Emu Drum Solo

In my summer camp, we had a program called the ASIT program. ASIT stands for “Assistant Specialist in Training,” and they’re basically advanced campers that are between campers and counselors.

Many campers become ASITs, but just as many, perhaps more, don’t get the sacred letter. ASITs get to dig a little deeper into the camp; doing the behind-the-scenes work such as cleaning pastures and and taking care of new and baby animals. They are almost the equivalent to “student leaders,” or “prefects,” for any dormers out there.

There are three things you can do to increase your chances of being an ASIT. First is join the ASIT for a Day class, which is an hour of trust-building games and another hour of showing us the jobs of an ASIT. Meaning we have to clean a large enclosure, such as the barn or Lemur Island.

The second thing to do is to write a letter to Lori, one of our camp directors, about what you could bring to the ASIT program. It’s similar to a college application letter, in which you have to sell yourself fully. The third thing is to get a letter of recommendation from one of your counselors, which is something campers generally can’t control.

Hanging by our cafeteria are about two dozen hammocks of various shapes and sizes. After lunch my cabin sits in the hammocks and we wait for Free Time to start. I usually write in my journal during that time.

He had dark, curly hair, stocky body, olive-colored cap, light blue shirt, and was comfortably writing in a large, colorful book. He was an ASIT, and was sitting a little in front and to the right of me. The fact that he was also writing, I think poetry, caught my eye.

At the end of the session, he got up on stage during Skit Night and told us how he mucked out the Back Pastures for four hours. Then he grabbed a rake and started singing.

More than a dozen emus reside in the Back Pastures, and emus tend to make a peculiar drum-sounding sound deep in their chests. In the middle of the ASIT’s songs, he struck a pose, pointed in the direction of the Back Pastures, and declared “Emu Drum Solo!” He held that pose for about 30 seconds.

Every time we would try to laugh he would shush us harshly. He even started over once because he was so determined to perform the song perfectly “Four hours!” he yelled at us, “I was out there for four hours!”


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