Visu­al Arts

Camp Camp

Roger Ben­nett and Jules Shell; Ivan Reit­ma, fwd.

  • Review
By – January 5, 2012

Explor­ing the rit­u­als of sum­mer camp, Camp Camp leads us on a jour­ney that tran­scends the lives of ado­les­cents as they explore their sex­u­al­i­ty, con­flict res­o­lu­tion skills, and their for­ay into adult­hood, all with­in the span of eight glo­ri­fied weeks. Through the use of pic­tures and per­son­al sto­ries this book brings back mem­o­ries of camp­fires, bunk­mates, Shab­bat rit­u­als, Vis­it­ing Day, Col­or War, and first loves. 

The over­whelm­ing feel­ing of com­mu­ni­ty allows campers to cre­ate a sense of self while learn­ing to man­age friend­ships, rela­tion­ships, rag­ing hor­mones, and social hier­ar­chy. Each pic­ture and sto­ry is famil­iar; if you have ever attend­ed sum­mer camp or know some­one who has, you can find your­self some­where with­in this book. 

Many con­trib­u­tors cred­it sum­mer camp with their devel­op­ment as adults, both social­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. This illus­trates the authors’ point that sum­mer camp is the sto­ry of our gen­er­a­tion.” While reel­ing between nos­tal­gia and hys­te­ria, we rev­el in Camp Camps desire to evoke child­hood mem­o­ries. Pok­ing fun at each camp rit­u­al, and those who par­tic­i­pat­ed in them, allows us to revis­it the past. Beau­ti­ful­ly com­posed, the pic­tures and sto­ries are can­did and sincere.

Nan­ci Hol­lan­der is a guid­ance coun­selor at a pub­lic high school in NYC. She has a B.A. from George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty and a Mas­ters from Teach­ers Col­lege, Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty. Like the con­trib­u­tors of Camp Camp, Nan­ci attrib­ut­es her cur­rent job and best friends to her 11 years of sum­mer camp.

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