Friday, August 1, 2008

Camp Camp on the Sound of Young America

Jesse Thorn is one of the most talented gents we have encountered, and we are not just saying that because he featured the project on his show... listen here and subscribe to the podcast. He is a rare talent.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camp Camp on NPR

Camp Camp was on the boom boxes across the nation, featuring on NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon this weekend... yes that Scott Simon who went to Camp Indianola back in the day... listen here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Ultimate Sound of Summer

We asked members of the CAMP CAMP FACEBOOK group which songs they only had to hear a snippet of on the radio to be instantly transported right back to camp... we had a massive response and all of the below got more than three votes each, an indication that if Rhino Records are smart they would release this beauty and watch out Lil Wayne...

Warning... if you are reading this at work, be prepared to be transported back to camp -- the below are more than songs, they are time machines...

“I Melt with you” Modern English
“Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes
“As Tears go By” by the Rolling Stones
“Forever Young” by Alphaville
“Lucky Star” by Madonna
“Don’t Go” by Yaz
by Paul Hardcastle
“St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr
"Right Here Waiting” by Mr. Richard Marx
“Summer of 69" by B. Adams
"Don't Stop Believing” by Journey
"King of Rock" by Run DMC
“Paul Revere” by the Beastie Boys
"Wind of Change” by The Scorpions
"Stay" by Jackson Browne
Anything by Air Supply
“Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell. Shawn Landres adds that he remembers the camp counselors at Camp Alonim getting anxious when singing this classic because they were turning twenty. ("...So the years went by and now the boy is twenty. Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true....")"
"Endless Love" by Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
“Leaving On A Jetplane” by John Denver

A quick shout out, via Lauren Herskowitz, to a camp icon we regret not having in the book, Mr. Ron Dagan, a performer who has thrilled thousands in camps across the country over the past thirty years -- a camp troubador who has introduced a generation to the power of music. We salute you Ron Dagan, by showing this classic clip, playing live at Camp Summit. His Budokan. It's like punk rock never happened.

If anyone has a classic Dagan memory or photograph, we would Love to see it...

Any songs we missed out? Drop us a line and let us know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lisa Schottenfeld for Poet Laureate

Lisa Schottenfeld of Camp Summit, Wurtsboro, NY is the camp equivalent of Allen Ginsberg... she sent in this crisp photo spread, accompanied by the below, which we present verbatim. If you went to camp, it will read like poetry. In Schottenfeld's words, the purpose of camp was not to be pretty or put together but to have a pre-grunge disheveled meets Gunnie Sax, Little House on the Prairie type look. Shoes were LL Bean Bluchurs, nails and lips bare and hair was long and stringy but always in a side part flipped to the “wrong side” so your equilibrium looked off."

“Qui-et please. Dedicated to the senior boys. We’ve
seen better balls on the tennis courts.”
“Qui-et please. Dedicated to the senior girls. We’ve
seen better breasts on chickens.”

Hair = Bangs = High, sprayed bangs.
Regardless of destination or time of day; breakfast,
free play, rest hour, canteen; the bangs were sprayed
high and slanted to one side so you looked like your
equilibrium was off.

Product used
Pump (not aerosol) Aussie or Sebastian
One girl used Flex but we made fun of her

Lips like Sugar. Who didn’t want their tans to look
darker at any given opportunity? It was the make-up
equivalent of wearing white (or neon) your first day
back at school after Spring Break to see your Nanny in
Florida. Don’t forget to take your Swatch off and ask
your boyfriend, “who’s tanner?”

Products used
Revlon Zinc Pink or Frosted Brownie
Wet n Wild came in second, always. Same girl who
brought Flex, getting the picture?

WE are the champions! THE champion sweatshirt. 11 out
of the 13 girls in that picture is wearing one!!!! I
had blue, grey, white, black and lt blue with and
without the C logo. All purchased at or in the
vicinity of Paragon sports on 18th and Broadway or at
Wings in NYC. The other crucial components of the
sweat and go look were the bulky socks.

