By Dylan Gates At the ripe age of twelve, two of my friends and I got sent off to camp. I had never been away
from home for more than a sleepover so you can imagine my excitement. Three twelve-year-old boys were about to depart on a ten-day journey through Northern California’s Trinity Alps
Wilderness; what could go wrong?
Somehow we made it through the trip without bodily injury. The potential harm in the
open lakes, heatstroke, and wild animals was not an issue. The real danger came from
something I least expected: my diet.
I am lactose intolerant and my mother, being who she is, left pages of instructions for my counselors on how I should be fed. She says that she was worried that my slight propensity for a mild stomach ache was something that she felt she had to guard me against since I would be out there ‘on my own.’ Well, whatever she wrote in those instructions did the trick.
My counselors took this information and decided to feed me military rations and treat me as if I were a walking medical emergency for ten days straight.
On the first day of camp when we were given breakfast, I was confused when
everyone's trail mix was full of colorful M&Ms. Mine however had nothing but peanuts and a few sad nihilistic raisins. You may be thinking, “That doesn’t sound so bad.” It gets worse.
On the second day, we were given crackers and cheese. Of course, according to my
mother’s novel about my digestive system, a slice of cheese would lead to a painful and slow death. So, I was given a strange green powder. I could not tell you what it was. Simply imagine
the texture of sand and the taste of, well, sand.
So after a day full of crackers, sand, and pissy tea water, I was starved by the time dinner time
rolled around. I looked over to the fire where my counselors were gathered, and to my delight they were making Mac and Cheese! I rushed to grab my bowl and the counselors looked at me, condescendingly shook their heads, and pulled out a tin can from their bag. They doled out my noodles and then out of the can came a brick of something brown. For dinner that night I had something I would not give to my worst enemy....Mac and Peanut Butter. It was the longest 10 days of my life