Tales from Jewish Overnight Camp: Aka an Alabama Jew at Camp Ramah

I attended a Jewish summer camp from 1987-1993 in Palmer, Massachusetts. I'm from Alabama. They weren't sure what to do with me and vice versa. Inspired by the list @LevNovak wrote. CC: @CutlerDave @LevNovak @bjnovak @jaketapper @daniellenuss @scooterbraun
  1. I was able to convince people my dad owned a saloon and that a scar on my arm was from a shotgun wound.
  2. One girl believed that we had gerbil farms
    I told her "there are fields and fields of gerbils". "Where do you think pet stores get them from?" No one had ever gone to Alabama so they'd believe anything
  3. I said "shalom y'all". Not because this was something I'd naturally say but rather because it was expected.
  4. I was so confused about why boys chose to wear Z Cavariccis and girls wanted their bangs to be enormous. We didn't do that in Birmingham.
  5. It was baffling that everyone thought the kids from Maryland were southerners.
  6. I sucked at softball in Alabama but was "good enough" for our Jewish Summer Camp softball team that they made me captain of the team... With a broken thumb.
    A huge confidence boost. Evidently I'm good at sports...for a Jewish girl
  7. It was extremely exciting that our camp had the same zip code as the Tampax Tampon factory: 01069
  8. I was very judgy of everyone's musical taste. I brought my CD player/boom box with me to drown out "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls". Only the male camp friends seemed to be into "my" music: The Beastie Boys.
    Later liking the Beastie Boys would become a prerequisite to the perfect guy
  9. Everyone bonded with each other during the school year at USY conventions (a Jewish youth group). I was the lonely Jew in Alabama. My parents would fly me to visit my northern friends.
  10. We would go mud sliding. And you'd pack special clothes for this purpose.
  11. Speaking of packing I was intimidated by the varying weather of Massachusetts summers so I'd bring three duffle bags of clothes and bed linen options to deal with the temperatures.
    In Alabama summers we only have hot and hotter.
  12. Speaking of duffle bags, I also brought a trunk filled with unkosher bulk food from Sam's Wholesale. It was "illegal" to have outside food. I quickly became a favorite camper to counsellors who didn't give a shit.
  13. I would take two different planes and then a 90 minute bus ride to get to camp. But this seemed short compared to the school year where I'd wait all year long to do it again.