Slate on Thursday had a special summer camp issue, with several articles on the camping experience. Two things of note:

1) Their excellent cultural editor, Meghan O'Rouke, writes about going to (her phrase) "nerd camp", a camp for only the top 3% of academic students in the country:

But the fundamental enterprise remained a shared one, and the weekly dances were, as a friend recently put it, wondrous displays of group awkwardness. In our day, each concluded with either "Sympathy for the Devil," "Ana Ng," or "American Pie,"

If the thought of a group of honors-honors kids dancing around to They Might Be Giants at a forced social doesn't make your secret (or not so secret) inner 13 year old nerd happy, I don't know what will. (re-watch the video for Ana Ng if you've forgotten how much fun tmbg are at times – the desk pounding and the weird hop walk at 2m18s are so wonderful).

2) Summer camp stories, especially about nerd camps, give me an opportunity to dust off my favorite thing I've done for this page, from back in 2000, the time I encouraged the kids in my Computer Summer Camp section to write essays I promised would not get censored or reviewed by parents. Here's what they wrote. They certainly had their finger on the pulse of the immigration debate.

2 thoughts on “Camp.”

  • I know of Meghan O'Rourke from her work in Poetry Magazine. Thanks for the additional reference.

  • My favorite summer camp story is David Sedaris' "I Like Guys." Even if you don't usually like Sedaris, I highly recommend it. You can listen to it here:

    "'What are you, a bunch of goddamned faggots who can't make your beds?'

    I giggled out loud at his stupidity. If anyone knew how to make a bed, it was a faggot."

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