Summer camps are a lot of wonderful and terrible things. Depending on the camp, there are different levels and types of wonderful things, and different levels and types of terrible things. But in all great summer camps, there is one thing in common.
Terrible shower water pressure.
I think that the people who build summer camps must have an agreement that, no matter how luxurious or rustic, no matter how great or terrible the food is, no matter how overstaffed or understaffed the camp will be… the showers will have highly suspect water pressure.
Inconsistent water pressure that depends on the time of day. Low water pressure that makes you wonder if using the sink might be better. And sometimes if you’re lucky… it’s just cold all the time. That’s a bonus that some camp architects throw in for good luck.
I don’t say this to disparage the aforementioned terrible water pressure. There is no evaluation in my tone when I use the word “terrible”, only an objective analysis in that it underperforms what is normally expected of a shower.
Now, the coupling of terrible camp showers with the best that summer camps can be, is quite a contrast. Summer camps, at their best, are bizarrely messy, dirty, and wild places. They are intensely communal. Sharing meals. Sharing space. Summer camps are often heavy transformational spaces. The outdoors. Focus on self and community. Faith, spirituality, personal development. The attenders of camps often sacrifice many American ideals (individuality, personal property, meritocracy, etc.) for the chance to build community, deepen connections, and grow.
when I say that I sold my house, and have found two places (my new small apartment, with lots of communal spaces, and my community-focused gym) that both share the same summer-camp-culture described above… would you be surprised to learn that they also happen to have summer-camp-level showers?
Because they do.