DC’s summer camp sports a calendar chock full of “special days” or themed days. Every single day is some sort of theme, if not a theme then a cookout or a group day (meaning each group gets a special day during the camping season). Every day on the calendar is filled with something.
DC, being DC loves themes and loves nothing more than wearing a costume. Not all days require a costume, but he loves going to camp wearing something specifically for that day.
Most of the Special Days are easy for him to get excited about and relating things, places and activities to his beloved Disney (and other) movies and characters makes it fun for him.
– Everything being related, many times, is the ability to relate one movie or actor to another. This has helped him to be more open to watching something that may not be Disney-based. This was not always the case, but now he can go and enjoy a movie with his friends or at an ARC activity without issue……..
–Everything being related, oftentimes just explains his love for a particular city, game, song or some of the many other things that he does or says.
Some of the Special Days at Camp are:
- Pirate Day, which of course he relates to Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and even the Dread Pirate Roberts.
- Luau Day – Lilo and Stitch – what else?
- Western Day relates to Toy Story
- Chief Day complete with a visit from Chief Gotchbagollie, the elusive Chief that lives in the “forest” behind the camp who ventures out of said forest only once a year – for him relates directly to Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.
- Super Hero Day – DC has little interest in Super Heroes but he does love his patriotic songs so Captain America always works in a pinch (but only after he out-grew his Captain Hammer shirt)
- And of course, the beloved Hat Day which needs no relating. He just loves wearing silly hats.
A few years ago the directors felt the need to change things up a bit and added 80’s day and 90’s day (these days have since been combined into one day called “The Battle of the Decades”). Now, I can dress DC up in anything and he would go with it, but I really like him to understand and know what he’s wearing, so these additional days took some thought. He has more fun and gets into it more when he can relate the theme to something else and I wanted to be sure he could.
After giving it some thought, I realized that 80’s day would be relatively easy and better still, easy for DC to relate.
There are only a handful of songs that DC knows and likes from nowhere else but the radio. Almost everything else he likes musically has a connection to Disney, a movie or one of his TV shows. It always surprises me when he tells me to stop changing radio channels so that he can hear a particular song. Even then, most of the time the song is from a movie. The few that I have not been able to determine the DC connection are:
Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz (I’m going to guess that he likes it because, in his mind it’s about flying)
‘Don’t worry ’bout’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as December – Collective Soul
Light Shine Down – also from Collective Soul
‘Don’t you cry no more’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas
‘Roses on a grave’ (DC-speak) otherwise known as Kissed by a Rose – Seal. I do know this song was in a Batman movie, but he has no interest in Batman and has never seen the movie.
We’re not gonna take it – Twisted Sister
Sister Christian – Night Ranger (I’ll admit that this one is only because I am obnoxious when it comes on the radio and I make him sing it with me).
The reason I am telling you all of this is because DC is definitely my “Broadway Baby” and he has seen quite a few Broadway shows. 99% of the shows we see are DC-related. On Mother’s Day 2012 it was Mom’s choice for a change and I wanted to see Rock of Ages. Doug and I weren’t sure that DC would be able to sit through it. I went on-line to find the song list and was happy to discover that “We’re not gonna take it” and “Sister Christian” were on the list. Also on the list were “We Built This City”, which he loves from “*The Muppets” – Any Way You Want It; **Glee and of course “Don’t Stop Believing” also from Glee but more importantly from Adam Sandler’s “Bed Time Stories”.
All relatable enough for him that he did sit through it and he loved it. He loved it so much that he saw it again for a second time locally with his friend BB and he owns the ***movie version.
I also have to mention that DC wants nothing more than to have long hair. Unfortunately his hair grows out instead of down so being able to wear his Rock of Ages shirt AND a wig to camp……. priceless.
80’s day was a hit that year and the following year. Even though it was 80+ degrees both years, he insisted upon wearing the wig all day long.
Although the concept of ‘decades’ is not something DC understands, he knew he what he was wearing. He did not understand that the wig and the music and oh, I completely forgot – the tattoo arm sleeves were about the 80’s, he just knew that all of was related to a show and songs that he liked.
