Audio data from various sources, detailing events which occurred at SITE2 on day 960.
Content warnings: Medical trauma, mentions of blood loss
MAJOR INSIGHT INTO:
- status & thought process of ENTITY2
- management practices of ENTITY3
MINOR INSIGHT INTO:
- behavior of ENTITY12
- behavior of ENTITY4
- writing ability of ENTITY1
- I can’t help but notice that AGENT23 continues to editorialize. Don’t you think she’s overstepping? Please admonish her.
Mayfield & Belov presents: Camp Here & There
Episode Ten: The Enemies of Labor
Helloooooo, campers! Rise and shine, my little hedgehogs, it’s time for another life-changing day of adventure at fun-filled Camp Here and There. If you cast your sleepy eyes to the skies you’ll see a late sunrise painting the world in richest carmine; a comforting color for me. Reminds me of the blood drives — an easy way for a broke college kid to make an extra buck, but I learned the hard way that you can’t let them take all the blood they want. Don’t be like me, kids: set boundaries! It took years for my cell counts to stabilize, and for weeks after my last visit, I was constantly collapsing and… seeing stars and… this… apparition of a… horrible smiling dog… sitting in the corner… baring its sanguine gums… mocking me for my bloodlessness . . . . .
Oh, the fun of the hospital!
Well. The time is 8:61 AM and, if I may address the elephant in the room — not that one — some among you are having a… particularly spirited morning.
Cabin Dungbeetle. My beloved Cabin Dungbeetle. I’m sympathetic to your cause. I really am. Speaking as someone who does a lot of grunt work to keep this camp in shape, I understand how dehumanizing your chores can be, and let me tell you: I’d riot too, if I had to clean the cafeteria every day for a week! And if I was laboring under the sloppy, scruffy command of Counselor Juniper throughout — well, who knows, I might also blackmail him into stepping down.
And if old Lucille saddled me with more chores in retaliation for my blatant misconduct? Well, I can see myself thinking that the only solution is to rally my cabinmates, draft a declaration of independence, and attempt to secede from Camp Here and There and create my own camp by kids for kids where my only rule is there are no rules. But, Cabin Dung Beetle, I’m here to tell you that that is not the only option. We can work something out. That’s the power of a loving community like the one we have here.
Listen, I’m not saying you have to clean the cafeteria today. Giving you guys cafeteria duty for a whole week is… pretty inhumane, regardless of how close you brought Juniper to death on Monday, so I’m happy to help you petition Lucille for a lighter punishment. But this revolution thing is throwing our whole community off-balance; it’s threatening to tear this camp apart! [Increasingly frantic] What if all the other cabins follow your lead, and we end up with seven offshoot camps all vying for supremacy, spilling each other’s blood onto the forest floor!? I’m not fit to be a wartime nurse!!
And being real, I know it seems like us adults are all-powerful suppressors of your birthright freedoms, but we’re all as lost and confused and burdened and tormented and destitute as you are. We’re all just people, trying to make it in a crazy world, and trying to build a safe place where you kids can do the same. So please, Cabin Dungbeetle, save all that insurgent energy for an actual oppressive institution — your middle school, perhaps?
And if we can work this out peacefully, I promise I’ll take you all on a little field trip down to… [Grimly] The Dark.
That’ll be fun!
And, uh, Counselor Juniper — I understand you had a rough night, but today is the day that you and Rowan are contracted to deliver freshly caught salmon to our underground penguin overlords, so… please get on that; we do not need a repeat of last Friday.
Alright, kids, On today’s breakfast menu is sunbutter macaroni, tuna sandwiches in prismatic shapes, and… uh… something called “oat” “meal?” This morning’s primary activity, hosted by Counselor Salem, is miniature archery, with miniature targets the size of your thumb, and Marisol would like to invite you into Cabin Grasshopper for a rousing game of 40-player, twenty-dimensional chess. I hear that in the latest edition, the bishops get real guns!
