What’s in A Name? Lots! Acronyms Blossom at PIC

Pine Island’s sense of humor has always been near the surface and usually operating at a very high level.  Campfire skits, trip announcements, passwords, Saturday Night Shows, and even trip reports are often hilarious.  No doubt what was funny in 1910 differs significantly from what cracked people up last summer, but the subtle art of acronyms, now very active at PIC, has been a feature of Pine Island summers for a long time. A flurry of acronyms surfaced in the 1960s and these days every activity produces an acronym to put at the top of their ranks chart.  Below are some memorable acronyms in approximately chronological order. Thanks to Harry Swan, who collected as many Pine Island acronyms as we could find.

KILL – team responsible for eradicating insect scourges.

The Kababa Insect Liquidation League


OAR – formed after the arrival of the Dynamite Payson-built dories.

The Organization for the Advancement of Rowing


DORY – booster organization for O.A.R.

Don’t Overlook Rowing, Y’all


DIVE – in which a swimming class is devoted to combing the bottom of the lake around the island, using fins, goggles, and snorkels, in search of interesting objects.

Dive Investigate Verify and Extract


PILE – the pre-camp work of removing all lumber, brush, and other refuse from the island.

Pine Island Lumber Extraction


ROTGUT – the pre-camp work of mowing, raking, trimming, and pruning on the mainland.

Removal OThe Grass, Ultra Team


WHAMWOW – the pre-camp work of washing windows and removing cobwebs and spider eggs from the exterior of buildings.

White-Hot Anti-spider Magic World OWindow Washing


FETID – an effort to locate and remove any dead fish, mice, birds, or squirrels causing foul odors on the island.

Find Everything That IDead


FAD – in which a fly-fishing instructor takes a few campers on a day trip to another body of water.

Fish All Day


FADED – an interest in fishing that threatens to override engagement in all other aspects of camp life.

Fish All Day Every Day


CLIK – a 4-day, 3-night kayaking trip that paddles the same waterways as the Chip Lakes canoe trip.

Chip Lakes IKayaks


ONG-BAK – A 4-day, 3-night rowing trip on the Kennebec River, beginning in Waterville and ending in Bath.

OAR Navigators Going Backwards Along the Kennebec


CAVALRY – the general effort to contain the spread of a stomach virus (commonly knowns as a “barf bug”) within camp.

Clean All Vomit And Locate Remaining Yackers


FEATHERBRAINS – any effort to free birds that have become trapped in camp buildings.

Forcibly Extracting Avian Tenants of Honk and Elsewhere, Result of Bad Radar and Inadequate Navigational Skills


BEARS – in which a camper’s stuff is in such irreparable disarray that it is necessary to remove his bed from the tent in order to better facilitate tent cleanup and reorganization.

Bed Extraction And Reclamation Service