If you squint your eyes, you might think you’re in Vegas. Without the hotels. Or the lights. Or the cocktail waitresses. Or the showgirls. OK, not exactly Vegas, but fun all the same.
It’s Casino Night, an adults-only event at Family Camp. Campers choose between blackjack and craps. Others enjoy appetizers and a drink while they watch over a gambler’s shoulder.
A peal of laughter floats across the night. Small circles of friends dot the rooftop of the Naval Building that overlooks Lake Maxinkuckee.
You know what they say: While the kids are away (or tye-dying shirts), the adults will play! Hey, camp isn’t just for kids, anymore.
The big winner from tonight and the winner from Tuesday’s Casino Night will each win prizes and have their names announced at the conclusion of camp at closing ceremonies. Clearly, there’s a lot on the line.
Knowing this, I listen carefully as Mr. Muneio, a counselor and a friend’s dad, schools us on how to win at craps. I follow him for a while but lose him between the “double down” and “play the odds.” Drats. I suppose Vegas won’t be much help in financing college. My skills in no way reflect how much fun I’m having.
My husband understands the game. He’s a math guy like Mr. Muneio. He likes the strategy and statistics. I like a pile of chips in front of me on the felt table.
“Let it ride,” I shout and plunk down some white plastic chips that total $2. No one can say I’m not a gambler.
The only thing that breaks up this party is a bolt of lightening. Counselors roll up the craps felt. Dealers pack up the blackjack tables.
“Count ‘em up,” someone yells. “Remember there’s a prize involved!”
I slide my chips towards the gambler to my left and add them to her pile. Let the counting begin.