Camp | Jennifer Downes
Nothing is more humiliating than being a fourteen year old girl. Except maybe being a fourteen year old girl about to have her first kiss.
INT. CAMP TALL TIMBERS – CABIN 7 – MORNING
ALI, a 14-year old ginger with round, gold-framed glasses carefully applies waterproof mascara.
Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.
KENNA, also 14-years old, is trying desperately not to let her eyes water as Ali swipes at her lashes.
Is that from Remember the Titans?
I have no idea. It’s what my dad says to me every time he drops me off at soccer practice.
I’m not practicing my kicks, Ali, I’m becoming a woman.
Okay, Kenna, if kissing Kevin Weiss counts as becoming a woman, he’s bat mitzvah’ed half of the eighth grade.
Those are rumors. Literally nothing that comes out of Alex Mouhot’s mouth can be believed. You should know that, considering he told you that sharks can get to the fishing pond through underground channels.
…we don’t know for sure that they can’t.
Kenna, ignoring her friend, inspects herself quickly in the small mirror hung between two bunk beds.
Great enough! You’re beautiful! Do you want to go over the pitch again?
Kenna turns, presenting herself to Ali with jazz hands.
Hey Kevin! Want to share a canoe this afternoon? Last paddle of the summer, we ought to make out… of it what we can.
Did we settle on subliminal?
A LOUD WHISTLE
They jump to attention and run out of the cabin, hastily stuffing the makeup under a pillow.
EXT. CAMP MESS HALL – TWO MINUTES LATER
Ali and Kenna run into the mess hall, out of breath but trying very hard to play it off. Kenna quickly scans the room as Ali wheezes next to her.
Across rows of long picnic-style tables filled with boisterous preteens exchanging phone numbers and social media handles she sees him. Kevin Weiss.
KEVIN, a 13-year old with long shaggy hair that falls into his face, forcing him to semi-regularly swing his neck around, swishing his bangs from his forehead.
(barely able to stand upright again)
O-whew… Okay, so remember the talking points, and no smell checks. Y–
(one last big inhale)
You’re not subtle about it.
(already moving away)
Uh-huh, got it.
She strides across the loud room straight to Kevin’s table. As she arrives, HANNAH HAMILTON, a 14-year old blonde who has already mastered the art of being completely terrifying while smiling, stares Kenna down.
(talking to the table while keeping her eyes on Kenna)
Why don’t we find out? …Kenna?
The whole table turns to Kenna now, Hannah’s steely blue eyes still deadlocked.
Kevin, swishing his hair to get a view, smiles at Kenna and waves. Kenna quickly moves to wave back but somehow catches her thumb on her belt loop. She tries to cover it by quickly clasping her hands behind her back instead.
Kenna, you’re a foodie, right? Isn’t your dad a caterer?
He’s a chef–
Right! Chef. So you’ve had raw jalapeños before, right? They’re like, a staple in my house.
(to the table)
My housekeeper is Mexican.
Hey, Kev, can I talk to you a sec?
(turning back to Kenna)
So you could eat one? Raw?
(only glancing from Kevin momentarily to answer)
Yeah, absolutely I could.
Hannah, smiling even more broadly, pulls a small container from the center of the table towards her.
>Okay! So do it
With a glint in her eye, Hannah pushes the peppers towards Kenna, who stares down at them, silent.
A moment. The whole table stares at Kenna.
You don’t have t–
Kenna grabs a small handful of the peppers and shoves them in her mouth, smiling full-cheeked at Hannah.
(through the mouthful)
Kehin, can I talh to you foh a sec?
EXT. CAMP MESS HALL – CONTINUOUS
Kenna chews the peppers as quickly as she can and swallows hard, turning to Kevin with sharp exhale.
So! I wanted to… I was wondering if you’d like to sha-share a cah…Ohmygod.
Are you okay?
Great! Great. Um. Let me just…
She turns away for a second and swipes desperately at her tongue with the sleeve of her t-shirt. It’s not working.
Kenna, would you want to share a canoe for the river trip today?
(turning back to him)
I-I would love that.
Great! I’ll meet you down there!
Kenna watches him as he re-enters the mess hall. Then, when she’s sure he’s out of sight, she does a small, largely arm based, victory dance.
EXT. CANOE LAUNCH – LATER
A dozen campers strap into life vests as the first canoes are pushed away from the shore.
EXT. TIMBER RIVER – A WHILE LATER
Kenna and Kevin paddle together in perfect time.
(calling over his shoulder)
Hey, let’s see how fast we can get around that bend!
They paddle faster, sweeping ahead of the other canoes and arriving around the bend to a beautiful landscape all to themselves. Pulling his oar out of the water, Kevin carefully turns himself around in the canoe to face Kenna. She takes her oar out as well and they glide along the water.
I… um… before I came down to the canoes I went back to my cabin to… uh… to brush my teeth.
Dental hygiene is very important.
I… I wanted fresh breath so that… KennacanIkissyou?
For a moment, she sits stunned. Then, an explosion:
Kevin smiles and leans in. They hover for a moment, giggling a little, completely nervous. Then, after what seems like forever, they kiss.
Just at that moment, the rest of the canoes round the corner and the other campers begin hooting as loud as they can when they see the couple. Kenna and Kevin snap apart, each blushing hard, but joyously embarrassed.
(from across the water)
Hey, Kev, did it taste like jalapeños??
Kenna stands up quickly, turning to respond to the jab, but as she turns, she whips the oar, still in her hand, around with her.
Kevin tries to put his hands up in time, but the oar smacks him full on in the face, knocking him sideways out of the canoe and into the water.
FREEZE FRAME: Kenna realizing her mistake, horrified as she watches Kevin plunge in.
EXT. NURSE’S CABIN – LATER
OVER CREDITS we see Kevin sitting on the front step of the Nurse’s cabin with an icepack on his face. Kenna sits down next to him tentatively, unsure of what to say. After a moment of silence, Kevin leans over, holding his icepack to the side, and gently kisses Kenna’s cheek. She smiles.
About the Author:
Jennifer Downes (AEA/SAG-Aftra) is a writer, actor, and producer based in NYC. She is the Associate Artistic Director of New Ambassadors Theatre Co. Jennifer is a graduate of the William Esper Studio and studied writing under Jerome Perzigian and Stephen Molton. Her full length play Tight Five can be seen this summer at Cherry Lane theatre in New York City. For links to Jennifer’s body of work, please refer to www.jenniferdownes.com