Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

See You Next Summer

I figured it out.

It took a little while… most of four weeks… but I got it.

I’ll back up.

My image of summer camp – the stereotypical summer camp of low-budget movies – was not my idea of a good time, not least because it usually involved enforced swimming, and my experience of swimming involved the letters P, T, S, and D.

Swimming and crafts and singed marshmallows around campfires and anything overnight… yeah, kinda no.

My parents found the sixth-grade me a summer day camp.

Oh yay.

I spent the first two weeks of the four-week camp session being very side-eye about it all. At least it was a day camp. You didn’t have to take swimming. I could write for the camp newspaper. Good, I suppose. But I was pretty sure I could have enjoyed my summer just as much, riding my bike and playing catch.

I spent the last nearly two weeks of the session begrudgingly coming around to the idea of this particular camp being kinda okay after all. I connected with a couple of really friendly counselors, made a couple… no, a squadron of pretty good friends… and got mixed up in shadow drama, whaaat?, and fencing (swords, with masks and protective jackets and advance-retreat-ho-hah-dodge-parry-thrust-PRANGG). Not bad, as it turned out.

And at the end of the four weeks, there was a big ol’ camp musical. I wasn’t in it, but some of my new friendlies were, so I went to closing night.

It was tons of fun… catchy songs… good story… great performances… the thing was a full-scale musical, but it was so entertaining that it just flew by. And just like that, it was over.

I made my way over to where the pit should have been breaking their equipment down, but instead was cranking out a celebratory blues jam. I caught the eye of the counselor on the drums. “Thanks for a great summer, Bob!” He smiled, not missing a beat (ever!), and nodded once, almost ceremonially. And I peered around the edge of the upright piano, and caught the eye of the counselor banging out chords upon it. He grinned – “Robbie!” – and I called out to him, over the blues changes.

See you next summer, Jackie!”

Yeah, I said it.

I guess summer day camp was acceptable, after all.

The musical production, by the way, was called “Monopoly”.

The performance, after which I had stumbled upon the truth, that the Charles River Creative Arts Program had passed the audition … was forty years ago tonight.

It had been there all along. And there would be many next summers.

I finally figured it out.

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August 19, 2018 - Posted by | arts, CRCAP | , , ,

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