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John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, his name is my name too!
September 17, 2006 5:44 PM   Subscribe

The folks behind Bar Mitzvah Disco (which documented the "potent cocktails of ritual, acne, insecurity, and hormones" -- previously discussed) have a new project: Camp, Camp. They seek to document the American summer camp experience of the '70s and '80s, just as two new documentaries of the camping experience hit theaters in North America: Summer Camp! and Jesus Camp (previously discussed 1, 2).
posted by ericb (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
...the "potent cocktails of ritual, acne, insecurity, and hormones"

That is so unlike the potent cocktail around here.
posted by y2karl at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2006


Now finish up them taters, I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2006


it was really weird looking at Bar Mitzvah Disco and seeing people who I knew (and took tap dance lessons with) in the book.

I'm afraid to even look at this one. Both books are too close to home. Or rather, suburban Detroit in the late 70's early 80's.
posted by pinky at 7:07 AM on September 18, 2006


Camp as a cultural force in the United States doesn't get anywhere near the level of recognition it deserves. It's a huuuuge socializing environment for a significant portion of the population, and in some cases, has quite a profound impact on the people who experience it.

There was an excellent This American Life called "Notes on Camp" a while back. I liked it quite a bit because it went far beyond the usual panty-raid, dining-hall-mystery-meat, 'I hated camp' stereotypical story and really examined the unique group dynamics and social interplay of a camp environment. For many kids, it's the very first place where they find they can exist as an individual, outside the context of family, neighborhood and school, and experiment with identity. It also is the first place they may become really close to people, because of the 24-hour community living experience.

Camp offers a lot of benefits to a developing person. In my career, I've found I much more enjoy working with people who've had a camp experience than who haven't. They're more cooperative, friendlier and more fun, and more adaptable. There's a perception that camp is a middle- or upper-class phenomenon; but for every yachty or tennis camp, there's a crunchy, basic, or Scout camp, too. There are as many kinds of camps as there are kinds of kids. And every summer, kids who normally live in poverty get outdoors in some sort of sponsored camp program.
posted by Miko at 7:26 AM on September 18, 2006


For many kids, it's the very first place where they find they can exist as an individual, outside the context of family, neighborhood and school, and experiment with identity. It also is the first place they may become really close to people, because of the 24-hour community living experience.

Such was my experience. Camp saved my adolescent life.

The only thing comparable in the lives of some of my friends has been Burning Man. Which has been too much, too late for some of them.
posted by y2karl at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2006


ABC News on Jesus Camp.
posted by ericb at 8:06 PM on September 18, 2006


Huh. I kinda hated camp (probably cuz I was conned into a Christian one by my cousin, but no, it was mostly plain "camp" I hated), but I love camping and I love Burning Man. 2each. Jesus Camp looks quite good.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2006


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