Henry Rollins has fond memories of summer camp in North Carolina

Musician Henry Rollins recounts his summers spent in North Carolina at summer camp in a recent article about the controversial House Bill 2 that eliminates anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.

“It is almost impossible to describe how beautiful North Carolina is,” Rollins writes in LA Weekly. “For a few summers, I was shipped off there to live in a tent at a summer camp. Each day, we were given chores. Milking cows, feeding chickens, getting beetles off the vegetables. Since the late 1960s, I have always had an affection for N.C.”

Rollins doesn’t name the camp but in a recent interview described it as a camp in the Celo Valley near Big Toe River, which sounds a lot like Camp Celo.

Rollins, who was born Henry Garfield and grew up in Washington D.C. before gaining notoriety as the ling singer of California punk band Black Flag, also went to summer camp in Maine at Camp Wekeela, according to a Portland Monthly interview with actor Willie Garson. Rollins mentioned in a 2011 interview that his interest in nature is because of “so many years of summer camp.”

The musician, writer, actor, spoken word artist, etc. was also once quoted saying “Don’t go to summer camp. Bury your parents in the backyard and have the place to yourself.”

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.

1 Comment

  1. Matt,

    I saw Henry Rollins perform live (spoken word) in Durham, NC 12 years ago, during which he mentioned that he had gone to Camp Celo. As a Camp Celo alum, I was surprised and pleased to hear that.

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