Aaaaand that’s all for now, kids. I’m expecting all of you to have as much fun as usual today, despite the rumblings of rebellion. Go wild out there! But, uh, not too wild.
Well. Hi, campers. It’s 12:82… the sky is churning, the Earth is turning, and you kids really need… to stop.
Cabin Dungbeetle, I need you to stop. I promise I get it, I swear I do. When I was your age, I also felt like all of society was fundamentally corrupt; and all of my peers were actively out to get me; and everyone who had the power to help me was negligent, incompetent, callous, and dumb, at best. Sometimes, I still feel that way! And under the weight of all the misery inherent to growing up, I completely understand why you would resort to sowing chaos under the banner of unrest. But there’s something I’ve learned, growing up, that you all have to learn too:
Lucille has a flamethrower. You have to listen to what she says.
[Sigh] In case any of you kids got really into twenty-dimensional chess and missed the events of this morning, here’s the 404. This morning, the independence movement blossomed into an all-out revolutionary war, with the Cabin Dungbeetle kids on one side and Lucille on the other. It began when the kids barricaded themselves in the Creativity Cabin, forcing the door shut with hot glue and taking Counselor Warren hostage. While Lucille sent wave after fruitless wave of magically animated wooden dolls to try and break the door down, the kids forced Warren to help them craft picketing signs; signs with slogans like “Here & There is Unfair!” and “No Sanitation Without Representation!” and “One day you will need your children to take care of you; and you had better pray that on that day they do not remember the ways you failed them.”
I think Natsume did that one. Great job! Very creative.
Anyway, when the Dungbeetle kids emerged from their makeshift fortress and began picketing, Lucille stepped out of the administrative building with her flamethrower and fired off a few sharp spurts of flame over the kids’ heads. That’s when things escalated to all-out war. The Cabin Dungbeetle kids split off into groups and retaliated in a number of ways. Some of them took miniature bows and arrows from the miniature archery course and fired on the administrative building en masse, creating dozens of tiny little nicks in the wooden exterior. Some of them invaded the cafeteria, stole the food that Matthew was preparing specifically for the counselors, and distributed it amongst the rest of you campers. Some of them just started kicking dust onto the bonfire, and one of you chained yourself to a tree?
Kids, please don’t drag the trees into this!
So now Lucille is whipping out the big guns. She says that unless Cabin Dungbeetle steps down this afternoon, nobody — that’s right, nobody in camp — is going to get dinner. As you can imagine, this turned the whole camp in on itself; and now the conflict is between the loyalists, who want dinner, and the seditionists, who want fair governance. My office has seen a massive influx of injured kids, and since Jedidiah is off tending to a mediation session, I’ve had to deal with it all by myself.
Kids… please. I love your spirit, your creativity, your dedication to your cause; and I agree that Lucille’s methods today have been brutal and unfair. But the camp can’t handle this! If this escalates any further, I’m sure that you’ll all be sent back home, and [Whispering] they might even send a camp inspector out here! So please, just for this evening, please stop the fighting, and stop the cries for revolution. [Stuttering] I’ll clean the cafeteria for you; I’ll take on all the extra chores Lucille wants you to do. Tomorrow I’ll help you draft a… less inflammatory declaration! If you’d just please stop hurting each other.
[Sigh] But… in case the glorious revolution plays out, and you are all denied your dinners… I’d remind you all that I have a very large candy stash in my office, which you… absolutely are not allowed to take from, under any circumstances. Got it? Do not sneak into my office and look for candy in the cabinet to the left of the window. I will not let you get away with that.
For those of you not engaged in the ongoing civil war, Counselor Mila is hosting improv games this afternoon. Scream like your head is getting cut off in the camp-favorite game, “What If Your Head Was Getting Cut Off”! Plus, Counselor Gracie invites you to help her pick and analyze the strange new flowers which have started sprouting on the western edge of the campgrounds. She’d like to find out what they use those teeth for.
Alright, campers, that’s all I have for you this afternoon. Please stop getting injured; all the cots in here are taken, so you’ll have to lie down on the floor. I… hope to see you all in the cafeteria this evening, peacefully enjoying your dinner. Alright. Goodbye.
