“Hello Muddah, hello Faddah

Here I am at Camp I-wanna

Camp is very entertaining

And I’ll know we’ll have some fun when it starts raining!”

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My take on Allan Sherman’s 1963 hit song has nothing to do with poison ivy or alligators, being eaten by a bear or feeling homesick.

Instead, the tune rolls over and over — and over again — as I put needle and thread to fabric these days. I blame the incessant earworm on a Facebook commenter who, like me, was excited to join a virtual cross-stitch camp on social media this summer. She posted the first stanza of the song, and that’s all it took for it to get stuck in my brain.

Camp began June 1 with our first assignment: to complete a project we felt inspired to stitch. We had to start our project on or after June 1 (photographic evidence included posting a picture of our fabric, flosses and pattern to Instagram to show we didn’t start early) and finish it by June 30.

With festivals and fun stuff returning to our daily lives, I wasn’t sure I could get my assignment completed in time. Luckily, Plum Street Samplers’ Goat Load (inspired by my 15-year foray into raising dairy goats) was a smaller pattern. My nights and weekends were spent putting in stitches while also trying to entertain Chloe, my attention-seeking puppy. Initially curious about the colorful threads and fabric (she had to taste both, for which she was scolded), she now sprawls out on the couch or loveseat and falls asleep while I stitch.

My June project was finished June 19 — certainly not the first finish in camp, and definitely not the last. We have a Facebook group to chat, share progress pictures and encourage each other. Oh, and did I mention, the campers come from across the U.S. and from various cities around the world?

Now this is my kind of camp! There are even prizes if you finish your project on time and are lucky enough to have your name drawn.

For July, we were asked to select a pattern by a designer we have not stitched before. I’m not worried about getting my piece finished before the end of the month. Unscheduled weekends and vacation days helped with that!

August, though, will be a different story. At this point, I’m thinking I’ll have to “come home early” and miss the last month entirely due to the county fair season and some unforeseen circumstances at work.

Stitching camp has had me thinking about summer camp. I went to 4-H Summer Camp once at Lake Shetek, and I remember it being both terrifying (being away from Mom) and exciting (going canoeing).

A couple of years ago, work took me back to that campground for a story. The grounds were completely unlike what I’d envisioned from my childhood memories. The cabins were closer together, the grounds completely inviting under a vast canopy of trees, and the dining hall not as large as I remembered. I even asked someone if there were new buildings in the last 40 years.

Nope. It was just the difference from being a scared young kid away from home for a few days and a more confident woman visiting for just an hour.

Going away to camp sounds very appealing to me these days — especially if I can bring my stitching.