Sharpie Love

I have a Camp Host Tip to share that might apply to some of you who are not camp hosts. I'm very excited about this, as I stumbled across it all by my little self. When we started here, there was very little guidance, and the advice we did get from other hosts was mixed and conflicting. If someone's written a book on how to be a camp host, I haven't found it yet. If nobody's written it, maybe I should do it. I'm feeling pretty smart right now.

An important part of this volunteer gig is to keep the reservations straight each day, and to clip little pink Rez Cards to the campsite posts. Not exactly rocket science, but important nonetheless. The pink cards are my job, and I take them very seriously... almost as seriously as I take trash...

As our first reservations came in for the season, I was handed a printed list, a stack of pink laminated cards, and a skanky old grease pencil. Who still uses those things anyway, with all the wonderful, modern writing instruments we have access to? The grease pencil writes like a cheap broken crayon, it smears, and it's a mess to clean off the cards. I saw them using dry erase markers at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Amateurs! You breathe on that ink and it wipes right off, just like it's supposed to do. What we need here is something that stays on, and comes off, so I decided to try one of my beloved Retractable Sharpies.

The Sharpie writes beautifully on the plastic lamination, with a nice bold, dark line that's easy to see from a bit of a distance. And because I've read that it's alcohol based, I figured the "permanent" ink would come off relatively easily with rubbing alcohol. It worked OK on cards that were freshly written on, but I found out the hard way that after they've been out in the sun for a week or so, the ink gets rather stubborn. I had a fat stack of cards to clean up after the 4th of July Weekend, and was feeling discouraged and exhausted from scrubbing, when zap, a little thought popped into my head. The thought was "Nail Polish Remover".

Being a girl who enjoys her polished piggies, I happened to have a bottle of polish remover in the bathroom. I poured a little on a rag, wiped down one of the cards, and oh happy day, the Sharpie ink came off as easily as dry erase marker. Sure, it's a small thing, but you have no idea how happy this one little trick of the trade makes me. It's the small things, friends. The small things. Do try this at home.


  1. Wow! I would have thought the acetone would disolve the plastic laminate. Very cool. Also, do you have Goof Off in your life? That somewhat expensive miracle product will disolve all kinds of gunk - sticky and otherwise. (It warns that it will dissolve the latex backing of carpets.) I love that stuff. Yes, I can see (with hands to forehead) a "how to" manual in your life, Swamette Norine

  2. I don't think we could get the guys here to give up those grease pencils! Good thinking though.


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