It’s mid-July, which means much of Westport’s tween and teen set has decamped for camp.

Some have left for traditional camps — if by “traditional” we mean sleepaway camps in the rural Northeast, with cabins and swimming and passed-down-through-generations games and ceremonies. Those camps, however, have also installed climbing walls, added salad bars and post photos every night on their website that cause parents to obsess over every shot, wondering why Rebecca is only half-smiling or Jake is at the end of the row of his friends and not in the middle. So they (the parents) then fire off a worried email to the director, followed by an angrier one because he did not respond within 12 seconds.

Other kids have decamped for less traditional camps. They’ve headed across the country: to basketball camp, lacrosse camp, soccer camp, gymnastics camp, chess camp, robotics camp, physics camp, yearbook camp, debate camp, college essay-writing camp. You may think I exaggerate — college essay-writing camp?! — but I do not. There are some things even I cannot make up, though if I had attended fiction writing camp when I was younger, perhaps I could.

The rise in sleepaway camps — including those (like specialty sports, academic enrichment and come-spend-some-time-on-our-college-campus-so-you-can-apply-here-in-a-few-years-and-we-can-increase-our-applicant-numbers-for-the-college-rankings camps) that are held on college campuses — mirrors a decline in the number of “day camps.”

This area once teemed with them. The most noted may have been Singing Oaks. Run by the Meehan family, it provided generations of local boys and girls with memories of things like “hunter stew.” There was an archery range, which seems normal, as well as a rifle range, which today would bring the wrath of both the insurance carrier and the Department of Children and Youth Services upon the directors’ heads, unless Singing Oaks Day Camp suddenly decamped to Mississippi, in which case no one would even notice.

I spent a couple of years at Singing Oaks as a camper. I also worked there as a counselor. Part of my job involved driving campers to and from camp. In my own vehicle, which is to say, my parents’ car. I did this without having to be fingerprinted or submit to a drug test, and without the kids’ parents having to sign waivers saying it was fine having a teenager drive their precious cargo to Weston from Westport every day, then back again, especially the part about “back,” when camp was officially over and I was more concerned about getting away from campers and meeting up with my friends, than with minor issues like “safety.”

Today, Singing Oaks is just a memory. Acres of woods, arts centers and rec halls were bulldozed long ago. In their place are very large homes. Which is one reason why the kids who live there now spend their summer at sleepaway camps: All the local camps have been turned into building lots.

In Westport though, two camps survive. One is Mahackeno. This is the Westport Weston Family Y camp that dates back to the 1940s. It was so traditional —swimming in the Saugatuck River, with a rope swing and enormous wooden rafts you could easily drown under, plus a big Indian totem pole — that it could have appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Which, of course — this being Westport — it once did.

Construction of the new Y at Mahackeno forced the camp to find a new location the past couple of years. But it’s back now, 2015-style. A new generation of youngsters is once again making their own memories. The rope swing and raft are long gone. But the games and fun remain, and no one is learning how to write a college essay there. Yet.

The other traditional camp is run by Westport’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Started by Walt Melillo soon after World War II, and headed for many years by the legendary Ed Hall, it was known then as “beach school.” A while back it was re-branded as “Camp Compo,” and the older kids were given their own special status (and site) as the “Rec-ing Crew.”

Camp Compo kids still play traditional games (on a playground long ago upgraded from an old carousel and monkey bars). They still swim, and — like the Rec-ing Crew — they still go on field trips (a recent destination: the Discovery Museum’s ropes course in Bridgeport).

And — here’s the best part — they do it with counselors who are almost all current and former Staples High School students. Those guys and girls serve as fantastic role models. Sure, they get paid. But they’re also paying it forward to the next group of youngsters growing up in town.

Though they sure don’t drive them back and forth.

Dan Woog is a Westport writer, and his "Woog's World" appears each Friday. He can be reached at dwoog@optonline.net. His personal blog is www.danwoog06880.com.