I AM NOT GOING TO CAMP by mia hinkle

(July 2020)

YaYa! I’m not going to camp tomorrow. I don’t want to go to stupid camp. I’m not going.

Well, I paid. So you’re going. Why don’t you want to go to camp?


Well, I am pretty sure you won’t get rabies at Conner Prairie Adventure Camp.

Yes I will! I can catch rabies in the forest! From the forest animals!!

Trust me, Christian; you are not going to get rabies in Fishers this week.

Aarrgghh! OK. I’ll go. But I’m not having any fun.

Christian honey, you are exactly like your dad and your uncle and your grandfather. They always say, “I don’t want to go to this or that. Why do I have to go? I’m not going.” And then when they get there they’re the life of the party and the last one to leave. Trust me, you’re going to have a great time this week.

No I’m not. I’m going to hate it.

Here’s my ID. I am here for my grandson, Christian Hinkle, 8 years old.

YaYa!! [Runs over to me, gives me a HUGE hug.]

Did you have a good time today?

Yes I did YaYa! I had so much fun! We got to go up in the hot air balloon; I could see your house we were up so high. Well, I sort of went up by accident. I got mixed up with another group and went up accidentally. We went swimming in the pond and I wore my shoes and they got soaked and the pond was full of mud and bugs and algae and worms and yuck. We shot a bow and arrow at the archery range and I got a bull’s eye like 21 times in a row. We played primitive ball, whatever that is. We played tag in the corn maze. And then we got to eat lunch indoors where it was so nice and cool. We refilled our water bottles with cold clean water. Then we climbed up in the really, really, really tall tree house. On the way back we pet the goats or sheep, I’m not sure which. We named our group the Cheetahs and I told all the girls in my group they were gorgeous and they told me I was handsome. They said, “I like your hair.” I’m so glad you signed me up for camp. I wish we could go every day.

Well, honey, you’re in luck. You get to go back in the morning!

Hello, good morning, did you take your temperature before you left home this morning?

Yes, we did.

Does anyone in your house have a temperature? Is everyone in your household feeling okay? Have you or anyone in your household showed symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks like coughing or breathing issues or the tips of the toes turning purple? Have any of you been around anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

Wait! What? Purple what? No. No. No. and No.

OK, thank you. You are free to check in right over there, Trail Blazers #1.

Hey buddy! Good morning Tony! Glad to see you back, buddy!

Well, good morning, but this is Christian Hinkle. [I put my hand on his shoulder.]

Sorry ma’am, he asked us to call him Tony so we are calling him Tony.

Well, alrighty then. Have a good day, Christian. [Big hug]

Hello Sweetie Pie, did you have a good day?

YaYa! I had a GREAT day. It was even better than yesterday. The counselors are Cedric and Sophia and they are super nice; they helped me make this cat out of play dough, I know he looks really creepy and his back legs fell off, can you help me glue his back legs on when we get home? [He hands me a paper plate with the name “Tony” written in sharpie and sitting on the plate is a little black cat with huge green eyes that looks like he may have grown up near Chernobyl.] We went canoeing and I fell out of the boat 21 times and the counselor fell out too, and it was so hilarious. They taught me how to steer the canoe; watch me YaYa, you have to put this arm like this and your other arm like that and then you pull like this to make the canoe turn this way, are you watching me YaYa? Wait! Keep your eyes on the road when you’re driving. I was so happy to have water shoes today; they worked just perfectly for the canoe time. I find it very important to protect my feet in the water. My new best friend is Matthew, he’s that little fat kid I was talking to when you came, but I never use that word FAT when I am talking to him; he is perfect just the way God made him, and I told him that. I also made a point to tell all the girls they were still gorgeous today. Tomorrow is horseback riding. I can’t wait.

Did you take temperatures this morning?

Yes. And no, no, no, and no.

Hey hi Tony! Glad to see you back here this morning!

Ok, have a good day, see you this afternoon.

Hey Sweetheart! Did you have fun today?

