Berenstain Bears books where the Bears Go places like the dentist, the doctor, school and in one particularly self-serving entry: Grandma's House. Snappy immediately gravitated towards Go to the Doctor, and used the skills that Sister used to brave the dreaded SHOT to get through her own set of ouchie stingies without so much as a tear.
It was a while before I even made it to Go to Camp, and at first, Snappy found the idea of a sleep-out at Skull Rock scary (scarier than Doctor Bear with a giant needle), so she would often ask me to stop half-way through. To help her get over her fear, I told her that her aunt and I had also gone to a camp similar to Grizzly Bob's when we were kids. I told her the story of our sleep-out night and how I had seen an owl in one of the trees on my way back to my cabin. After that, Snappy was brave again, and Go to Camp moved ahead of Go to the Doctor on the "Snappy's Favorite Bedtime Books" list.
So when Andrew from the Stonestown Y approached me and asked me to help raise some money for some of the various community programs the Y provides, such as the free senior center, as well as programs for underprivileged kids including Back-to-School backpacks and, yep, summer camp, I jumped at the chance. He started to explain the importance of these programs, but I stopped him with, "Oh I know how important the Y is, I went to Y Camp."
Although I know we did not always have very much, monetarily speaking, when I was a kid, there were times when I felt like I had everything, like those warm, summer mornings, sitting on a big yellow bus with my sister, a fluffernutter in a paper bag and whole day of rowing lessons and acorn-collecting ahead of me. And now, blahdiblah years later, when I get to do things like chase away my four-year-old's fears with a story about seeing an owl, chilling on a tree branch at a YMCA camp in Merrimack New Hampshire, I know that I had everything.
So that is why I'll be asking everyone to come out to the Dirty Trix Saloon at 408 Clement St in San Francisco on Tuesday, November 2nd at 8 pm for A Karaokathon for Camp!* All proceeds go to the Stonestown Y, who will be using it to give some local kids everything. If you can't make it out to sing with us, send me a line and I'll tell you how you can donate: firstname.lastname@example.org Keep tabs on this event here.
*Thanks to my KJ Eileen and Lee at Dirty Trix for also jumping at the chance to help out the Y.