The other day, my spouse and I watched the movie Theater Camp together, the 2023 dramedy starring Molly Gordon and Ben Platt as counselors at the titular theatre camp. (Yes, they spell it the American way and I am spelling it the Canadian way. It’s my damn newsletter!) It was wonderful, and it made me think about summer camp – how it can be a rite of passage, or a ritualized hell, or a liminal space.
I never really had a summer camp community the way some kids do. That is to say, while I dabbled in day camps, I never went to sleepaway camp, and certainly not to the same sleepaway camp every single summer, like some of my friends did. I therefore didn’t develop a sense of camp community, of a whole other group of recurring cast members in my life who I saw again each summer.