E.J. socks or E.J.”s as we called them have not been
called out in any communication I’ve seen. Maybe it
was a long island thing. Being from NYC I could never
find them so all my friends the 5 towns would have to
lend to me.

Brands used (seen and unseen)
Champion and EJ’s. A softer look was the great
sweatshirt with the neck cut out and a pink tank
peeping through Naf Naf (aqua blue jackets to match John Taylor’s
eyes) and cotton candy tissue cotton shorts. ACA JOE.
Im disappointed no one has the ACA Joe logo tee on in
these pics. They all had them, especially the boys.
Ellesse, Le Coq Sportif, Guess jeans were the coolest. Ankle zips or the
inside-out pocket with dark denim on the outside
flipped outwards to reveal the acid washed underbelly.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh Yes, It;s Ladies Night, and the Feeling's Right...

This masterpiece was sent in by Amy Bonn Meltzer from Camp Kennybrook Bunk J in 1987. This was banquet night when we all wore what we thought was the nicest thing we brought to camp which was whatever best matched our major bangs and big hair. One of the other individuals who commented on this photo wrote: "It feels like it was one minute ago and a million years ago at the same time."

Monday, July 7, 2008

THE SOCIAL: All dressed up and nowhere to go...

Roni Dinkes sent in these beauties. Her days at Camp Sequoia were "the best summers of my life." The images remind us of every social we ever went to. The anticipation in the run-up, spent executing one outfit change after another, amidst the arguments over who could borrow whose EG's and Temp a Temp. A thick mist of Body Shop White Musk hung over the entire girl's side. It was always worth it. As soon as the first track began to rock -- some Violent Femmes, B-52's or Frankie Goes to Hollywood, no doubt, true lovers would come together with a passion which knew no bounds, outstripping even that exhibited by Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain in the Thorn Birds. The rest of us would stand around straining to affect an air of nonchalant cool but barely able to mask the mix of terror and confusion which gripped us. And epic rock ballad could be counted on to warm things up. Eight minutes and fifty-seven second of November Rain. After that, the evening became a race to the prime make-out places -- behind the stage, in the janitor's closet, at the canoe house -- which with their differing levels of privacy, would determine the base you could ultimately get to.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camp has Begun...

Camp has officially begun...!!! Over 12 million kids across the country have left the familiarity and comfort of home, striking out by plane, bus and automobile for their final destination: the Great American Outdoors. The arrival at camp is an occasion fraught with emotion. The air is thick with nervous excitement. Veteran campers have lived for this moment, counting down ten months of dead time back in the real world until their return to their happy place. First time campers wander around disoriented, shell shocked and crippled by unshakable homesickness, amid the logistical nightmare of trunks and duffels that lay scattered on the ground...

All this by way of saying, here are a couple of administrative details, the kind that would be read out at flag raising...

1. Join our CAMP CAMP Facebook group...
There are a million critical issues to be debated... which is the most powerful aphrodisiac, Drakkar Noir or Hai Karate? And, yes, White Keds, but leather or canvas? Join us and make your voice heard, and post your pictures, and get ready for the social.

2. If you are going to a CAMP REUNION or ALUMNI EVENT...
Please be in touch!!!
We have a package we would love to send you that can help take your former camp mates on a trip down memory lane... drop us an email at

Rock On!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

From boredom to exhiliration...

Camp culture is a unique juxtaposition of opposites. The thrilling freedom to test your boundaries can exist alongside an unshakeable homesickness; a bunk can be both a place of both vicious exclusion and serious bonding; the thrill of endless love one night can be replaced by the shattering pain of being dumped the next, and, as these photos illustrate, periods of frantic excitement can coexist with long bursts of plain hanging out, in this case, sitting on the stairs of the bunk, waiting to play another camp mano mano. Thank you to Momo of Camp Sequoia, Rock Hill, NY for these beauties from 1979-84.