Setting Thesaurus Entry: Sleep-Away Camp


wood cabins, bunk beds, curtained windows, sleeping bags and pillows, window a/c units, ceiling fans, locker, cobwebs, volleyball nets, basketball hoops, horseshoe pits, picnic tables, tug-of-war rope, archery targets, bows and arrows, bins full of art supplies, bathroom cabin, rusty shower heads, graffiti on toilet stalls, lines of kids outside cafeteria waiting for mealtime, cafeteria/auditorium building, segmented cafeteria trays, stage, piano, flags, covered pavilion, pond, canoes, lily pads, sandy beach area, fishing poles, lifeguard stand, trees, pine needles, forest, mosquitoes, flies, snakes, birds, squirrels, spiders, campfire, charred pieces of wood, sticks for smores, log segments to sit on, guitars, regional plants/trees/flowers, camp flag/signs, flashlights, cousellors, picnic tables, cut logs/stups around the fire pit, handmade benches, lawn chairs,


kids laughing/yelling/talking, singing, counselors shouting, splashing in the pond, slap of oars in water, lifeguard's whistle, hands slapping at mosquitoes, wind blowing in trees, birds chirping, squirrels chattering, hollow sound of volleyball being smacked, horseshoes clanging, the clack of fishing line being pulled in, thwack of archery bows, whispers and giggles from cabins after bedtime, doors creaking or slamming, extreme noise from cafeteria during meals, pounding of feet on basketball court, swish of basketball through net, feet rustling through pine needles and underbrush, campfire crackling, strumming of guitar, rain thrumming on cabin ceiling, fly buzzing against window, applause during end-of-camp show, echo from the shower cabin, wet towels snapping, thump of pillows in a pillow fight, snick of scissors from art area, the whine of a rickety a/c unit starting up, whirr of ceiling fans, creak of plastic mattress cover


campfire smoke, chocolate, bug repellant, sunscreen, sweaty bodies, hamburgers and hot dogs being grilled, mildew, bleach, musty smell of cabins, rain, leathery basketball, metal smell of horseshoes, earthy smell, glue, markers, paper that has gotten wet, rotten egg smell of well-water,


sweet-and-salty smores, the acrid taste of smoke, dinner eaten from a plastic tray, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, nuts, berries, trail mix, fresh fruit, homemade ice cream, watery lemonade, pond water, sweat, bitter sunscreen and mosquito repellant, soap


low pressure water from the shower, soft water, heavy sleeping bag, scratchy blanket, slab of a pillow, gentle sway of bunk beds, feel of cool air from ceiling fans or a/c, slap of a pillow in a fight, bare feet on hard cool concrete, feel of wooden rungs as you climb into bed, warm lake water, squishy bathing suit, water dripping as you dry, prickly sunburn, sting of mosquitoes and horseflies, light touch of a fly landing on your skin, itch of poison ivy, prick of brambles and thorns, smooth pine needles, soft grass underfoot, warm sand, hot sun, smooth stick for smores, uneven log to sit on, heat from the campfire, warm breeze, heavy horseshoe in your hand, tug of fish on the fishing line, rough planks of a picnic table and bench, heat from other bodies

Helpful hints:--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

The cabin held two sets of bunks, their metal frames shining like stainless steel. I sat on the lower one, then jumped up, startled by the soft, satin spread. A whoosh of cold, disinfected air blew past me. I tried to drop my bedraggled duffel in disgust but was afraid it would defile the floor. Marble tiles? Central air? Are you kidding me?

Example 2:

The clearing in the woods held a circle of ten wooden cabins. Rose bushes stood by each door, their silky blossoms attended by bumblebees. A soft breeze blew in from the surrounding woods, fluttering the curtains at each window and raising the hair on my arms. It all looked so perfect. Had the others thought so, too, or had they known they would all die here?

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

The cabin listed to one side, its dangling shutters and unhinged door beckoning like a madman's grin.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

The campfire crackled and danced, a fiery fairy throwing its sparkling blessings over the crowd.


Bish Denham said...

Wonderful! Keep up the good work.

Bish Denham said...

Wonderful! I love your examples. Keep up the good work.

C.R. Evers said...

Another great list. It put me in mind of my own sleep away camp years. One year I came home so bitten by misquitos that my body was litterally covered. There wasn't more than an inch of me that didn't have a bit. Camp was fun. The aftermath-itching was not! :0)

Donna said...

Oh my freakin' god I love you guys. Thanks so much! You have no idea how much this is going to help me!

Angela said...

Becca did an awesome job on this one. Go Becca!

Becca said...

It may be obvious that the sleep-away camp I attended was a little...rustic. lol. Donna, you may have to tweak the details to fit your atmosphere.

CR, I'm glad you had fun at your camp. Mine was fun, too, but it was the first time I was away from home and I remember being really really homesick.

Thanks, Bish!

PJ Hoover said...

What a unique location! It's like a horror movie, too :)

Becca said...


Jonathon Arntson said...

I am having a hard time coming up with the names of workers around camp. I know there's a camp counselor and director or warden. Any suggestions?

Becca Puglisi said...

Jonathon, I don't know if this helps but when I went to camp, all of the teen/adult helpers were called camp counselors.


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