1600 Penn and the summer camp letter

1600pennsummercampletter

On the “Live From the Lincoln Bedroom” episode of NBC White House comedy 1600 Penn, the president’s son, Skip Gilchrest (Josh Gad), discovers while interviewing his father’s press secretary Marshall Malloy (Andre Holland) for his podcast that the cherished letter his dad had sent him when he was having a tough time at summer camp wasn’t written by his dad after all.

“Oh my gosh, I’ll never forget that summer,” Skip tells Marshall, who had just finished explaining that as an intern he wrote letters for the then Nevada congressman. “The only thing rougher than the toilet paper was the response to my one-man performance of Oliver. I did not consider myself at home. But then my dad wrote me the most amazing letter and it really made me feel a ton better.”

Trailing off, Skip realizes that the letter, which he says made him feel like his dad had “reached inside my rib cage and gave me a pat on the heart” had been written by Marshall. Skip saved the letter because he said it was the only time his dad ever said he was proud of him.

Skip reads part of the letter out loud: “No matter how many swirlies you get or how many times they push you off the pier into the cold uncaring water of Lake Minikanni know that you are never truly alone.”

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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