The Corner

Camp Ka-boom

In America, there’s a summer camp for everything. Baseball. Band. Some years ago, we had an intern at NR who had been to number-theory camp. I thought that was kind of cool.

In Rolla, Mo., there is an explosives camp. Yes, explosives camp. There, kids learn to make things go boom. It is an extraordinary slice of America.

I wrote it up in the summer of 2013. Here’s a little excerpt:

One girl says to a fellow camper, “Did I get powder on my face again?” Indeed she did. The powder in question has nothing to do with pastries or cosmetics. It’s black powder, the milk of explosives. Another girl tells me she has written “an evil laugh” on her shell. How do you write an evil laugh? Something like “Mwa-ha-ha.”

This piece is on our homepage today, and it’s plucked from a new book, Digging In: Further Collected Writings of Jay Nordlinger. We are running one piece from each of the book’s six chapters. This one comes from the second chapter: “America — Some Snapshots.”