I was never a summer camp kid, but I always envied that friendly, cultish hypnosis that camp kids lapsed into with a gleam in their eye when they spoke of their summer adventures. The rest of us had no idea what the hell they were talking about, but get two camp kids together on the playground and the rest of us would sit back and watch in amusement. Everything else disappeared for them and they’d break into secret handshakes, loud chants, and stories that left the other kids bewildered.
Bonfires, bunk beds, mosquito bites, swimming in filthy lakes, and songs that made no sense to anyone but other campers– growing up, I always felt like I was missing out on something by not being privy to this childhood portal that opened up sometime in May and spit kids back out on the schoolyard in mid-August.
It’s not exactly the same (although the reaktr does have a rustic screen door!) but this summer at redpepper we had the biggest flock of interns to date, and it has felt like a little taste of camp that I never got. I must say, I’m beginning to have some insight on the quirky mentality of the camp cult.
There was our cabin (the west side conference room was quickly dubbed “the intern lair”),
chant sing-a-longs (the intern lair never stopped blaring “We Can’t Stop.” I can assure you, it was enough to drive even the soundest of mind insane):
weird inside jokes: (please don’t ask)
and a bittersweet farewell party that ended in an all-hands-in cheer. Yes, there really was a group cheer. In public. At Dave & Buster’s. By a bunch of 20-something’s in matching shirts. The dorkiness does not escape me. One thing I have learned about camp psychology is that looking like an ass doesn’t stop you from participating, and further, that looking like an ass is often the point.
Let the summer of 2013 be the summer of interns, and may we all meet again sometime when the weather’s hot and there are ghost stories to be told with the dramatic aid of a flashlight.
-Stephanie, summer 2013 design intern