90’s Day was proving to be more difficult. I could not come up with anything, so I resorted to thinking about the songs he liked. While I was thinking about that and out of the clear blue sky I remembered the day not that long before this when he came running downstairs and through the living room yelling “I’m going to be late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”
“I am late for the Smashing Pumpkins concert!”
When he comes out with something random and odd like that I always have to ask what movie or show it is from, because it always is from a movie or a show.
Okay, I got it. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. (He has the entire series; he loves witches because they relate to Halloween and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that in this house we LOVE Halloween). There is an episode entirely devoted to Sabrina trying to go to a Smashing Pumpkins concert. Does he understand who or what Smashing Pumpkins are? I do not think so. I am sure he is imagining people actually smashing pumpkins. I did try to explain that they are a band and that Sabrina wanted to go to see this band play in concert. Did/Does he “get” that? I am not sure. To this day any time any Smashing Pumpkins song comes on the radio, I say “DC, it’s Smashing Pumpkins singing” to which he always replies “Smashing Pumpkins Concert” because that is the way it must always be said.
For 90’s day… it was something – if only relatable to Sabrina, it was something. Thanks to Amazon, I was able to find a Smashing Pumpkins shirt and that was good enough for him.
“Look DC, I got you a Smashing Pumpkins shirt for 90’s Day at camp”
DC: “Smashing Pumpkins Concert”
New Camp Special Days? We got this….
“*The Muppets” – With the exception of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, the Muppet version of the Frog Prince and the song “Sir Robin the Brave”, DC was never a fan of Sesame Street or the Muppets in general. The one and only reason he is now the Muppets biggest fan is Amy Adams. Amy Adams was in Enchanted (and any princess is related to Disney) and he will now watch anything and everything she is in, including non-Muppet or non-Princess movies like “Leap Year” and “Trouble with the Curve”.
**Glee – Music and dancing always being a plus, he then realized that Mr. Schuester was Sir Harry in “Once Upon a Mattress” – one of his favorites. In addition, Kristin Chenoweth from more of his favorites, “The Music Man” and “Wicked” made quite a few guest appearances. Then of course there was Neil Patrick Harris in a guest spot that tied it all up for him. Neil Patrick Harris being “Dr. Horrible” and Barney from “How I Met Your Mother”.
I was thrilled when he started asking to watch “How I Met Your Mother” because almost all of the television series he does like to watch, like Full House, Sabrina and The Brady Bunch have been off the air for many years. It is nice when he discovers something contemporary that his friends might also be watching. How I Met Your Mother was a windfall of relatables for him. He got there originally because Lilly was Willow on Buffy, but then he discovered Marshall was Garry in The Muppets and of course Barney who we have already covered.
Speaking of Dr. Horrible: Dr. Horrible and Neil Patrick Harris not only brought him to HIMYM but it also brought him to The Big Bang Theory by way of the character “Moist” aka Howard on Big Bang. Next he noticed Penny, who was in his favorite Easter Movie, “Hop” and holding tight to that witch theme; Billie on “Charmed”. The few appearances by Wil Wheaton did not hurt at all. Wil along with Felicia Day (running neck and neck with Amy Adams as the love of his life) appeared in ‘Erica’ (DC-Speak – “Eureka”) and of course played Penny in “Dr. Horrible”.
Eureka: It is just a great show. He loves it. I love it more. For DC, there was Felicia and Wil and they had him interested enough to start watching episodes from the seasons before they appeared. He still watches the animated Christmas Special year-round, with the voice of the sheriff’s car being none other than Sheldon from Big Bang.
One big giant circle of relatability for DC and in all honesty, this is the way he comes to many things in his life, not just TV shows or Special Days at Camp. Relating things for him has helped him adjust and made him more open to a variety of new things.
***movie version – Anyone that knows me well, knows very well that I would never spend money on anything that Tom Cruise is in. I knew he wanted the Rock of Ages movie and I also knew that I would not be buying it for him. He got it only because I added it to his “What does DC want for Christmas” list and one of my friends bought it for him.
I LOVE this. It’s amazing how everything is connected. Emily functions similarly but I’ve never documented the thought process from A to Z like you did here! Great post!
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I thought about it awhile back and now I have a good 4 or 5 “everything is related” posts in the series. It helps him get past and enjoy things he normally wouldn’t
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