Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Camp Abercorn: A New Dramatic Series


An authentic look at camp and the people that work there. A narrative series from a gay Eagle Scout.

Every boy who’s been to Scout Camp has a story.

One boy learned to build a fire. Another learned how to water ski. These are the things that bring us to camp: the promise of adventure, the thrill of the outdoors, and the excitement of trying new things. But in time the specifics of how to tie a square knot wear off. You may forget the seven wilderness survival principles or the proper way to carry an axe. You come to realize Scouting is not about collecting merit badges; it’s about becoming a person of merit.

Boy Scout Camp doesn’t have rules; it has guidelines. The scout oath and law never explicitly tell the boys what to do, but how to be. They offer moral boundaries, and camp offers the time and place to explore those boundaries.

But when those morals are compromised by discriminatory membership policies dictated by a few national executives, then the entire mission of Scouting, and the entire camp experience is sabotaged.


Camp Abercorn is a dramatic web series about the blunders and the victories—an authentic portrayal of life on a Compass Guide’s camp staff. The Compass Guides of America are our fictional organization that mirrors the Boy Scouts of America.

We believe a web series can be high-quality, artistic, powerful work. The first season is planned to be seven, half hour episodes. It’ll look and feel just like a show you’d watch on TV, but it will be made independently.

Our mission is to share the Compass Guide experience through stories. We hope to reinvigorate the American people on the awesome power of Guiding—an unparalleled model for teaching leadership skills to boys. Now, more than ever, we need an organization that produces good men, men who treat everyone equally regardless of their gender or sexual preference.

And with any luck, we’ll do a small part in influencing the Boy Scouts of America to understand that equality and diversity are equally important in the growth of our future leaders.

Here’s a short video from Jeffrey Simon, an Eagle Scout, Filmmaker, and the series creator, about why we’re making this show.


Nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, 20 miles from the nearest town, untainted by cell phone service and high speed internet, is Camp Abercorn.

For ten weeks each summer Camp Abercorn becomes a bustling wonderland of activity for young Compass Guides. Boys rush from the waterfront to the rifle range, the dining hall to the climbing tower, guided by their fearless leaders—the camp staff.

Thirty boisterous men, young and old, live in tiny rustic cabins without heating or air conditioning. Rickety screen doors are all that keep the bears and mosquitos at bay. Almost every waking moment is spent smiling and teaching classes, putting on a show for the young Compass Guides as they come and go each week. But we’re not here to talk about that.

Camp Abercorn is a series about what the staff are up to in their free time. For some, at 15 or 16 years old, this is their first time living away from home without parents. For others, camp is their refuge away from the pressures of school or married life. They may be Eagle Guides, but they’re not perfect.


The Compass Guides of America are the fictional organization we’ve created that mirrors the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). As the show progresses, the Compass Guides will separate from the BSA of today and will offer a glimpse of what the BSA could be.


MARK TUNNEY Camp Abercorn’s new Camp Director. He’s not really “a kid person”—he’s blunt, unsympathetic, short tempered, and he’s got little to no tolerance for nonsense. No one knows what this mysterious Army veteran has in mind, but it’s clear that he means business.

TOM RUSSELL But you can call him “Russell.” He’s the Shooting-Sports Director in the summer and he’s been the Ranger year round for the past thirty years. It was a surprise to many when the Camp Director position opened and it didn’t go to him, but he doesn’t mind. He may not have the title, but he’s got the staff’s respect.

ZAK FILINKOV Archery instructor and quintessential Eagle Guide. He’s handsome, personable, humble, athletic, smart, considerate, all that stuff; but his life is anything but picture perfect. The kid is brutal on himself, carefully maintaining an image of what he thinks is expected of him; but behind his cheerful service is a confused boy trying to find himself.

COLIN BENTON-POWERS A descendant of Compass Guide royalty, he looks like he’s never left the comfort of his mother’s house, because, well, he hasn’t. For reasons beyond his control, he’s been forced from his cozy London home into the Colorado wilderness to work as a Counselor in Training.

WILLY BESANCON He has so many merit badges, they wrap all the way around his sash. He is an avid, eager, 110% Compass Guide. The other guys call him "Willy-pedia" and make fun of him a bit, but they totally love him. There's nothing fake or insincere about Willy. He's a lovable, full speed ahead, die-hard nerd.

And lots more. There are even some girls!

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