Surviving the Road to Summer Camp

I flew into Chicago from San Francisco last night. It’s easy to forget how big most major cities are when you live in San Francisco – Chicago is huge! I met up with a gracious fellow activist I know in Chitown and was able to catch a good night’s sleep before being picked up around nine this morning by Summer Camp’s very own Holly Brinkman.

We were about 20 minutes away from entering the pearly gates of Three Sisters Park when a police cruiser pulls up behind us and starts flashing the blues and reds. Before we knew it, there were two cop cars parked behind the car. If you’re not brushed up on how to handle a police encounter, check out this new film by “Flex Your Rights called” 10 Rules for Dealing With Police. Anyway, despite us not having anything illegal in the car, the officers indicated that their dog had signaled for narcotics (either they were lying or their German shepherd needs more training!). They kept us waiting in the cold for about 20 minutes while they ripped the car apart and found nothing. Then they sent us on our way (and accidentally kept Holly’s driver’s license!). It was an interesting way to kick off my adventure. We saw at least five other vehicles pulled over and/or being searched over the next 20-minute ride.

After that, arriving safely at Summer Camp was even more glorious then I could have imagined. I grabbed my gear and after some poking around, found out where to go to get my VIP credentials. While waiting in line, the fun began. About 10 close friends, all traveling in different groups (some I haven’t seen since college in New Hampshire, others I know through work, and some I’ve met on the scene over the years) found me standing here. We talked shop about where we would be camping and who we wanted to see the most tonight. This was proof that I’m in the right place and this was going to be a killer weekend. I already knew what Summer Camp was about: music, friends and family.

After getting my wristband, I lugged my stuff to the VIP area, set up my tent and quickly made my way to the VIP bar. I’ll tell you one thing is for sure, the VIP bar is pimp. You get couches, discounted drinks, and they blasted killer soul and funk music all day and night. After my experience with that K9 unit, a 312 on draft while sitting on a plush couch in the middle of a field in Chillicothe, IL is just what I needed to calm down the nerves. I’m in the party zone now and there is no turning back. Let’s rock!

Jon Perri
Counselor In Training