Hey, Summer Campers!
Did you know that the world is chock-full of former summer campers? They’re all over the place. Some are even famous celebrities now. They’re in the movies we see, in professional sports leagues, and on the radio. And speaking of radio, did you know that Howard Stern of ‘The Howard Stern Show’ was once a summer camper like yourselves? It’s true. Growing up in New York City, he spent many a summer at Camp Wel-Met.
Though it’s no longer in operation, Camp Wel-Met was the place where summer memories were born! The campgrounds were situated in wooded areas of Narrowsburg, New York. Despite the camp’s lack of funds, facilities, and equipment—they were rich with the prerogative to create fun, no matter what materials were at their disposal.
It was so much fun, in fact, that Howard kept going back not just as a camper, but as a worker in the kitchen as well as taking on cabin leader responsibilities. He’s said of his time at Camp Wel-Met that it was “The greatest experience”. From a very young age—before his days at Wel-Met even—Howard was always drawn to the performing arts.
He was enrolled in piano lessons for five years and he had developed a love for putting on amusing shows for his friends using marionettes. He was only five years old by when he discovered his desire to be on the radio. When the desire hadn’t faded five years down the road, his dad gave him a tape recorder for his birthday.
After graduating from Washington-Rose Elementary School, followed by Roosevelt High School, Howard went on to study for four years at Boston University. It didn’t take long for him to start work at WTBU—Boston U’s campus radio station. As radio host, he would play music, read news, and hold interviews for campus entertainment and education.
After his college graduation, Howard quickly found work, but declined an offer from WRNW, a progressive rock station in New York. “I freaked out,” Howard has since explained. “I got real nervous that I wasn’t good enough.” But it didn’t take him long to snap out of it. “All of a sudden…I realized I had turned down a job in radio,” he said. His mother and girlfriend gave him helpful encouragement to contact the station again and work things out.
That’s just what he did. Howard went on to establish his career and made a name for himself as a radio show personality and eventually created ‘The Howard Stern Show’—his long-running show on the air which gained great popularity from the mid-80’s to the early 2000’s.
Howard took what he found fun and formed it into his career. You’re sure to find fun at summer camp. What will you do with it? As always, thanks for reading!