside shores of Camp Sacajawea. I wish you could see it, the vast, green foliage settled on a majestic backdrop of rolling mountains and blue sky, all reflected upon the shimmering surface of Lake Whinniepoopoo. It's just as the brochure that I found in your sock drawer described it: “Camp Sacajawea: The perfect place for your plump progeny.”

Everything is going swell so far here at camp. The other kids are super nice . . . all four metric tons of them! I only know this number because the moment we stepped off the bus we were sped away to the “Reflection Room,” a large, mess-hall-like building where a giant cattle scale “reflected” everyone’s current weight. I found the process to be quite interesting because, apparently, in order to weigh us correctly the counselors were instructed to strip us down to our underwear, take our luggage and our money, and then proceeded to take our dignity by giving us all special nicknames; my nickname is “Moobs” a clever conjunction on the term man-boobs.

Once they measured our weight (mine being a hearty 190, which, apparently, is overweight for a 5 foot 5 inch thirteen-year-old) and gave us our nicknames, we were taken to the sleeping quarters. Our bunks are typical of any camp except for one small detail: as a new member to a camp for “weight-challenged individuals,” I find it odd that they didn't think to reinforce the beds. Apparently the golem that had occupied my bunk prior to my camp experience was much heavier than myself. This is, of course, an assumption based off the fact that my bed springs had committed hara-kiri and have left a disemboweled mess of springs and steel. Now when I lay down I sink down to the floor and sleep in my mattress cocoon.

After we unpacked what was left of our belongings, we were introduced to our counselors, who then raided our materials for contraband.

My favorite counselor so far is Head Counselor Chip, a surly ex-Navy Seal with a glass eye. He has helped us “find our fit” through such clever motivational phrases as, “Find your fit.”

When asked about how he lost his eye, Head Counselor Chip popped out the glass peeper already in his head and stated, “I gouged it out so I could get a better look at how much you've let yourselves go.” He chuckled lightly and proceeded to drop the eye into my hand. Hours later, when I awoke in the first aid hutch, I was told that I had blacked out and was informed that the reason my throat hurt was because I had been screaming so loudly.

Well, it seems that dinner time has in fact has come. Counselor Chip has promised us a Southwest blend of beans and no-carb tortillas. He has even donned a festive sombrero to mark the occasion. I’ve also been told that they will serve us dinner tonight in the Reflection Room, with that damnable scale hovering over us like a grim specter of things to come.

Until next time family unit



P.S. Fun Camp Fact: Head Counselor Chip has shared a delightful story of how he and his wife had turned a once-dilapidated internment camp into the proud Children’s Weight Management Facility that it is today.

P.P.S. I hope that Cheryl, the sweet sister that she is, is enjoying her graduation present and having a great time in Maui...

Letter From Camp # 2

Letters From Camp Part 2

Letter 2

Dear Famn-Damily,

Well it seems like we have had a miscommunication. Apparently sarcasm doesn’t translate through the written word for some of you...that and I may have over-exaggerated a little in my last letter and would like to clear the air. I would like to let Mom know that I am flattered and thankful that she thought to alert the police to the situation, as unnecessary as that turned out to be. After discussing the letter with Head Counselor Chip, the camp therapist, and the state police, they have decided to let me stay here at Camp Sacajawea under the condition that I write a “retraction” in this letter.

First off, we weren’t literally “stripped naked” when they weighed us in yesterday...but, to be fair, they did make us take off our shoes. Second, one person did call me “moobs,” but it wasn’t a counselor, it was my bunk mate Richard (who, for the sake of argument, has larger “moobs” than I do). He’s a nice guy actually, just a little rough around his rounded edges.

Third, and final, I didn’t black out like I said I did (but that d-bag Head Counselor Chip DID pop his glass eye out into my hand, which was gross and scared the crap out of me). On a positive note my letter did get me a new mattress, since the old one was mashed up something fierce from its prior owner...so that’s good, right?

I’m sorry for any stress that I have caused. It’s just that I am still a little confused as to why I have been sent here when everyone else seems to be free to have a more relaxing summer. And by “everyone” I mean Cheryl.

