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Day 12, Monday. A ghost story – yours or someone else’s.
My last year as a Girl Scout camp counselor, we had a new camp director who was convinced that pretty much the entire 216-acre camp was haunted. It was, in the way theatres are always haunted: it was the oldest continuously-operating Girl Scout camp in the state, with nearly a hundred years in operation, and when you get that much concentrated people-energy in one place for that many years, things happen.
Most of us, however, did not buy that the entire camp was haunted, but we all buy that parts of it are. The camp has always has its own particular ghost story, which goes something like this:
Once upon a time, two campers, for reasons that vary according to which group of girls is listening to the story, stole one of the camp’s rowboats and made for the island in the center of the lake. Something something storm rowboat sank even though those rowboats are literally unsinkable and that’s why we put young children and non-swimmers in them SHUT UP WHO IS TELLING THIS STORY YOU OR ME anyway the campers now haunt the island and that’s why you’re not allowed to visit it no really it has nothing to do with the fact that the dock is too small/the dock needs to be painted/the dock is missing a few boards/the dock is missing all its boards/the dock washed away/there is no dock.
It was a convenient way of tying together the rock in the lake that looks exactly like a sunken rowboat and the reason that very few campers ever got to see the island, and none under the age of 12 or so. (Camping on the island is possible – there’s a fire ring and a latrine – but there is no source of water and the latrine is OMFG ALL THE SPIDERS GAAAAH, so it’s a “pack it in, pack it out” scenario and one we usually don’t do except with girls old enough to do all their own packing.) Whether it was true or not I don’t know. I’ve slept in a canoe on the lake itself, but I have never slept on the island.
I, personally, thought that the rustic campsite on the mainland made a MUCH better setting for a ghost story. The island is actually kind of beautiful; the backwoods site is creepy, and unlike the island, it’s just far enough away from the rest of camp that no one will hear you scream.