Bluff The Listener Our panelists read three stories some breaking the rules of summer camp, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Our panelists read three stories some breaking the rules of summer camp, only one of which is true.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Mo Rocca and Adam Felber. And again, here is your host at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.



Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. Right now it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

MICAH SMITH: Hi, this is Micah Smith. I'm calling right now from Truth Or Consequences, N.M.

SAGAL: Truth or Consequences.

ADAM FELBER: Oh, cool.

SAGAL: I have always heard - and you can tell me if this is true - that Truth or Consequences is named Truth or Consequences because the city was dared to do so by the TV show "Truth Or Consequences." Is that true?

SMITH: Essentially, yeah. In 1950, they changed the name to win the chance to have the show recorded here.

SAGAL: Yeah. What would it take to get you to change the name to, say, another game show?


SMITH: Well, make an offer.

SAGAL: All right. Welcome to our show.

SMITH: Thank you.

SAGAL: You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Micah's topic?

KURTIS: Summer camp outlaws.

SAGAL: All right. Summer camp is a time of sexual awakening, made-up Native American names and, more than anything, rules. This week, we read about someone breaking the rules of camp. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth; you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. You ready to play?

SMITH: Sure.

SAGAL: All right, well, then, let's do it. Your first story of camp-time fun comes from Adam Felber.

FELBER: These days, in the soft summer night at camp, you'll hear the giggling of unsleeping campers, the thrum of frogs, the chirp of crickets and, increasingly, this.


FELBER: Yes, according to a report on All Things Considered this week, campers were increasingly being caught with that most forbidden of items, their smartphones. And worse, their accomplices on the outside are their overprotective helicopter parents. This year, parents have been especially creative. Some have packed a decoy phone on their spawn so that the second wouldn't be found, while others have sent them Matrix-style in envelopes and care packages, only to be undone by premature beeping as they eagerly attempted to text their kids just a little too early. One enterprising parent even sewed one into a stuffed animal, a Care-Too-Much Bear, if you will, or a...


FELBER: ...Stifling-Level-of-Care Bear.


FELBER: According to Clemson University developmental expert Barry Garst, all this monitoring could backfire, creating a generation of kids who aren't ready to take care of themselves but, on the bright side, totally ready to be monitored by the NSA.


SAGAL: Parents smuggling cellphones into their camp so they can hover remotely. Your next story of a renegade at camp comes from Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: For single women of a certain age - cat camp, a week-long spa retreat for obsessed cat owners, too obsessed even by their own standards. Campers arrive at the Berkeley, Calif., camp and sign a pledge that they will not talk about their kitties, show pictures of their furry babies, call their cat sitter or look at Animal Planet, Cute Emergency or "Lady And The Tramp."

The idea, says director Gloria Taylor (ph), is to love your cats but not at the expense of, say, human relationships. But after just 24 hours of doing yoga, reading Jane Austen and sipping rose, camper Julia Weinstein (ph) cracked, stealing a staffer's car, driving to the nearest animal shelter and smuggling back an adorable, tiny, oh-my-God-can-you-believe-how-cute calico kitten she named Bernie (ph). He was a rescue, she told KRMZ Television. I was missing my baby so much. And, well, look at those eyes. Could you resist him? Could you? Taylor says Weinstein will not get a refund, but she's donating the money to the shelter ironically named Take A Paws.

SAGAL: All right, smuggling a cat into a catless camp.


SAGAL: Your last story of someone not playing by the rules at camp comes from Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: For 35 years, Florida's Camp Mickey has been drawing kids from all over the world, and that's no surprise. The camp, as you may have suspected, is dedicated to celebrating the career of Mickey Rooney, one of the greatest showmen of the 20th century, a classic triple threat - actor, singer, dancer. Aspiring young performers learn to hoof like Mickey's "Andy Hardy" character and mug like Mickey's character in "A Night At The Museum." There's an equestrian class inspired by the movie "Black Stallion" and accent work based on Mickey's performance in "Breakfast At Tiffany's."

And each night, the kids put on a show, performing scenes from their favorite Mickey Rooney movies. But this summer, one camper had a very different take on Camp Mickey. Eight-year-old Bertie Robina (ph) of Queens, N.Y., is a fan, all right, of Mickey Rourke. And he's insisted on performing only scenes from Mickey Rourke movies. Quote, "I love 'The Pope Of Greenwich Village,'" says Bertie, "but 'The Wrestler' is a much more physical and gratifying role." Quote, "we signed up for Camp Mickey," says Bertie's mom Anne (ph). "It was an honest mix-up, but we've paid. And Bertie has the right to pay tribute to his Mickey." But camp director Molly Raleigh (ph) disagrees. Quote, "we think it's inappropriate for any 8-year-old to perform scenes from '9 1/2 Weeks.'"


ROCCA: "At this camp Mickey, kids are expected to leave more than just their hat on."


SAGAL: All right.


ROBERTS: (Laughter).

SAGAL: All very plausible. One of these was a scandal roiling summer camp this summer. Was it from Adam Felber, parents smuggling cellphones into cellphone-less (ph) zones of summer camp; from Roxanne Roberts, a cat-lady camp where you're supposed to abstain from cats with one woman falling off the wagon; or, from Mo Rocca, one attendee at Camp Mickey for Mickey Rooney insisting on performing scenes in the highlights of Mickey Rourke?

SMITH: Well, hey, those all sound pretty plausible.

SAGAL: They sure are.

ROCCA: Really?


SMITH: Yeah. I think I'm going to have to go with the cellphone one.

SAGAL: You're going to go for the cellphone one. That's Adam's story.


SAGAL: A very large crowd agrees with you. Well, to bring you the real story, we spoke to an actual, real-life camp director.

LESLIE CONRAD: We had parents actually mail a cellphone to their camper.


CONRAD: The phone was on, so it beeped in the envelope.

SAGAL: That was Leslie Conrad. She's the director of Clemson University's Outdoor Lab, which runs several summer camps, talking about the parents who were smuggling cellphones to their kids.

Congratulations, Micah. You got it right. You earned a point for Adam, and you have won our prize. Carl Kasell will record the greeting on your voicemail. Thanks for playing with us today.


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