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aturin 08-30-2013 07:40 AM

No word, no event, no memory from Wel-Met evokes for me more reaction than “prom.” Whether the prom was intended to be part of the Wel-Met culture or simply arose from the mist on the lake, it was a constant presence for most of my camper years.

It was only in Unit IV that the idea first materialized; Unit II, my first year at Wel-Met, was too early for such a phenomenon. But by Unit IV, socials were already a part of the weekly schedule of events and couples were forming and reforming from nearly the first day. In the three-week trip we had to move quickly or we missed an opportunity that certainly wouldn’t arise in the school year. Prom was the culmination of the season’s socials and coupling; the drama of adolescent minds and bodies.

In Unit IV, we held prom on August 29, yielding the social hall to Unit V for the more prestigious August 30, the night before departure day. “Oliver Twist,” an old standby was performed by a cast assembled I guess, from some self-selected members of the unit. Hardly a stellar performance, and one that to this day I barely recall. We afterwards danced to the full collection of the unit’s 45s until perhaps 10 p.m. Then it was back to the bunks, the last full day, packing, and hanging out as we no longer had anything outside of our trunks and duffels.

So what was prom? It was much anticipated, insignificant in execution, and a lingering, ethereal memory that persisted for perhaps a few decades. Was it real or some concoction of my mind? Did the two hearty girls who agreed to be my prom dates in Units IV and V ever think about that night again? I am glad that memories of prom no longer haunt me and that I no longer anticipate an event so ultimately insignificant. I just wonder what it was all about.

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