I thought we had made it.
I thought we had made it; I thought the weather pattern this summer had rerouted the strange wind that sometimes blows through 120 Howeville Road. But as the summer nears close, everything shifted on Monday. Password was welcomed with the call for “Charge” and capped with a round of applause and cries of “Yay Lady Elsa!” Our wonderful Fleur de Lis pledge was replaced calls for “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect” via Lady Amy’s glorious new backpack. Breakfast featured Table 11 eating on the porch and a triad of campers leading announcements. It was clear; Pandemonium Day had arrived once again.
Well, to be fair, it was pretty clear from the cardboard flags that we raised, the first reading “Pademo” and the other “nium Day”. But what struck me about having Pandemonium Day so late in the season this year was how desperately we try to hang on to summer and this place. We know it’s only seven or nine weeks depending on whether you are a camper or staff; we know that the colder August nights means a return to the real world. We know that soon meals will not be punctuated by songs or cries to “Show us how to get down.” We know that nowhere else stops everything for Ping-Pong finals and acknowledges everything from passing a level in swimming to a love of Zac Efron.
With all of this knowledge and all our refusal to accept what we know to be true, that summer is ending, it seems perfect that we welcomed a day that indulges and amplifies all of the silly, random, crazy things that makes this place like no other and one that we never really want to leave.