Summer camp is supposed to be a magical experience consisting of short pants, canoes, s'mores and nature hikes. Who knew that the campers, counselors and even the kitchen staff are bordering on emotional breakdowns? Not to worry, dear readers, Miss Lonelyhearts will guide these unhappy campers to a happier place.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
How are you? I'm at camp and feeling really homesick. Its not so bad during the day but at night it gets worst. I don't want anyone to know. Everyone already thinks I'm a big baby. I know you usually write advice for lonely people so what advice would you give me?

Camper Having UnBearaBle Yearnings

Dear CHUBBY.......
From the looks of your letter (written in pencil on wide ruled paper and cookie crumbs in the envelope), I will venture to guess you are around 8-years-old. But you are old enough to hear some straight talk from Aunt Lonelyhearts: Buck up little camper! Don't you see what a gift you are being given? Away from your bickering parents and mean neighborhood bullies for the entire summer, this should be the time of your young life! The nights can be the hardest times (that's why your Auntie sleeps with Jim Beam) but as long as you show a happy face in the daytime, a little nighttime silent sobbing is all right.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
I'm the cook at Camp Chutahuga. Word got out and spread like wildfire that I used to be the cook at a maximum security prison in Texas. Now none of the campers will talk to me. They think I'm some sort of criminal. Sure, I did the crime, but I served my time. How can I get the kids to respect me again? It's enough to drive a grown man to tears.

Jilted And Insecure Loser, BAIrd, Texas

So you are an ex-con at a camp, so what? Cafeterias are a breeding ground for degenerates in tissue hair nets, so it is natural that your campers discovered why you're in the kitchen instead of in their cabins. This is the natural order of things, I am just glad that the kids wised up and are keeping clear of you. Now a question for you: Do you serve pork-n-beans at your camp? I love those little beans.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
I am a 16-year-old male camp counselor at a coed space camp in Florida. I also play JV basketball and have a girlfriend back home. You'd think that I have everything together, right? Wrong. I am really confused and freaked out because I think I'm in love with a 10-year-old female camper here. She is so beautiful, like a young Jodie Foster, and so mature! Way more mature than the girls at school, even my girlfriend. Well, it got to the point where I couldn't stand it anymore and I had to tell her how much I loved her. But do you know what she said? She said she was too young! I told her I would wait for her. She said that would be pointless, our ages are too far apart. See what I mean, she's so mature! But now my heart is broken and camp is almost over. What do I do now?

How Unfair My Being Enticed and Rejected in Tallahassee

Ahhhh... what would space camp be without a little May-December romance to boost your rocket! And that's exactly what you've experienced, the booster rocket of love. And what does a booster rocket do? It ignites, burns bright, and then just as quickly fades away, leaving nothing but a trail of smoke. Which is why I suggest you might want to consider taking up the habit, if you haven't already. All your worries about this Jodie Foster wannabe will change once you've started the chain. When that first cigarette hits you, all you'll want to do is spend your lovelorn energy on figuring out when you can get another smoke in before the next simulated space mission. Go on, ask around, there's bound to be some counselor there with a carton he's willing to share. You'll forget this girl faster than you can say, "Blast Off!"

Do You Have A Question For Miss Lonelyhearts? E-MAIL HER! (Sorry, she can't answer individual e-mails. She's far too busy for that.)


Our Readers' Summer Camp Memories :: My Little Darling :: Summer Camp Fashion Spread :: Photo Essay: The Pines :: Who Says You Can Never Go Back To Camp? Q&A With Author Seth Davis :: Horsing Around in Brooklyn :: Confessions of A 30-Year-Old Camp Counselor :: Tennis Camp, Anyone?

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