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 Of The 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 Of Window Washing
FETID – an effort to locate and remove any dead fish, mice, birds, or squirrels causing foul odors on the island.
Find Everything That Is Dead
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 In Kayaks
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