It's Just So Camp
I've written a bit about the summer camp I went to (and was a counselor at), Camp Nebagamon for Boys. Most recently, just a couple weeks ago, in fact, I posted a hilarious piece that the camp owners sent out on April Fools Day which wonderfully parodied the national political races. This spate of articles began initially when I had written here about the fascinating story how the camp song came to be written by one of the country's truly legendary songwriters, Gus Kahn. (No, really. Actually legendary. "It Had to Be You," "Makin' Whoopie," "Toot, Toot, Tootsie," "Ain't We Got Fun," "Carolina in the Morning" ((Nothing Could Be Finer Than to Be...), "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "5-Foot, 2, Eyes of Blue," "Yes, Sir! That's My Baby" and on and on and on... Hey, I told you, I wasn't lying when I said "legendary.")
That "song" article was originally written for the Huffington Post, which I followed up there with another, more-detailed piece about the camp that was centered around a long tale about a particularly whimsical childhood memory I had about the place, one that occurred even before I was a camper. (My dad had been the camp doctor for a few seasons.) I'll try to post it here at some point, but I don't know when I'll get around to it -- it'll take a while to configure it, since it includes a bunch of old photos.
(No, that's not my dad, but...yes, that is me. In the cap.)
I that know many people, if not most sing praises of the summer camp they went to when a kid, and so it can get eye-rolling wearying. And I'm as biased as the next. But the thing is, Nebagamon was founded in 1929, and there are few summer camps that have been around even close to 87 years, which speaks volumes about the place. I have a friend who relentlessly brings up his own summer camp experience, and relentlessly raves with glowing rapture about how great his camp is -- and I generally bite my tongue and don't say, "Er, are you aware that the owner who founded your camp actually went to Nebagamon, and based his camp on it??"
So, I'm biased, but with good reason, I think. In that regard, the current owners, Adam Kaplan and Stephanie Hanson, put together a very good 3-minute promotional video of the camp, which I think does a terrific job presenting the place, and I thought I'd post it here so you can get a better sense of what it actually is that I keep referring to.
(There's a longer version -- about 15 minutes -- but that's best-served as a presentation tool for prospective campers or the most maniacially die-hard alumni, but if you're interested, you can see it here.
Camp Nebagamon is in northwest Wisconsin, a short drive from the twin cities of Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota. It sits on the original grounds of the Weyerhauser lumber mills, some of the cabins of which still exist. This in part explains why the camp uses lumberjacking and the North Woods lore of Paul Bunyan as one of the themes to the place, as well as the local Indian culture. Hence, the arrowhead.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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