A Wet Hot American Weekend
By: Alex Huss
Imagine right now, walking into your favorite childhood arcade. Imagine being told that you have a whole weekend reunion with your old friends in that arcade. The machines and games have no price tags on them, and there’s no lines or parents or staff. Just a humble request not to break stuff, and to maybe have some common human decency.
That rush of freedom, nostalgia, and desperate urge to do everything at once perfectly encapsulates the feeling of Alumni Weekend at my stomping grounds for 9 beautiful summers; Perlman Camp. From the moment we passed Alice’s and my car chanted the familiar “Alice’s Alice’s Ooh Aah,” I was 12 again, on my way to another incredible summer. To be packed into 48 hours. Without counselors or campers or really any kind of responsibility. Basically, heaven.
So, I: ate a whole roll of challah for dinner, danced Israeli dances I did not realize I could possibly remember, drove a golf cart for the first time, relaxed in the forbidden A-lodge, went on Big Bertha the next day, ate 10 twizzlers and a coke in under 3 minutes for the Apache relay, relaxed by pio dock with one of my oldest friends, made a s’more under the once aptly named town of Starlight, and sang O-Town songs at the top of my lungs with people I hadn’t seen in at least 5 years. And that’s a very brief summary.
I once thought reunions were sad attempts to recreate the past. What I experienced instead was a celebration of what our childhood summer home had to offer us, and how even though we don’t think of it actively, it shaped us now in many ways. At some point, Perlman made all of us a community and a support for one another.
There was a minor fear that no one would remember me going in to the weekend, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. One Shayna Lupu deemed me “camp comedian,” (and I died inside) and even if not a soul knew who I was, there were 3 plaques up in G4 with my name right on em, sharing mine and my friends’ memories and identity with future campers to come.
Perlman, like any arcade, has had some adjustments, acquired “new games,” so to speak, but it will always belong to those who once filled those wooden bunk beds, no matter how much time passes.