[EVENT RECAP] Welcome Campers
When we told our friends we were going to summer camp, to be honest, most of them thought we had really, finally, completely lost the plot. It took a minute to explain the premise of The Wild Honey Pie's 'Welcome Campers' series... A weekend spent on a summer camp in Western Massachusetts, where a select handful of 'campers' (grown adults) are invited to watch and be a part of the production and filming of a series of sessions, hang out with the bands involved, and generally be involved in fun camp activities. Seems slightly less crazy that we flew to the other side of the country to be involved now, right?
This year, the camp/event was held up at Camp Lenox, and featured 6 East Coast bands - Skaters, Freelance Whales, The So So Glos, Great Good Fine Ok, Younger Me and Yellerkin. Campers were told to pack swimmers, yellow and blue t-shirts, something to tie-dye, and disco attire and make their merry way up to Massachusetts for the weekend.
After an eventful night out in New York, a dishearteningly early wake-up call and, I'm ashamed to say some still-drunk-when-I-woke-up packing, we set off to meet our van of Wild Honey Pie crew and begin our journey North. It soon became apparent that every single one of the people accompanying us for the drive was as bat-shit crazy as we were, and as the song requests got more and more ridiculous, the van (who we affectionately named 'The Spirit Of Ja Rule') was rocking/swaying down the highway to the movement of 8 people collectively dancing like crazy to "The Thong Song".
Upon arriving at camp, blasting Ja Rule, we were shown to our bunks before getting straight to work tie-dying t-shirts down by the lake. As more and more people arrived, we drank beer, ate rainbow cupcakes, painted mason jars, and watched the first band Skaters set up for their set. This was shaping up to be a solid weekend.
After revisiting our youth with a meal at the camp diner and a round of b-ball (yup), we were beckoned in high demand for glow stick duty. While the rest of the campers were being distracted, we assisted the amazing WHP art team in transforming the baseball field into a magical performance space. We escorted everyone on a mysterious journey through the starlit sky and onto the baseball field, where blankets, mason jars, lights and sparklers were laid out for the surprise performance of Yellerkin. Adrian's soft vocals were the perfect accompaniment to this romantic evening. This was a truly incredible performance, instantly reminding us of this Local Natives session.
The evening then rolled on with a great amount of dancing and bottles of El Buho Mezcal being passed around like the body of Christ. This quickly escalated into a disco/rave/karaoke party in bunks 25 and 26. Unfortunately for us in bunk 25 (where at one point several drunk people were standing on Lauren's bed singing 90's classics at the top of their lungs), this party didn't really wind down until about 5am. No rest for the wicked.
As you do at any typical summer camp, we were awoken by the early morning breakfast bell. After missing the breakfast, we somehow got our zombie bodies out of bed to assist in the art projects for the day’s performances. After turning honey jars into golden flower vases, it was time for lunch and a performance by the So So Glos.
The entire gym was transformed into a carny-themed haven equipped with clowns, blow-up balloon animals and confetti… the only missing components were live giraffes. Us campers were escorted into the room without warning as to who, what, when or why. Clowns emerged from behind the curtains and invited 8 people forward to each hold a balloon; a countdown begun and on ‘3’ the eight individuals held up their balloon letter, spelling out C-O-L-O-R-W-A-R. The curtains opened, confetti was sprayed and the So So Glos emerged with a powerful set, as campers prepared to be divided in to colour-coded teams for the rest of the days sporting activities. (Note - The Yellow Honey Bees team won)
As the night fell, the real carnage was about unfold… we joined the hard working crew in transforming the ‘cabin-in-the-woods’ into a delicious disco dance floor. The masses congregated around various areas of the camp’s settings and we settled for sunset El Buho and beers on the dock (our kind of summer camp activities).
Freelance Whales performed in a woodland cove, surrounded by bonfires and candlelit mason jars. Their folk sound was perfectly paired with the ambiance; once again, team WHP setting the perfect scene.
Disco gear and booze blankets: check. It was time to fulfill our imperative role for the night: ‘Official Glitter Hype Team.’ We were greeted with delectably stiff margaritas as we entered the disco room somewhat resembling an 80’s techno psychedelic prom. Great Good Fine OK front man John was dapperly dressed in a kimono and commanded the performance like an Emperor. It would be safe to say that we were later applauded by the camera director for our glitter throwing duties (although I’m pretty sure the band has debatable opinions). A mysterious spread of McDonalds was devoured before heading back to the dance floor for an old school 90’s R&B party.
The 2am waterfall hike idea was abandoned and somehow eventuated into constructing a 6-bunk fort. Jealous much?
Feeling like [Freelance] Whales ourselves, we woke up and headed straight to the lake for solace, where we remained for the majority of the day. Younger Me performed a sweet and summery set from the dock alcove while we canoed about as ‘extras’ for the session. Look out for our beautiful faces.