A bunch of dudes in the woods

13 Jul 2010 by Jim Gibbons, 5 Comments »

From left to right: Danny Trevor, Ben Trevor, me (Jim Gibbons), half of Quint Owen's head and Sam Hulka. I have no idea who took this photo. Possibly a sasquatch, but more than likely a camper.

Taken down at the archery range on a sunny afternoon during my last year at camp (2001), I’m a second year JC (junior counselor) in this photo and instructing/supervising these fine young lads in their arrow-flinging endeavors. Obviously, I was sporting a soul patch and a “Hi, my name is Slim Shady” t-shirt because I was a super cool 16-year-old. ‘Nuff said, right?!

I’ll wager a guess that before, during and after this picture was taken, I was lamenting the fact that I had become an American Archer when I was a camper. Quick explanation: An American Archer is someone who has achieved every target shooting award at the 15, 25, 30, 40 and 50-yard lines with a bow and arrow under the Camp Archery Association’s achievement program. There were usually only one or two handfuls of American Archers at camp each summer making the bragging rights it entailed a cool perk as a camper (Note: They are also kind of cool as a 25-year-old.), but as one of only three staffers with the distinction in 2001 it was a different story. The other two American Archers on staff were Waterfront Director Brent Parker and Head Archery Instructor David Owen, a fellow JC one or two ears older than me. Brent, busy with all things waterfront-related, would have been a rare staffer to see instructing archery that year, which made me (more or less by default) Assistant Head Archery Instructor—or something like that. What that meant was David normally got the morning shift down at the range (Which was preferable because it was usually cooler and your morning was usually more relaxed—a definite perk for anyone among the sleep-deprived staff.), I ended up down there in the sweltering hot afternoons… when I would have rather been down on the waterfront… by the cool, cool water… doing anything, anything other than archery.

That said, with the rose-colored glasses of hindsight, I realize that I ended up spending most of my afternoons on staff leading a bunch of kids as we all fired dangerous projectiles at bails of hay (or sometimes an old t-shirt) for a few hours. Not too shabby.

This photo also exemplifies a lot of camp experiences. It’s a bunch of dudes, surrounded by trees, doing something potentially dangerous. Good times, indeed.

I love how maniacal Sam looks in this photo. Little would the casual viewer suspect that the half-headed Quint was the real threat here. After the photo was taken, he jabbed two or three arrows into my side, filing them in between the gaps of my rib cage like some sort of pointed and deadly piece of paperwork, before fleeing into the nearby swamp… never to be seen or heard from again.

I’m kidding, of course! In my two years instructing archery, no one was shot, stabbed or lost in the swamp. A few arrows, however, did find their way into that quagmire at my discretion…

I didn’t say being an Archery Instructor was completely without its upsides!

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  1. bparker says:

    JIM. I know that Tim Will was also an American Archer on staff that year. I did make it down to the range a couple times that year, which I always enjoyed. I probably did that when I was doing the program for the day…

    What I find more amazing is that there were several American Archers among the ranks of the campers that year. Jordan, Glenn, Chris, Alex?

  2. Jim Gibbons says:

    First, what camp achievements hadn’t Tim at one point demolished? I presume on top of accomplishing all of camp’s greatest honors, Tim had also defended Shewahmegon in a Swiis Family Robinson-esque fashion from an army of rabid bears. Informing me that Tim is an American Archer is liking telling me Michael Jordan has a garage full of nice cars. I assume it is fact and then quickly put t out of my mind as it seems all to obvious.

    As for the others, I was under the impression that both Chris and Jordan brought the Arnold family to the 160 at 40 yards, but not past. My memory is addled by age though, so I may be in correct. Apologies to both Chris and Jordan if I’m wrong here.

    I think Glenn, despite the prowess of his magnificent sternum, also fell short of the AA (an great boon in life, though not on the archery range). Alex “The Trevinator” Trevor, however, I can indeed confirm was an American Archer. I shot with him at 50 yards after he’d achieved the award.

  3. david1will says:

    Hey Jim,
    Nice article. I am glad to see this up and running again. It was a long year of checking this page nearly daily and seeing nothing.
    Anyhoo, fact check time: Glenn Laatsch certainly got his AA, and he was the youngest person in Shewahmegon history to get it. He was either 7 or 8 when he achieved it. You are correct though about Chris Arnold, and him getting to 40 but no further. I also seem to remember Jordan getting his (although I could be wrong), but it seemed like a thing for him to do just to spite Alex.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. bparker says:

    To follow up regarding the host of camper AAs, I was under the impression that Chris Owen (not Arnold, who was on staff that year) got his AA that last year. Chris Arnold did do well at archery, but fell short of the 100 points at 50 yards unfortunately.

  5. Jim Gibbons says:

    Totally forgot Glenn had AA’d so young. Glenn, my apologies!

    Totally forgot Chris Owen had AA’d, but you’ve jogged my memory!

    Thanks for the fact checking, guys! Go team!

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