Not a Happy Camper: A Memoir

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9780802118486: Not a Happy Camper: A Memoir

Remember those long sultry summer days at camp, the sun setting over the lake as you sang Kumbaya? Well, Mindy Schneider remembers her summer at Camp Kin-A-Hurra in 1974 just a wee bit differently. Not a Happy Camper chronicles a young girl’s adventures at a camp where the sun never shines, the breakfast cereal dates back to the summer of 1922, and many of the counselors speak no English. For eight eye-opening and unforgettable weeks, Mindy and her eccentric band of friends  including Autumn Evening Schwartz, the daughter of hippies who communicates with the dead, and the sleep-dancing, bibliophile Betty Gilbert  keep busy feuding in color wars, failing at sports, and uncovering the camp’s hidden past. As she focuses on landing the perfect boyfriend and longs for her first kiss, Mindy unexpectedly stumbles across something infinitely grander: herself. Hilarious, charming, and glowing with nostalgia, Mindy Schneider’s memoir is a must-read for anyone who’s ever been to summer camp, or wishes they had.

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About the Author:

Mindy Schneider has written for television and was included in Life's a Stitch, an anthology of contemporary humor by women. She lives in Los Angeles, and has never had a cavity.

Jennifer Wydra has appeared on television in "Mind of Mencia" and as the voice of Mother Earth in "My Fantastic Field Trip to the Planets".

From Publishers Weekly:

Set in what now seems an almost impossibly innocent time, the 1970s, this sweet tale takes a nostalgic look back at the experience of attending sleepaway camp through the eyes of a 13-year-old Jewish girl. Though this may not be quite the camp many baby boomers attended, Schneider succeeds in provoking gentle flashbacks to a simpler shared time of teenage angst and hormone surges, before cable television, all recalled in a humorous tone: "Least we won't have to hear about Watergate anymore.... I'm so sick of those hearings being on instead of Match Game." Schneider (Life's a Stitch) spends eight weeks in the rain-soaked Maine woods at, as she dubs it an "anti-camp," and despite the title, loves it. Unlike more structured camps for Long Island blue bloods, offering kickball, tennis, swimming and nature walks, Kin-A-Hurra operated on the haphazard wavelength of "do anything you want any time you want, unless you just want to do nothing." Activities include an overnight trip to the highest peak in Maine, provisioned with industrial-size cans of peach nectar, raw carrots and chicken parts for dinner, or shopping sprees to a local junk shop. This hands-off policy leaves plenty of time for Schneider and her bunkmates to discover boys, the outdoors and, ultimately, a little bit about themselves. (June)
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