A bunch of dudes in the woods
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!