Hey, campers. The time is 19:10… and I fear that the end is near.
All sides of this conflict are unrelenting, resolute. The loyalists stand firm in their desire for dinner. The seditionists won’t back down until they’re recognized as their own camp. Many counselors have come forward with peace propositions; but the kids refuse to accept any kind of compromise, and Lucille refuses to go back on her threats of decisive action. Kids, I’m terrified. We all know that Lucille… as sweet, and patient, and motherly, and forgiving as she is… sweet old Lucille can get pretty… strict when she’s backed into a corner. I — don’t know what she might do — and I don’t want you kids to get — hurt, so… I — I’m thinking, perhaps at this point, we should start —
[THE DOOR OPENS]
Where have you been since the mediation session?
Trying to save myself from having to do another mediation session tomorrow.
Eh… what do you mean?
I’m moving Juniper back into Cabin Dungbeetle so Yvonne and Joshua can’t start fighting about him again. Listen, I’ve written a peace treaty, will you let me read this into the mic?
Uh… ! Sure, okay. [Ahem] Um, ladies and gentlemen, here’s Jedidiah with… his peace treaty?
[JEDIDIAH SITS DOWN]
We the staff of Camp Here & There, in the interest of peace and the wellbeing of our constituents, do propose a compromise to end the bloody war that has raged on for the better part of the past several hours. It is our aim that all three belligerents in this conflict — the loyalists, the seditionists, and the Camp Director — will have their grudges amicably ameliorated by the terms of this agreement.
Lucille will grant dinner to all campers, and agree never to revoke it again. Moreover, to the kids of Cabin Dungbeetle: complete amnesty from cafeteria cleaning duty for a full fourteen days. In return for these generous concessions, Camp Here & There will remain a whole and singular entity, and Counselor Juniper will be reinstated to his position overseeing the campers of Cabin Dungbeetle. Should this agreement fail to satisfactorily settle this dispute and end this war, Camp Staff will be forced to take the extreme measure of calling all your parents and asking them to come pick you up.
Writ and signed on this day, the 18th of June, 2021.
Lucille will never agree to this…
She already has. Look, she signed it.
Wh — !? How did you get her to — !?
[JEDIDIAH STANDS UP]
Okay, I’m gonna get the kids to sign, see you in a bit.
Jedidiah — ! Agh.
[Sigh] Alright, kids. Since I don’t even know if we’re even going to be doing dinner or evening activities, I guess there’s no point in finishing the announcements right now. I’ll get back to you all later… I hope. Please sign that treaty!
Campers, I have to say… I am so proud of all of you. It took a lot of hard work for us to get here, but we’re here! Everyone is safe, everyone is staying at Camp Here & There, and everyone agreed to sign the treaty. And when Jedidiah brought it out to you, you didn’t even beat him up! Much!
Now, I know it’s been a long day and you’re all eager to eat your diplomatically agreed upon dinnermeals, so I won’t keep you long. But I wanted to take a moment to touch on the topic of… community. The reason we got out of this mess… is because we all care about each other. Heck — the reason we got into this mess is because we care about each other. That’s right! Because when you’re angry at someone? You care what they do and what they say. That’s a community: a group of people who all care about what everyone else does. We care because we have to, because we affect one another’s lives, because we are a part of one another’s lives — because we all, together, have lives that all overlap and coalesce into this big, amorphous idea we call life. What I’m saying is that during this Summer, here at camp, we’re all basically sharing one life. Seven cabins… fourteen counselors… two co-nurses… one hundred and thirty kids… and one life. Camp Here and There. Where your life is mine.
Does that make sense?
[Laughing] Sydney, what the hell are you talking about?
Okay, let me try to rephrase this. There’s no single, universal experience of existence, but human beings have this universal concept of life regardless —
No, Sydney, I… explain it to me later. You should let the kids eat.
