This summer, nearly 11 million children will attend summer camps in the United States. They will eat terrible food, learn a new sport, and sing songs by a campfire. For some—let's call them well-adjusted—this experience will be joyous. For others—let's call them nerds—it won't. As one such kid who attended a sports-oriented camp in Pennsylvania told The New Yorker, "I took boxing, and I was very afraid."
For such children, mercifully, there is nerd camp—also known as the summer programs sponsored by the Center for Talented Youth. At CTY, you don't learn to swim, or ride horses, or tie knots. Instead, you spend five hours a day in class, learning a semester's worth in a mere three weeks. After class, there is a 90-minute period of "Mandatory Fun," followed by dinner and a two-hour study hall. Mandatory Fun may be the hardest part of the day for most of the campers at CTY. I know, because I was once one of them.
Here's something the Paci three have in common, although if you call us nerds you're likely to get a face full of fives. A decent look into how we spent some good times.