Salute Your Shorts: Revisited

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Do you know the words?

We run, we jump, we swim, and play.

We row and go on trips.

But the things that last forever

are our dear friendships…

If you kept singing or know the song, you must have grown up in the 90s. That’s the opening verse to Salute Your Shorts, the show about a group of kids at summer camp.

When I was younger, I liked the show a lot, but I liked Are You Afraid of the Dark and Clarissa Explains It All more. I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters on SYS, and I hated the one time I went to summer camp. I still think summer camp is overrated.

As an adult, I realize I miss 90s TV shows. I miss the simplicity, the minor drama, the awkwardness. Today, shows try to do too much or get way too serious. At 12, I didn’t want to hear about 15-year-olds agonizing about sex, and I still don’t.

Salute Your Shorts was simple. Each episode had a situation or conflict, and it was resolved by the end. In 24 minutes or less. So, here are some of my observations (old and new) after watching two volumes:

1. Bobby Budnick still reminds me of Axl Rose. Every time I see Budnick, I think I bet that’s what Axl Rose was like when he was 13 – smart, cunning, mean, and a natural leader.

2. I really dislike Dina Alexander. I never even thought she was cute. She was a terrible, terrible person, and I did not understand how anyone would want to even be in the same room with her. Had I been in her bunk, I would have hung her on the flagpole.

3. Most of the characters still irritate me. The only character I relate to now is Z.Z, the nerdy tree-hugger type, so I’m not sure what that says about me as an adult.

4. The show holds up, but it’s nostalgia that keeps it going. Would it survive if it aired now? No. There’s not enough drama and fighting; there were no tears. It was just kids doing kids things and solving their own problems without it being Earth shattering.

5. I can still sing the opening song word for word. And I’ll admit something to all our great readers out there: Until two weeks ago, I thought the song said “… are our dear friend Chips.” Yes, chips. It didn’t make any sense at the time, but I never tried to figure it out. Two weeks ago, when I heard it again, I said … “OH….” and laughed and laughed. And felt really dumb.

I encourage anyone who enjoyed Nick’s 90s era to revisit Salute Your Shorts. Amazon has two volumes for $6 each, and it’s worth it just to relive a time where things weren’t so dependent on technology and dramatic. If you want to learn what made us late 20-somethings and 30-somethings who we are today, watch the old Nick shows.

For extra fun, here’s a video from a “scary” episode. It still creeps me out a little…

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