Welcome! Benvenuti! It’s summertime in northern Minnesota and a bus full of kids is about to arrive at the Italian Concordia Language Village, better known as camp. Inexplicably the chief lifeguard has chosen this moment to conduct a “missing villager drill,” prompting staff to strip to their underwear in a simulated rush to search the lake. It’s an inopportune time for a surprise visit from the Health Inspector, but there he is—just as an Italian counselor calls through the walkie-talkie, “My God, there’s blood everywhere!” He’s finally clobbered the chipmunk that’s been stealing his candy.
When at age six he had to be hauled kicking and screaming on the bus bound for camp, Eric Dregni could not have imagined this moment. But all the days and weeks of summer camp since then have shown him the abundant pleasures of this uniquely American experience—and given him plenty of stories to tell. In You’re Sending Me Where? Dregni takes us back to those boyhood days of running head-on into nature with his fellow campers and learning a few valuable lessons, such as don’t let the van driver leave you and your canoe until you’re sure there’s actually water in the “flowage.”
From discouraging summer love to soothing homesick campers to—Oh no! Bats!—taking everyone to town for their rabies shots, to the difficulty of saying goodbye, Eric Dregni’s wise, funny book reassures us that there’s still a place in the woods where, unplugged from devices and screens, children of all ages can connect with the natural world—and with each other.