Dec 12, 2007

Igor Zilch

Today, I googled a memory from back in the days when I was a whippersnapper in summer camp. Every night at the campfire during week-long trips to various YMCA camps in the San Bernardino mountains we would hear the Tale of Igor Zilch. The storytelling session always started with a chant in as deep voice as the story teller and 100 kids could imitate:

Igor Zilch! Igor Zilch!
Brave, courageous and, Boy, he was bold!
Long live his name!
Long live his fame!
Long may his story be told.

The tales were usually made up from day to day or from year to year. The storyteller (often a different counselor from the night before) did a little recap: "When last we left our hero..."

These stories would not pass muster on children's television. The villains were always evil and inevitably gained their names, their powers, and their plots to kill Igor Zilch from bathroom humor. For example, 'Logman' might have trapped Igor in the sewer below a baseball stadium. When the 7th inning stretch occurred, everyone would use the bathroom and... Well, you get the idea.

We, as kids, loved it. It was so gross. It was something that made me look forward to camp and to the campfires. (There were other things that were cleaner and more wholesome that I looked forward to as well.)

So when I googled the name 'Igor Zilch' and found nothing, I thought I should at least post this one entry to let whoever finds this post know that they are not alone in those fond yet disgusting memories.

Now it may truly be said that "Long live his name, long live his fame and long may his story be told."


Anonymous said...

Ha! I did the same thing as you and googled "Igor Zilch." That was a fun memory from YMCA Camp Edwards in the San Bernardino mountains. I remember the song a little differently though:

Igor Zilch
Igor Zilch
Brave, courageous, and bold
Long live his name
And long live his story
And long may his story be told.

I remember that one cabin would have to get Igor out of his prior predicament, and put him into another predicament that the next cabin would have a hard time getting him out of. For example, our cabin was stuck with an alien woman who had electric lips with enough electricity to kill a man who was about to kiss Igor. Everyone wondered how he was going to get out of this one! We did by saying that the kiss blew him all the way back to earth & I remember everyone groaning.

It's amazing how many things I can remember from that camp 40 years ago. It was a really a fun time!

RanDumBlonde said...

I went to Camp Edwards in Angelus Oaks for years. I remember the Igor Zilch stories being one of my favorite things at campfire. Aside from singing Mr. Johnny Rebeck, of course. I was just searching the web for more Igor stories to take with me to my new camp facilitator job, but the only article that came up on google was your post.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers the great Igor Zilch, but I wish more people did too!