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MARILYN HAGERTY: Rules for happy campers

Dear Shirley,

Another June. It brings on spraying mosquitoes and early voting in Grand Forks. And another gathering of young people for SPA (Summer Performing Arts) sessions in Grand Forks Public Schools. Hope it isn’t too hot in Tucson.

In years gone by, I had grandchildren visiting at my house at different times and going to SPA. They really enjoyed it. You probably remember when Jack, Carrie, Anne, Mariah and Anne were with me in summer time.

The other day I ran across a set of rules I gave the SPA campers when they arrived from Bismarck and Colorado.

My camp rules said:

  •  Eat something green once a day, even if it is only a blade of grass.
  •  Sleep in clothes other than those you wear during the day.
  •  Quiet hour follows lunch. You may read or stare out the window. Or sleep.
  •  Days begin at 8 a.m. SPA campers may read and be quiet until then.
  •  Day ends at 9:30 p.m. Lights out at 10 p.m.
  •  Campers are expected to keep their rooms tidy. Beds made. Dirty clothing in baskets.
  •  Since cleanliness is next to godliness, campers are asked to bathe and shampoo regularly, brush teeth daily.
  •  Campers will have the pleasure of helping with tasks around the premises.
  •  Name of the game is go with the flow.

They didn’t seem to mind the rules. They said nothing about having them posted on the refrigerator.

Then one day, I found a crumpled piece of paper with the initials CS. It was a list of rules for kids:

  •  Do not complain.
  •  Do not waste.
  •  Do not be difficult.
  •  Be quiet between the hours of 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  •  Do not be a wiseacre.
  •  Obey all rules set before you.
  •  Adult has power to make new rules at will.

… Now they are past the ages of summer with Grandma. I treasure memories of them here for SPA. They would be so excited to get their SPA shirts for the season.

This week the 2014 session of SPA has started with sessions for kindergarten through grade 5 as well as middle school and high school.

They’ll be doing “The Boy Friend” at Central High School from July 11-14. And “Peter Pan” will be presented at Red River from July 18-22.

And as they wind up the shows, they sing the “Body Electric.” It’s a tradition that SPA students carry with them along with the added self assurance they get from theater in the summer.

I suppose you have programs like that in Tucson, too. You should try to make it to some of the shows, Shirley.

Love from your sister Marilyn savoring the beautiful days of June.

P.S. We deserve them after the long, wicked, cruel, miserable winter. And the City Band is presenting its first concert of the summer at the Myra Museum Gazebo at 7:30 this evening. There will be ice cream — if it doesn’t rain.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.