Counselor Chip did come through on the grub last night. We ate burritos with organic pico-de-gallo. The food’s not that bad. That doesn’t make it In-n-Out Burger, by any means, but it’s still a meal. I am surprised at what kinds of food we are served. It’s just like the food at home, only in more controlled portions.

While we are on the subject of food, today we met with the camp nutritionist/physician, Dr. Karen Folmack. She is in charge of setting up our diet and meal plans for the whole camp. She took a BMI (Body Mass Index) then ran me through some tests. She had me run on a treadmill for 30 minutes and then do a series of pushups, sit-ups, and lifting various weights in fifteen-minute intervals. She said this was to test out my stamina and durability. Hours later, when I woke up in the first aid hutch, again, I was told that I blacked out...just kidding. I did get really winded though. Dr. Folmack says that will not be the case in the coming days, so that’s good, I guess.

I feel kind of bad for some of the other campers, though. The kids are all different sizes, and while I might be a little “portly” (as mom puts it), there are some people here that really need some help. There’s this kid, Jacob, his parents had to bring him here in a special van because he couldn’t fit on the bus with everyone else. When his parents pulled away, everyone was staring at him. He tried to look strong but last night...I thought I heard him crying.

Tomorrow they promise to set us up with our personal fitness coaches, and we get to choose what activities we want to do. I’m thinking of hitting up the rock wall and maybe kickboxing. They offer a swimming class here, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to remove my shirt just yet. It was hard enough to do that in front of Dr. Folmack.

Well that’s enough for tonight. They’ve assigned all of our bunks with different animal names. We are the otters, and we have to make shirts and a chant for flag ceremonies tomorrow.

Well, I have to get to bed. Otter is Hotter!



P.S. Could you guys send me my friend Jared’s address? They don’t have e-mail here, and I wanted to write him a letter. Thanks again.

Letter From Camp # 3

Letters From Camp Part 3

Letter 3


Sup, J - Dawg? It's your pal Billy B - nuts! Just checking up on things from camp (also, sorry I couldn't send this in an e-mail but they don't have an Internet connection here at “weight management camp.” I find it odd that they have computers for us to type letters and calculate weight index...but no Internet). Speaking of the lack of technology, how's the new Call of Duty game? I can't wait to get home to whoop your ass in multi-player! Maybe my new pal Richard can join us online (he's my bunk mate). I think you'd dig him.

Camp's been okay so far. We had a rough first couple of days (long story, which I'll tell you when I get home), but the drama has leveled off a bit. We've actually been pretty busy the last week or so with different activities. I am taking cardio kick boxing and have hit the man-made rock wall the other day, and to tell you the truth, I feel...good! Exhausted, but good. I like the energy I get from hitting the punching bag. Head Counselor Chip says that I should visualize the bag as a “proxy” (not sure what that means) for all of my bad feelings and negative self-worth. I'm not 100% positive about what he means by “bad feelings.” All I know is that guy is a one-eyed creepo and my knuckles hurt like Hell.

I have to be honest with you. The real reason I am writing you is because I need to let off some steam. (Yes, I do really want to play Call of Duty, but just hear me out.) I was really pissed about my parents sending me here even after my loud and prolonged objections. I thought it was because I wasn't like the other kids on our block, or because I wasn't the way they wanted me to be...but I'm trying to see things from their point of view, and I think I've figured it out. The camp therapist asked us why we thought we were here. It was a difficult question to answer. I don't know if I told you this, but I stopped breathing when I was asleep about a month ago. My mom rushed into my room, thinking I was choking. She took me to the hospital, where they put me on some kind of steroid to open my lungs. I felt like my chest was caving in on me. I kept gasping for air but only got a little at a time. The doctors ran some tests and came back. He said I had asthma and something called “sleep apnea.” (I know what you're thinking: what the hell is that, right?) Well, it's when you stop breathing when you sleep. The doctor told my mom that it was because of my weight and that if I didn't do something soon it would probably get worse. She waited for him to leave the room, put her arms around me, and then she cried...hard! I've never seen my parent's cry before, not even at my grandpa's funeral...it kind of freaked me out. Ever since I got here I've just been thinking about that night. I hated myself that night, but not anymore.

