Young Ma Summer Story Clean
ALEX CHADWICK, host: . Good clean competition, hairy or otherwise, is a part of summer fun for children attending sleep-away camp. But in the middle of August, camps across the nation are closing their activities, kids say goodbye to new friends and first loves and their daily dose of Capture the Flag. Most children are sad to leave, but there are some who cannot wait to get back home, and that was the case for writer Mark Oppenheimer. MARK OPPENHEIMER: . When I was eight years old, in 1983, my parents sent me off to a nudist camp; not a camp for adults who voluntarily chose nudism as a lifestyle, but a summer camp for young boys where nudity was encouraged. At Timberlake, nestled in the woodlands of Vermont, boys swam in the nude, slept in the nude, even played Whiffle ball in the nude. I think my parents sent me to Timberlake because the camp had been founded by Quakers. I had spent a lot of time that year watching Michael J. Fox play the young right-winger Alex P. Keaton on the TV show "Family Ties," and my parents probably hoped that four weeks in the care of back-to-nature pacifists would cure me of any conservative impulses. Now Quakers are not generally nudists. Richard Nixon was a Quaker and he wore clothes in public. James Dean was a Quaker and he wore clothes, too. But at this summer camp, the free-spirited tradition had evolved over the years to include more freedoms than most of us consider normal. Well, I was a modest boy and I wasn't having any of this nudist nonsense. At the beginning of the summer, there was one other boy who insisted on remaining clothed, even at swim time. But he caved, and by August, I was the only boy willful and stubborn enough to wear clothes all the time. I thought these people were crazy. And if the skinny-dipping and nude sports hadn't been enough to drive me away, then I surely would have made up my mind after sneaking out of my bunk on the very last night and finding my counselors--some of them well into their old age--square dancing in their birthday suits. My parents picked me up the next day, and on the drive home from Vermont to Massachusetts, they filled me on what I missed. Dave Righetti had thrown a no-hitter for the Yankees on the Fourth of July.