Confessions of a Summer Camp Virgin

I have a confession to make. I’ve never experienced the warm, exciting, and often wet beauty that is Summer Camp.

It’s true. I’m a 26 year old, Summer Camp Virgin.

To be clear, I’m a festival veteran, and Summer Camp has for years been a bleeping dot on my party radar – relentlessly calling to me each summer with blistering lineups seemingly picked just for me: Umphrey’s McGee, moe., Keller, Toubab Krewe, MMW, the list goes on. But work, school and living in Rhode Island, New Hampshire and San Francisco over the last 10 years have made it impossible for me to attend (I know, it’s a weak excuse). However, I’m proudly popping my Summer Camp cherry and going all out as a Counselor In Training (CIT) in 2011. My experience will be well documented with blog posts, video highlights and photos.

For my first duty as a CIT, I’ve been asked to tell you all what I’m most excited about for Summer Camp. Aside from meeting up with friends that I haven’t seen in months or even years, it seems that Sunday’s late night STS9/EOTO set has definitely got my Summer Camp panties wet with anticipation. Over the years, STS9 has carved a special place in my heart and ear drums. I’ve traveled as far as Mexico to see these boys make music and was more than sad when the band’s February stop at the Fox Theater in Oakland was canceled due to David Murphy’s health (glad to know he’s bounced back and kicking ass once again!). Plus, the last time I saw a truly late night STS9 set was Camp Bisco 8 – an epic evening of mud mixed with underwater electricity and a band clearly feeding off of crowd energy – so I’m overdue for a raging night of exuberant auditory indulgence from these guys.

EOTO has quickly become one of my favorite bands to see live. In fact, I’m quite sure they’re currently the band that makes me smile the most while watching them perform. The improvisation, connectivity and light show extravagance of a late night EOTO show is unmatched by any other. What these two guys do on stage together is so unique, complicated, and inspiring. Keller Williams recently wrote a description of his experience from EOTO’s stop at The National in Richmond, VA that really sums up how I feel about the band. Jason Hann is one of the most versatile drummers on the planet. Combine his talents with the exploratory creativity of Michael Travis, you’ve got a show that makes every dubstep dj on the planet want to crawl under a rock and hide. Summer Camp hit the nail on the head when they put this late night show together.

So yeah – you’ll see me at the late night STS9/EOTO set and you’ll also find me repping Team Blue in Bocce and Tug of War. If you don’t see me in those places, I’m likely at the 312 beer tent.  On Saturday at 4:30PM, I’ll be participating in a discussion panel titled “A War on Us: Why the drug war effects everyone” and I hope you’ll come check it out!

Armed with a Flip Cam, I’ll be sure to take video of my escapades and compile it into a memorable recap of my Summer Camp christening. What will I call it? Perri does Summer Camp? How about Four Nights in Chillicothe? We’ll see, my friends, we’ll see. Regardless, I’ll be sure to wear protection as I penetrate the gloriousness of Summer Camp for the first time!

Jon Perri
Summer Camp Counselor In Training (CIT)