Right! Sorry. Kids, come to my office after dinner and I’ll explain to you about life. In the meantime, Matthew has mixed up a delicious cauldron of cotton soup for you kids to enjoy! It’s a bit of an acquired texture, that dish, but it should help mend the kids who visited the teeth flowers this afternoon.
On that note — update to camp policy: do not approach the teeth flowers. Look around at some of your fellow campers, and you’ll figure out why. Actually, on second thought, do not look at campers who have interacted with the teeth flowers.
Oh, and Matthew made a potato cake for dessert. And tonight’s activity is night swim! Very different from day swim. You’re not allowed in the water during night swim. Alright, kids — have fun!
Oh, and, ah, one more thing: Counselor Soren of Cabin Ladybug wished me to inform you that he now has “all the stones he needs”, so there’s no need to help him find new ones. One does wonder what he needs all those stones for! But probably nothing that will have any consequences for anyone in camp in the near future. But still! It’s curious.
Okay, campers, enjoy your dinner.
[FAINT TICKING OF A CLOCK]
Hi… ghost in my recorder. Uh… hm.
It’s 25:25 again. Per usual. Ah… today was… well, uneventful, in a certain way. I mean… there was no chemical flood, no exotic animal attack, no great prophecy of doom from the sky… just, uh, kids being rambunctious and Lucille being Lucille. It was… it was cute how Jedidiah stepped up to the plate there in the end. I’m… glad nothing worse happened than a bunch of visitors to the nurse’s office.
Ng. Okay, I don’t know why I’m still trying to look on the bright side here… I know nobody listens to these reports. [Sigh] I’ll be honest, ghost recorder: I’m kind of messed up tonight.
I still see the Elephant man… all the time. I mean, everywhere I go. In my window… peeking out from behind a big rock… sometimes hanging upside down from a tree branch like a spider waiting for a fly to buzz by. And it’s… I mean, Jedidiah’s right, that’s… it shouldn’t bother me. You know how it is, I mean, there’s always something weird in your peripheral vision. . . . . creepy men, laughing pets, eyes in the ceiling, that kind of thing… and sometimes they even lunge at you. I mean, as far as creepy periphery creatures go, the Elephant Man has actually proven remarkably harmless so far.
So why… does the thought of him make me so upset? Why is every half-remembered glimpse of his shadow in the corner of my eye enough to make me feel like ants are eating my stomach lining?
I just can’t shake the feeling that something about him is… different…
Hhhhh. I am really working myself into a tizzy over nothing. Jedidiah. Is. Right. Gosh… I’ll stress myself into a coma before the Elephant Man gets the chance.
On that topic… the Elephant Man’s stealing habits are getting more… arbitrary. For a few days, I was trying to use the data to try and sus out his motives for… y’know, being around… but I think the kids might be using the whole theft epidemic as an excuse to steal from each other. Snacks, games, notebooks, and clothing, and stuff, that’s all getting reported stolen now, and I know the Elephant Man cannot fit into any middle schooler’s hoodie. I guess I’ll have to tell them to knock it off tomorrow… can’t afford to lose track of the Elephant Man’s motives… probably.
I don’t like telling the kids off. Which is irrational, because they don’t take me seriously or care what I say at all, so why should I worry about how it affects them… ? [Sigh]
You know, speaking of taking me seriously? Earlier today, I went to Lucille and suggested the same exact thing that Jedidiah wrote in that peace treaty. She didn’t like it. Which was expected, but then when it’s Jedidiah bringing it up, all of a sudden she’s on board. Why — I mean, what —
Lucille loves me. Jedidiah is right. Lucille loves me. Jedidiah is right. Jedidiah loves me… Lucille is right…
[Sigh] I’m tired.
Today’s episode was written and produced by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield. The part of Jedidiah Martin was played by Nicholas Belov. Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield and Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Blue Mayfield and Beetlesprite. Special thanks to our patrons: Caroline the Dragon, Holland Engele, Bread on Toast, Moss Fox, and CartZ.
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Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There, and remember: Again, do not anger it.