Notes From the Director

July 29, 2011

As the summer winds down at CLJ, it’s always a melancholy time for us.  Certainly there’s the fatigue of 16 hour days for almost nine weeks.  But there’s also the fact that we won’t get to see such activity in our front yard for almost 10 months.

Most definitely, if Disney needed inspiration for a BOY WORLD theme park we could help him out.  It’s more and more clear every day of every summer.  Many of you would guess that we’d shoot the folks in park design our perfect plans for climbing walls, zip lines, go cart tracks, scuba obstacle courses, upside down canoe runs, horseback trails, indian games, fire building competitions, late night GPS missions, angleball courts, SWAT pits, torch lit ceremonies and kayak rapids.  Sure, but those would be the easy things to design.

The challenge would lie in how to create the ideal way to get every boy who attends to think he’s the first one to ever stick an orange quarter under his lips and ask me for a tooth brush. (almost never gets old)

How do you get everyone who enters to giggle and try to wrap a towel on their head between swimming and kayaking and not really care who thinks that’s what mom does. (you’d never do that in the locker room at school, but hey, there’s a reason we don’t go to school all year).

Would Disney think to set out horse tail hair near every the fly, so you can catch them, the flies, and put them on leashes (really does work, but you have to be really patient).

Bet the designers wouldn’t know that any ride in a truck or van is better if the doors, windows and tailgates are removed.  (you might want to try this at home.  we never lock our keys inside)

Those guys might never think that any movie becomes a comedy, every speaker a star and every announcement entertaining if someone is planted to create a well timed armpit toot.  (we don’t even have to plant them. we can get guys to play songs between classes with their armpits.)

Where do you program the chance for someone to bring jeans to dinner, slung over their shoulder, so that they can change on the way to their ranch meeting and not have to be “hot” during dinner.  Surely no one will notice you changing in the middle of the field.  (sometimes modesty loses out to the ultimate in efficiency and planning).

Would Disney understand that you need to feel like you can sing along loudly with the bugle (yes bugle sounds with no words) and no one criticize your style, pitch or word choice.

I hope their designers would put rocks near the river so that when boys catch turtles, they can build small rock cities or cages to keep them secure.  (of course they have to let them loose before they head off somewhere else, but that could be an hour out of the day!)

Would the designers have a plan to create a way to become invisible when you eat popsicles so you can confidently break dance in public knowing that no one will see and you won’t end up on film (otherwise, why do it, the footage could end up at a rehearsal dinner).

I think we could help them with an awesome park.  Or maybe not.  We’ll just keep perfecting what we try around here.  Thanks for sending us your boys, young men and invisible dancers.  We feel strongly that for better or worse, little guys just need a safe place to be little guys.  Smelly, silly, dusty, giggly, gross, busy guys.  We hope we gave them some life long memories and lifetime confidence.

Life is Good.  Camp is Better.


Written by Blake Smith

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