Tamakwans wrestle with pressing matters of justice in new evening program

By Robert Sarner, The South Tea Echo, Fall 2008

Order in the court! You don’t mess around when the judge is none other than Boys Camp Director Jeff Avigian. He laid down the law in late July when he presided over the inaugural edition of Tamakwa People’s Court.

Staged in Loon Lodge, it was a highly comedic and entertaining version of the popular American TV courtroom show. There was no lack of legal issues to address as Tamakwans proved themselves a contentious bunch.

In the first case, Program Director Jon Franchi took hockey specialist Michael Fenkell to court for excessive self-congratulating How-Hows in the Dining Hall. Jon argued that such behaviour was against the original intent and spirit of the How-How and that there was no precedent in camp history for public How-Hows to oneself. With his 50-plus years at camp, David Stringer was the star witness and expert on camp tradition. Michael lost the case and was forbidden from ever how-howing himself again in the Dining hall.

Other cases included Rachel Kaufman taking her brother Josh to court for not spending enough time with her at camp. Josh lost the case and was sentenced to meet Rachel for 20 minutes a day at Rest Hour, four days a week, during which he was ordered to talk and catch up with his sister.

Next it was “The People vs. the Camp Laundry Service” for shrinking or losing clothing items. Windsurf director Mara Sofferin took on Margot Perlmutter. The latter cited sentences from the camp “Green Book” about what not to bring to camp and the laundry service. Margot won the case on the grounds that Tamwakans were instructed in writing not to bring valuable or expensive clothing because it could be damaged or lost in the laundry.

Counselors Josh Forman and Mike Ran took Outdoor Fun Director Sarah McGuire to court for having changed the name of Outdoor Fun to Outdoor Action and Adventure. She lost the case on the grounds there was little action and not much adventure in her activity and thus its name reverted to Outdoor Fun.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer section launched a class action suit against the Tuck Shop for not stocking enough chocolate options for campers.

The attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses all did a stellar job playing their parts before Judge Avigian and a jury full of spectators. Perry Mason would have felt right at home.

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