Every year, there is a new “thing”. One year, it may be gimme caps. Another year, polyester shirts from Wal-Mart with animals (wolves, eagles, cats, etc) printed on them will be the rage. I have seen striped, knee-high athletic socks and rolled up t-shirt sleeves.

In order for something to be a “thing”, it needs to make little to no sense, thus making a whimsical fashion statement.

This summer, the “thing” is the Chaco tan.

Chacos are a brand of sandal, like Tevo or Birkenstock.  The Chaco has a somewhat elaborate strap system.  Herein lies the key to the Chaco tan.

You must wear your Chacos – and its straps – in an identical way every day to create clear lines.  You dare not wear any other sandal or flip-flop as it might mar your statement.  Tennis shoes and boots are better than flip-flops as they do not compromise the tan, but they DO reduce your ability to enhance the tan, so they are to be worn only when absolutely necessary (for climbing, horseback riding or sports).

The picture I share is an example of a quality Chaco tan. Note: this camper admittedly started a week or two before camp.  She feared that a late start might produce a weak result.  Would you have ever dreamed that so much thought would go into summer footwear?

I love the fact that while camp provides so many chances for outdoor education, creative learning, and lifelong friendships, it forever remains simply silly, too.


Steve Sir


 P.S.  Each session, the girls have a “Miss Champini” contest, during which campers dress and/or paint their counselors up as some camp-related item. We have seen counselors as globs, forks, friendship bracelets, mermaids and even your humble directors. During first session, one of the finalists was the Chaco Tan, with the girls painting their counselors a deep brown with white stripes criss-crossing her body. 


Want more like this? See: