Jul 9, 2020

That Time the Camp Snake Tried to Eat a Counselor

We begin our exploration of the specialness and weirdness of summer camp with a collection of true-life tales. (Photo: viafilms/iStock)
Children silhouetted in tent

Amazing things happen when young people spend their days outside and their nights sleeping among new friends—and a week far, far away from their parents. Kids learn to take care of themselves, and each other. But strange things happen, too, like that time a camp’s beloved pet snake chomped down on a counselor’s hand and wouldn’t let go. Or when a moth flew deep inside a camper’s ear and had to be extracted with an ancient and bizarre technique. Then there was the camper who brought her grandma’s ashes to camp...  and wasn’t very careful with them. In this first episode of a two-part series, we begin our exploration of the specialness and weirdness of summer camp with a collection of true-life tales submitted by Outside Podcast listeners that will make you wish you could go to camp right now—and also question why anyone would ever send their kids.

This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by Avocado Green Mattress, makers of 100 percent organic-certified mattresses—and more products, like their new meditation pillow. Visit to learn more. And to save $175 dollars on any mattress, use the code OUTSIDE175 at checkout.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.