Our Wet Hot-Not American Summers

Were you a camp girl? No, we take that back, the question really is: What kind of a camp girl were you?

With Friday’s upcoming premiere of the TV version of cult classic movie Wet Hot American Summer, Danielle and I had a mental throwback to our own days at sleep away camp. The steamy summer nights, the bunk and bed hopping across the way to the boys’ side of camp…oh wait, just kidding, those were stories we were told from our friends who went to co-ed summer camp. Danielle and I went to a very different sort of camp – the all girls camp. Though there’ve been rumors about these establishments – ones that sometimes resemble comments made about Orange is The New Black – we can tell you we loved our camp then and now more than anything in the world.

Just as an FYI for those who may not have seen the original Wet Hot American Summer movie: It’s an incredibly accurate spoof on co-ed camps where A. hormones are running sky high and B. both campers and sixteen-year old counselors are in a kind of perpetual sexual paradise where adults are about as common as shower time.

While our camper friends were sporting bikinis, sneaking back from boy bunks in the morning and taking their first sips of beer in kitchen basements, we were wearing one-piece Speedos, reading Seventeen with flashlights under the covers, sporting white and navy uniforms and learning the five commandments taught to every girl old enough to have two to three dances a summer with boys camps. What are the five commandments you ask? Well they went a little something like this…

1. Thou shalt be able to wear jeans to a dance, but only jeans with a zipper. Neither buttons nor ties of any kind will suffice.

2. Thou’s tee shirt shalt be the camp uniform tee shirt, and shalt not lift so that the skin betwixt the shirt and pant is revealed.

3. Thou shalt dance with a boy if thou choose to doeth, but shall allow ample space between thou and thou’s dance partner.

4. Thou shalt not kiss nor do anything of the like with thou’s dance partner through the course of the evening. Else the evening will end for thou and thou’s fellow campers.

5. Thou shalt act like a lady at all times.

You think we’re joking right? Wrong.

Another tradition was bunk-hopping, also known as running from bunk to bunk after bedtime for no apparent reason. After we were supposed to be in bed, we’d risk our luck with ‘night duty’ and ‘hop’ from bunk to bunk. We’d go into one; hide under the bed when a counselor came in, then sprint on to the next. I’d boast these stories to my friends in middle school…the ones who went to the coed camps. I’m not sure what response I expected – a terrified gasp, an intake of breath (awaiting whether I did in fact make it to my best friend Casey’s bunk for her new stash of Sour Patch Kids undeterred) – but I instead received an eye roll and a question like, “Where were you bunk hopping to if not the boy bunks? What’s the point?” I was tongue tied at the question, and promised myself I’d have the winning story next September.

It was never to be. The girl in my math class’ story about getting to third base in the woods would always win. But I’m still proud of my dry-hot-not-American-jewish- summer-camp. What camp you ask? A lady doesn’t wear a one-piece Speedo and tell…

– Laura Kosann

Read about why the womance beats the bromance