YES YAYA! IT WAS AWESOME! Best day yet! We made slime and I put some on my forehead, I won’t do that again. We went zip lining OVER THE WATER, and I didn’t even hold on but I was safe since I had a helmet on. Then I got to ride a big black horse, when I kicked him gently and he went faster and we rode into the forest, and that was scary and so much fun. I ate all my lunch inside where it was cool. After that we went fishing and gathered worms on the way, I didn’t catch anything but my friend Matthew who isn’t fat caught 21 fish in a row! We went down this huge hill filled with air and it had a slippery surface, we went really fast on inner-tubes that had wax on the bottom. I hung out all day with that girl I told you about, we talked about water bottle holders, can you order me one like hers on Amazon when we get home? She is really easy to talk to; we talked about all kinds of things. We talked about camp and what our favorite activities were. And we talked about lice.

Wait! What? You talked about lice?

Yes. Lice. They had this can of smelly spray and they sprayed into the helmets between each kid riding a horse or doing the zip line. To kill the lice. And the Corona-virus. But mostly the lice. What would happen if you accidentally ate lice? Would you die? I can’t remember the girl’s name but I told her she was gorgeous. Have you ever been to Adventure Camp? Can I go back to camp tomorrow?

Did you take temperatures this morning?

Yes. And no, no, no, and no.

Hey hi Tony! Glad to see you back! Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Ok have a good day, see you this afternoon. By the way, good job making your own lunch this morning, Christian!

Tony, your grandma is here to pick you up. Got everything? Is your shirt in your backpack?

Hey Sweetie Pie, did you have any fun today?

[Big hug] Yes YaYa I had the best time! Look at this cool tie-dyed shirt we made. We’re all wearing them tomorrow. Have you ever seen a foam mat so strong that 5 adults can stand on it and it won’t sink into the water? We went swimming today and there was one pad for horsing around and one mat for relaxing and chillin. Guess which one I chose!? And Matthew pushed me off and tried to drown me. It was so much fun! And then Matthew said, “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Can you ever forgive me?” And I said, “Of course, Matthew. I forgive you. Why would I not forgive you?” And then I reminded him that God made him just the way he wanted to and that he was perfect inside and out. It was super fun because the water was super clean. And then we had lunch inside where it was nice and cool and we refilled our water bottles. But YaYa, I wish you had put more food in my lunch.

You made your own lunch, remember?

Oh yeah, that’s right. Well, Riley really likes your homemade chips so I shared mine with her. I hung out with Riley and Abriella (they are so gorgeous and I told them so) we hung out together for most of the activities. We talked about how fun it was going to be to roll down the big hill and then we all rolled down the hill with Banana Man (his real name is Easton) and Matthew. I told them that I actually have 2 families, I am so lucky, and that one of my families lives in China. Adventure Camp is so much fun. Can I go back tomorrow?

Hey Sweetie Pie how was your last day of camp?

Last day? What? It can’t be! Over so soon!? This is an outrage! I won’t stand for it! Can you sign me up for some more camp? The same week that Max and Annie go? Today we pretended like it was 1836 and we got to walk around an old village with an old schoolhouse and a bunch of other old wrecky buildings made of logs on dirt roads. We learned that children had no toys; they just did the best with what they had. And did you know there was no air-conditioning in 1836 and they even had to sleep in the heat? I am really glad I had my bug spray with me today; there were lots of mosquitoes and bugs in Prairie Town. And people dressed up funny and talking too much. I like to explore on my own better than listening to someone talk too much. Today it was so hot! I’m glad we have air conditioning at your house. We saw a tumble weed rolling around. We saw baby goats and they were so cute. A white goat is one that can be milked. And then we went to Civil War town and saw a house where the soldiers had taken everything from the people who lived there and then wrecked the stuff they didn’t take. They even took the horses so they could ride them into battle. Horses are such magnificent creatures. And so are spiders; I’m not afraid of spiders anymore, I just don’t like to touch them. Did you know that Indiana fought on the side of the North? YaYa, why are police still hunting down black people and killing them? I don’t think that’s very nice. Isn’t everybody free now? Anyway, I ate lunch with Banana Man aka Easton and the counselors handed out awards to each camper. I got the award for “Random Acts of Kindness” but I was embarrassed when I read it because kindness should be random and anonymous. I told the girls, Riley and Abriella all about my baby sister and how cute she is and how she is more adorable than most babies. And you know what they said? “Aaawww!”

YaYa, you were right. I loved every single day. And I want to go back again. Can we sign up for next week?

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