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14 Things Sleepaway Camp Taught Us About Life, Loss, And Love

Summer camp is a rite of passage for all preteens across the nation. We will never forget those summers of pure pubescent bliss. And no doubt Coppertone ® was there for some of your most fantastically awkward moments!

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1. Let go. Literally.

Rope burn is painful.
baileysjunk / CC BY http://2.0 / / Via flic.kr

Rope burn is painful.

2. Tie-dye will never go out of style.

Once you go rainbow swirl, you never go back.
Courtesy of Erica Levine

Once you go rainbow swirl, you never go back.

3. S'mores are a golden gift from the gods.

"Does anyone have a wire hanger?! I said: Does ANYONE HAVE A WIRE HANGER?!"

4. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Via gifwave.com

Save yourself from a concussion and/or hospital visit.

5. Trust no one.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone tells you they can keep a secret, but odds are, if you dish some dirt, the ENTIRE camp will find out the next day.
lesliepear / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flic.kr

Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone tells you they can keep a secret, but odds are, if you dish some dirt, the ENTIRE camp will find out the next day.

6. Dive in when the water is cold.

Paramount Pictures / Via oneflewovergeorgieboysnest.tumblr.com

Because you MUST pass the deep water test!!

7. Girls mature faster than boys.

Five-year mental age gap forever and always.
Courtesy of Erica Levine

Five-year mental age gap forever and always.

8. Nothing is more valuable than independence.

Whether it's taking a shower or a dip in the pool, you get to choose. But honestly, who needs to shower when you have pool water!?
widnr / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Via flic.kr

Whether it's taking a shower or a dip in the pool, you get to choose. But honestly, who needs to shower when you have pool water!?

9. Love hurts.

Especially when you spot your crush making out with another camper at the basketball court dance.
myfwcmedia / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Via flic.kr

Especially when you spot your crush making out with another camper at the basketball court dance.

10. All rules are out the window when it comes to color war.

Your allegiance is to your team, and NO ONE ELSE!
goldberg / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flic.kr

Your allegiance is to your team, and NO ONE ELSE!

11. Creativity goes a long way.

Mostly for sneaking snacks into your bunk.
goldberg / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flic.kr

Mostly for sneaking snacks into your bunk.

12. Knowing how to navigate through the woods will save you from a panic attack.

"North, south, east, west, WHAT DO YOU EVEN MEAN?!"
Simon Potter / Cultura / Getty Images / Via 155293006

"North, south, east, west, WHAT DO YOU EVEN MEAN?!"

13. Your friendship bracelets might fall off in the water, but the friendships never fade.

Courtesy of Erica Levine

No, but seriously. Camp friends are forever friends.

14. Leaving is the hardest part.

instagram.com

~ goodbye summer ~

[sheds tears the entire ride home]