• Bean Soup
  • Camper Stories
  • News
  • Pemi Alumni
  • Pemi History
  • Pemi literature
  • Staff Stories

Lessons That I Learnt from Being a Bean Soup Editor by Justin Thomson Glover

I have been asked to write an introduction to the Saffer, Geoff Morrell (yes that one!), Karl See, and Justin T-G years of Bean Soup, which range between – according to my slightly hazy memory –  1987 through to – in various fits and starts – to the early/mid 90s.

 As I have a fair amount of trouble remembering events such as: the previous week, why I went into the kitchen, or what I may or may not have done to upset my wife and children – it is with some trepidation that I cast my mind back 25 years ago to a small community about 4000 miles away from where I am currently sitting (Spreyton, Devon, England).  But to kick start some thoughts, I thought a list of lessons that I learnt from being a Bean Soup editor is as good as place to start, since the experience of writing, speaking, and listening to the journals of the Pemi community was a fairly influential part of my existence – up til now.  Or at least that’s what my therapist says.

Anyway a list of jumbled and ill-thought-out comments follow below, which already does much to remind me of the mind-set that I experienced as an editor all those years ago.

Pemi Editor List:

  1. Giving yourself time to write an article is generally a good thing but a situation that never seemed to occur due to enormous amounts of “faffing” (an English word – not sure if it exists across the pond?!),  idleness, and constant belief that the whole thing might go away if you waited long enough;
  2. Giving yourself no time at all is stressful, scary, and not necessarily a good thing but remains my ongoing professional and social modus operandi.
  3. Not being funny is generally a bad thing and can lead to mental scarring;
  4. Tom Reed Jr’s standard of article writing means that at least one part of Bean Soup can compete with the best writing in the world. I’m currently working with a couple of vaguely famous screenwriters and I bet they couldn’t have written the epic oeuvre “One Armed Brake-person”;
  5. Sitting on a precariously balanced metal chair 4 feet up on a rickety table over a group of bemused looking 8-year-olds is not advisable;
  6. Having a co-editor who can write very funny articles at a drop of hat is a bad thing, and the noise of a highly appreciative audience’s laughter at his very funny article is a terrible thing to hear when you realize that the article you are about to read parodying an event involving a canoe, a camper, and a cake might not work as well as you initially hoped;
  7. Any article that contains a list is probably a good thing as there is an expectation from the audience that at least one item must be funny.  Even if none of the items do succeed in hitting the spot, the audience do at least appreciate that you can count.  It also allows you to include the word “pagoda,” which never fails to amuse, unless you try and use it in front of a room full of accountants as part of a detailed business presentation or as a way to break the ice with a potential girlfriend;
  8. Reading an article, finishing, and then being able to hear a pin drop is character forming;
  9. Being in the Lodge hearing 200 people laugh at an article and feeling the electricity of a unique camp community buzz all around you and realizing that you are part of one of the great communities in the world is a good thing;
  10. Parodying a Pemi song is life-affirming:

A Song that could be parodied:

Bloomer Girl

In the style of Rakim, KRS – One, Snoop Dogg, and Dr Dre:  Very much unaccompanied with a fair amount of blowing and self-inflicted drum beats with a slight look of wariness and humbleness combined with a pinch of macho pride.

****: ****; *****:  ! ! !
Bloomer Bloomer Girl;
*******; ******:
***;
********; *****,
Bloomer Girl.

 

A new song called “Pagoda” – in the style of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

I would hope that if we could get the Junior camp to memorise the words it might go viral very quickly.

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad smell

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad smell

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah!
Pago-Pag-o-dah!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
Ooh what a bad smell

Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah!
Pago-aha-da-ah!
Ga-ga-ooh-la-la!
That’s quite a bad smell.

Were you at Pemi during the 1980’s?  If you are interested in receiving one issue or more from 1980-1989, please let me know. I will be happy to send you any given issue or issues in PDF form.  You may contact me at alumni. Stay tuned for future releases.  ~Nikki Wilkinson Tropeano

You may enjoy these, as well

Cans from Campers Program Receives National Award

New Orleans, LA – February 6, 2024 Camp Pemigewassett is proud to announce that our Cans from Campers ...

Defining Photos of 2023

As we count down to the end of 2023, we want to take a moment to ...

Alumni News & Notes – Winter 2023

Greetings, Pemi Family! As we steadily march towards the end of an eventful 2023, I’m ...

Pemi West 2023

Pemi West provides former and new campers alike with the opportunity to hone their wilderness ...

Community Service & Engagement at Pemi

The Pemi experience provides innumerable opportunities for boys to have fun, try new activities, improve ...

2023 Newsletter #7

Greetings from Pemi! Hard as it is to believe, we’re well into the final ...

2023 Newsletter #6

Camp Pemi and our friends from Camp Tecumseh on Lake Winnipesaukee have engaged in a ...

2023 Newsletter #5

Hello from Wentworth! The second session of Pemi’s 116th summer continues to benefit from ...

2023 Newsletter #4

Greetings from sunny Wentworth! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and it’s ...

2023 Newsletter #3

Hello from the shores of the expanded Lower Baker Pond! It’s been quite a ...

2023 Newsletter #2

Hello from the shores of Lower Baker Pond! On the heels of a wonderful celebration ...

2023 Newsletter #1

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m thrilled to be sharing the first newsletter of the 2023 ...

2023 Pemi Staff

We’re under two days away from the opening of Pemi’s 116th summer! Our ...

Waiters & Camp Aides

As boys progress through their Pemi journey, the opportunities for new adventures and leadership increase. ...

Birthdays at Pemi

What could be better than getting to celebrate your birthday once a year, every year? ...

Reading After Taps

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever been around boys aged 8...

2022-2023 Pemi Board Updates

Last fall, Pemi’s Board of Directors welcomed two new members and also saw the ...

Defining Photos of 2022

As 2022 draws to a close and winter begins to rear its head in earnest across ...

2022 16s Trip

In many ways, the 2022 Pemi West trip could be described as a homecoming. Our first ...

Bertha Hofstra Fauver – September 23, 1920 – October 1, 2022

We are saddened to share the news that Bertha Fauver died on October 1, just one ...

115th Reunion Newsletter!

After a hugely successful 2022 season, including record attendance at our third annual Family Camp, members ...

fireworks at Camp Pemi

Welcome back Johanna Zabawa!

I’m thrilled to share that Johanna Zabawa, a veteran staff member and great-granddaughter of ...

Karl Grafton See – October 2, 1970-September 9, 2022

Karl Grafton See, consummate Pemi boy, counselor, and lifelong friend, has died in Duxbury, MA ...

banner image newsletter 8

2022 Newsletter #8

Greetings from Camp Pemigewassett! I’m writing, sadly, not from the placid shores of Lower ...

2022 Newsletter #6

Good afternoon from yet another beautiful day in Wentworth, The weather here at Pemi continues ...