Attention All Campers!

"...wear something bright and keep low." Tripper (Bill Murray) Meatballs
“…wear something bright and keep low.” Tripper (Bill Murray) Meatballs

Autumn is SCHOOL CAMP season in Hong Kong. The weather’s fine and dry, slightly cooler. It’s the perfect time for our upper primary and secondary school students to kayak, rappel, gorge walk, team build, stay up late, eat white bread and mystery meats, and of course wear the same t-shirt for four days straight!

But for some HK kids (species florem hothouse), camp is fraught with scary, new experiences, like making your own bed or hiking in wet shoes or gasp! horror! carrying your own suitcase.

In their honor I send out my deepest sympathies… to their teachers. (Next time you see your child’s teacher after camp week, please give him/her a hug and a shot of whiskey. Both will be much appreciated.) And I offer the following poem, sung to the tune of the classic camp song by Allan Sherman.

The lyrics are based on ACTUAL TRUE STORIES of HK kids at camp. You’ll think I’m kidding but I’m not.

Hello muddah, hello faddah

My school camp is such a bother

Camp is very intimidating

They’ve just told me that my helper won’t be staying


Expectations are so crazy

They don’t dress me, they won’t bathe me!

I don’t know buttons or even zippers

I can’t tie my shoes so I just wear my slippers


Not much longer, can I stand this

I cut my meat and, I choose my breakfast

I’m exhausted, by independence

How is cleaning supposed to help me with my confidence?


I don’t want to, be a baby

But this rucksack’s got me straining

Where’s my auntie, to play Sherpa?

It’s unfair to cause me any kind of hurtin’


On the trail I, dropped my jacket

But there was no one, there to catch it!

I hope somebody brings it to me

I heard you say it cost you quite a lot of money


Dearest muddah, dearest faddah

If you come get me, on my honor

I’ll be good and study harder

And I promise that one day I’ll be your doctor


But when you text’d me that you missed me

All my bunkmates, they cried with me

Then our teacher, she surprised us

And confiscated all our portable devices


So don’t call me, I’ll have to manage

Without feeling like I’m permanently damaged

I know you love me, but I’ve discovered

That it feels good not to be so very smothered



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