Jeremy Enns Talks Summer Camp: The Case Of The Phantom Pooper

Writer and producer Jeremy Enns joins us on Close-Up Culture to chat about his new podcast, Summer Camp: The Case Of The Phantom Pooper.

Based on a true story, the podcast follows camp director Mookie as he struggles to solve a string of seriously smelly pranks at a Canadian summer camp. The show blends true crime, mystery, and investigative reporting with all the nostalgia of summer camp. 

What was your inspiration for Summer Camp: The Case of the Phantom Pooper?

The true events documented in this podcast took place in 2017. At the time, I was really into storytelling podcasts like Serial and S-Town. I had an ambitious dream to create that type of show, but I had no story!

Unrelated, that summer, I took a leave from work and moved to this summer camp to train 50 teenagers how to be camp counsellors. When the first prank landed in my lap (so to speak), I decided to record the events that unfolded on my iPhone. When the summer ended and I had an opportunity to reflect on all the raw audio I’d captured, I thought I might be able to make this dream come true! It took six years, but here we are.

What can audiences expect from the podcast?

This podcast blends true crime, mystery, and investigative reporting with the nostalgia of summer camp.

You can expect to laugh as you find yourself immersed in the sounds of summer camp!

The show features authentic interviews with campers and music by Matt McGinley. Can you tell us about some of the exciting elements of the podcast?

This story reflects the adage “truth is stranger than fiction.” Just when you feel like you have heard it all, the campers and staff do something even weirder, grosser or goofier. I think I captured magic as I recorded real moments between teenage friends at summer camp. 

Did you ever go to summer camp? And if so, what are your memories of it?

I did go to summer camp as a kid. Among my most vivid memories as a camper is HATING the swim test that kicked off a week at camp. I was not a strong swimmer and the lake was always so cold. Treading water for five minutes felt like a lifetime. 

Our camp also had a fancy hot chocolate machine, and each meal only a few cabins would get to partake. It was an amazing feeling when my cabin number was called for hot chocolate.

Later as a counselor, I loved leading the Wilderness Adventure activity. I enjoyed slowing down and observing nature. Once my troupe saw a praying mantis catch and eat a fly, and another summer we befriended a deer and her fawn – watching the young one grow as the summer progressed. 

My most recent memories of camp are captured in full detail in the podcast!

What are some of your favourite podcasts to listen to?

I listen to a lot of true crime (Casefile, They Walk Among Us, Canadian True Crime) and any parody of true crime I can get my ears on (This Sounds Serious, A Very Fatal Murder).

I am also a huge fan of Freakonomics, Mystery Show and Decoder Ring.  

What are your plans and hopes for the future?

For now, I have no future podcast plans, but I’m confident another project will find me, just like this one did.
In the meantime, I am just enjoying getting Summer Camp out into the world thanks to the Sonar Network. My chief hope is that people would listen to the show, remember their time at camp fondly, and maybe even rekindle an old camp friendship!


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