I've been here a week and a half now, and I've lost fifteen pounds...it doesn't seem that much, but if you stack it up to how long I might be here, and I might lose at least thirty-five to forty pounds before I come home. That's, like, half of you!

I have to go, Jared, but I just wanted to write to show you how I'm doing, and if you see my mom...give her a big hug from me.

Later Bro,

Bill-Bo Baggins

Letter From Camp # 4

Letters From Camp 4

Letter 4

Can you believe it’s been two months already? Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been incredibly busy. We--and when I say “we” I mean my bunk mates, the Fighting Otters--are the camp champions for the end of camp relay! (Note: I’m not sure if otters actually fight. We just thought that “The Otters” by itself was kind of lame.) The relays are a yearly camp tradition where all of the bunks (Cabins A-D) compete in three physical competitions that spanned across our second-to-last day here.

The first event was elimination paintball, where our team mowed over our enemies, the Wombats, the Gorillas, and the Biting Snakes, like Rambo in First Blood: Part II! Well, sort of like several of Rambo’s extended family who aren’t as physically active as him but are still trying. This was only the second time I have ever played paintball, but I enjoyed it much more this time around, seeing that I am a smaller target (-30 pounds and counting!). Interesting side note, some members of the Biting Snakes actually do bite, which makes this my third visit to the first-aid hutch this summer. As soon as I got there the nurse snorted teasing and said with all the time we’ve been spending together they might as well have moved my bunk down there. She chuckled at her little joke...while I stood there bleeding. Nice lady.

The second event was the advanced rock wall that the other camp members have appropriately named Doomsday. Oddly enough, this is where I excelled. I have been dominating the rock wall ever since my second day of camp. It’s a full-body work out and the main reason why I have lost as much weight as I have. So much so that Richard, my nickname-giving bunkmate, says that I could totally get away with just a training bra now. That’s what’s so great about Richard. He’s always looking for ways to help people...even when they don’t ask for it.

The third and final event was the swimsuit competition. Just kidding...it was the one-and-one-half-mile fun run. They lined up the entire camp, and we raced. I like running as much as the next kid, but I thought calling it the “fun run” was a tad bit misleading. It really didn’t matter how you did though; there were people walking, sprinting, jogging--all that mattered was that we finished. That’s something I have learned here: always finish the goals that you set out to reach, and even if you don’t do that well you still accomplished something. Interesting development, Head Counselor Chip kept pace with me the whole time. Gotta be honest, old Popeye and I had a pretty good time talking and running. He mentioned that I was beginning to “find my fit.” I laughed slightly and then suggested after the race we could find some fish from Lake Whinniepoopoo...there was an awkward moment when Head Counselor Chip revealed that a fishing accident was how he had lost his eye. Apparently there’s a segment about in on When Recreational Fishing Goes Wrong. I’ll have to check it out sometime on YouTube.

Either way, with all of The Fighting Otters’ times added together and with us winning the rock wall and the paintball challenge, we ended up taking first place over all! They took our picture by the large trophy (which looks as if it hasn’t been removed from the trophy case since the camp’s founding) and gave us all mini-trophies to take home. I was a little offended when they added, jokingly, that the trophies were not made out of chocolate...but not even that could hurt me today.

Looking back on my time here I can only say...thanks. I mean, I’m gonna be honest with you. At first I thought you were doing this to be a pain in my ass (sorry for swearing, Mom), but after all Dr. Folmack has said about the dangers and boredom of living a “sedentary lifestyle” (or what Cheryl so politely calls “sitting on my fat ass playing video games”), I can see now why this meant so much to you and why it should have meant so much more to me. I always felt bad about ditching out when my friends would all go hiking or something, but I never really felt motivated enough to make a choice and change all that. Guess you can’t always take things at face value, huh?

Well, we are loading the buses bright and early tomorrow. You should probably get this before I get on the plane to come home.

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease!

Your son,


P.S. But seriously, Cheryl got to go to Maui? What the hell!?