Next up as COTW is Slade, who was what we at Summer 365 call a “lifer” at his Pennsylvania, 8-week, co-ed sleep away camp. He spent nine of his childhood years there as a camper, and then six years as a counselor, group leader, program director, and finally as assistant boy’s head counselor. Wow!
He grew up in Jericho, New York, and now spends his time in Brooklyn, New York. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of HyperVocal (an amazing media company and online news resource for the latest, greatest vital and viral), and the co-host of SiriusXM’s daily “Politics Powered By Twitter” program. His big voice on the radio may come from his time as color war General, and there is no doubt that his awesomeness comes from living 10 months for 2!
What are your top three essentials that you pack in your trunk?
Plenty of socks, all my hockey gear, and a softball glove.
What are three words to describe your camp experience?
Friends. For. Life.
Who was someone at camp that you looked up to?
Every counselor who taught me what it was like to actually be cool.
Why do you think it is important to go to camp?
There are two kinds of people you meet in this world: Those that went to camp and those who didn’t. The ones who did are infinitely better socialized, make fast friends, and know how to best interact with others in modern society.
What is your favorite camp memory?
Looking down at the Color War sheets after breakout and seeing my name as one of the youngest Generals in our camp’s history. Best week ever.
How has camp affected your adult life? Is there something you learned there that you still do today?
As I said above, I’m not sure I’d be the person I am today without spending two months every year crammed into bunks with my 10 friends and counselors. It prepares you for anything and everything. It teaches you to be yourself, that you’re not the only person on earth, that you need to do your part in a greater community.
Words of wisdom for current and future campers?
Be the person who other people can depend on. You don’t have to be the nicest or the smartest or the funniest or the most athletic or the best looking – just be someone who can stand up and be counted on, someone who people will have fond memories of in later years.
What is your favorite camp tradition?
Any full camp activity in the social hall, nothing like everyone together.
What was your favorite camp food?
Grilled cheese, is there any other answer?
What was your favorite summer reading book?
People read at camp?
What is your favorite movie about camp/that you saw at camp?
Wet Hot American Summer.
What do you prefer – pool or lake?
Sports or arts?
Canteen or ice cream?
What was your favorite camp activity?
The full color war week, naturally.
What is your favorite camp word/expression?
“Quiiiiet pleeeeeeease, dedicated to …”
Favorite camp memento?
Gordon Cup captain jersey.
Did you ever get homesick at camp? How did you deal with that?
All the time! Thankfully I had family at camp, and good counselors.
Who was your first summer love?
None of your business, yenta.