Episode 42: Notes on Church Camp

A WEEK AWAY with Emily Van Der Werff and Cassie LaBelle


Details, credits, errata: Saddle up your horses, we’re back and want to thank you so much for your patience during our unannounced week off. We have some great episodes banked and here’s the first of them: friend of the pod Emily VanDerWerff returns with her friend Cassie LaBelle to talk about, appropriately, A Week Away, country music video director Roman White’s sophomore feature film, a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM1) jukebox musical set at a church camp and distributed through Netflix.

A Week Away is surprisingly palatable and clearly intended to be a trip down memory lane for people who grew up going to Christian music concerts; as such it’s a bit of a mixed bag for your stalwart hosts. It plays a lot with Amy Grant’s gay cred (she and Steven Curtis Chapman are both bit players here), which was a nice surprise, though I wish the filmmakers had been more pointed about that.

Our header image is a picture of a campfire by Dirk Beyer, made available through Wikimedia Commons and used with our thanks.

Our theme song is Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5’s Muskrat Ramble, made freely available by the Boston Public Library and audio engineering shop George Blood, LP through the Internet ArchiveA Week Away is copyright 2021 Netflix. Brief audio excerpts are used herein for purposes of review. All other material is copyright 2021 Sam Thielman and Alissa Wilkinson.

This is a free episode! We’d love it if you subscribed! Emily has a fiction podcast called Arden you can listen to here and Cassie’s blog is here! Check them out!


confusingly, this term is often used to refer not to music that is currently contemporary, but instead to the Christian pop music of the 1990’s. Sorry. We’re a weird bunch.