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16 of the Best Period Stories from Summer Camp
Ruby Moon
|
7.20.2021

This article was inspired by Season 4 of the show Big Mouth! If you haven’t seen it yet…you MUST watch this new season. Since the show’s debut, it has provided endless relatable pubescent stories that will make you cringe because either you, or someone you know has been there, and done that. Specifically, Season 4, has hit the nail on the head with, what is arguably the most embarrassing-turned-funny setting for adolescence – summer camp.

After watching the second episode of season 4, I sourced the best stories I could about Periods vs Summer Camp from the members of the August #InnerCycle. If you read on, you’ll hear about an outhouse, putting a pad on for the first time, squatting behind a tree, crying in the bathroom, and more. Oh! And don’t skim over the one about polar bears!

Emily Reynolds (she/her)

It was the year before high school and I was the only one in our cabin that hadn’t gotten it. I remember crying in the tent while my friends congratulated me for getting my first period ever! I put on a pad for the first time…squatting behind a tree.

Erin Thomson (she/her)

"Last summer I got mine unexpectedly. I had such bad cramps that I had to sit mojo (in the middle of the canoe) ‘cos I kept puking. I was leading the trip, which had 8 male campers on it. The boys were troopers though; at first, they thought I was dying, but then I gave them a bit of a period lesson and they had so many questions."

Emily Dale (she/her)

"I learned how to use a tampon in an outhouse! My mom, sister and I were all in it at the same time."

Ruby Moon (she/her)

"4 words: pad in bathing suit. Really tried to pull that off for many years until my camp friends taught me how to use a tampon using sour patch kids as the diagram."

Anonymous

"The first time I had my period on a canoe trip was also my first co-ed trip. I stripped down to just the shorts I was wearing underneath to find that watery blood was streaming all down my legs. One of the boys on my trip just looked at me stunned like: “oh my goodness you need to put those pants back on”. I was embarrassed but also had a good laugh."

Gabriella Greg (she/her)

"I had never put in a tampon and my counsellor forced me to because we had to do the swim test. I was so scared and crying so another camper took me to the washroom and stood outside and waited for me until I understood what to do. Looking back, it was kind of unfortunate how unsupportive my counsellor was in the moment, but I’m happy I had my friend to help."

Anonymous

"I got my period on a river canoe trip and bled through an ultra tampon AND rain pants within 45 minutes. Who knew you could even bleed through rain pants?! Needless to say, I ended up using 100% of the period products I came prepared with, and all of the ones supplied by the camp nurse. Eventually resorting to having to empty my menstrual cup 8 or so times a day! Anyways, that was traumatizing!"

Sarah Van Drunen

"I was 15 and at camp with my period for the first time, I had never really figured out tampons. I was signed up for sailing so my friend gave me a tampon and was like “You gotta do it or not go sailing”. She sat outside the stall and I was like “omg I did it!” and we ran to the sailing docks because we were late."

Anonymous

"A few summers ago, I was on a river canoe trip that entered Hudson's Bay, in northern Manitoba, Canada. Something we had to do for the last 2 weeks of our trip was travel in groups, no matter what. This was because when you go this far north, it’s known as ‘polar bear territory’. We had to go to the bathroom in groups of 4, and we couldn’t go alone. This made it very uncomfortable when we were on our periods and needed to change our period products. It was also difficult because we had very limited storage and I personally had my period twice on this trip. It was hard to have enough supplies packed and still have enough space for warm layers. Many of us had to share our tampons and pads. It’s really crazy to think about how unfair it was that our reality was picking to pack more pads and tampons or to pack an extra sweater."

Anonymous

"I got my first period on the morning of our 6th grade field trip to a team building nature camp. They only had indoor restrooms at the front of the trail. Little naïve me did not understand the difference between a panty liner and a pad, nor did she know how much you bleed on Day 1 of your period. Luckily, my mom and I talked about periods in more detail that evening, but what a way to start your menstruating experience…"

Anonymous

"One day we had this really horrible rain day and ended up camping on this tiny little island. In the middle of the night, I woke up to the crack of thunder and was like: “I have my period right now”. I was curled up in fetal position and just had the feeling that it was everywhere. I gingerly climbed out of my sleeping bag into the dark, and went out into the forest covered by a whipping wind and still, so much thunder. Anyways, I ran into the forest and YANKED down my pants – no blood in the pants (thankfully because they were expensive) but then of course a horror show everywhere else. I had only grabbed one tampon so I waddled over to the equipment pack, got toilet paper, cleaned up and literally YEETED my underwear into the forest because holding onto them for the rest of our out-trip would have been a nightmare! Anyways, then I saw the moon through the clouds and literally was like: “I am one with nature”. Now my bloody underwear is on some island in Wabakimi Provincial Park."

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