Every year at summer camp our high school group dresses up for theme nights. The students all get costumes, dress according to the theme and have a lot of fun together. A lot of the other groups get confused when they see us, but it builds great community among our students.
Yesterday at camp we had 50s Night. Movies like Grease and The Outsiders have romanticized that decade and our students were more than happy to don leather jackets and poodle skirts. I don’t think I would have been a greaser in the 50s, so I dressed as a 50s nerd, complete with tape around my glasses.
From pop culture, I’ve gleaned that there have always been nerds. Some people were always Fonzies and some people were always Potsies. The nature of nerdom has changed over the years, though. Nerd culture has gone more and more mainstream. Iron Man 3 is the highest grossing movie at the box office this year. Everyone from nerds to jocks and 20 somethings to grandparents loves Game of Thrones. As nerd culture grows, the stigma associated with it is shrinking.
Whether that stigma disappears or returns with a vengeance, we should always be true to ourselves: nerd or jock, square or cool. I love our theme nights because our students are excited to dress up and stand out, regardless of what others may think. More often than not high school students don’t want to do anything out of the ordinary as to avoid ridicule. I love that our students are willing to push that aside in order to have fun and do something together as a group.
They’re being true to themselves and who God made them to be. And if we’re a Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who or pen and paper nerd, we should be too.