Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Campers

Remember back when camps were basically all the same? The camp had some name that evoked nature; Camp Porcupine Mountain, Camp Lake Vulture, Camp Meadow Chrysanthemum;  or it had some faux-Indian name that the owners had to change in the 1990's (yes, summer camps are more progressive than the NFL). And the activities at these camps were all basically the same: swimming, weaving lanyards, singing campfire songs, eating s'mores, drinking bug juice, and trying to eavesdrop on the counselor's conversations.

Remember this classic summer camp movie?
"Little Darlings," starred Tatum O'Neal (left, front row) and Kristy McNichol
(right, front row). Believe it or not, that's Cynthia Nixon (Miranda from SITC)
next to Kristy. Another bit of trivia: Matt Dillon played Kristy's love interest.
I was waaaay too young to understand the plot when I watched
 this on video at a friend's birthday party. 
Now there are all of these camps where children can explore their most arcane and specialized interests. When I was making our camp plans for the summer, I was floored by all the options. Here are a few camps that didn't quite make the cut for us:

1. Junior Exterminator Camp - Junior Exterminator camp provide the opportunity for kids to learn about animals in their natural habitats! Enjoy up-close animal encounters with roof rats, squirrels, possums, mice, and raccoons! New for 2014: Campers will love exploring our simulated attics, basements, chimneys, and crawl spaces and hunting for their favorite rodents. Camp mascot Billy the Bat will be giving out our fun, "I literally killed at Junior Exterminator Camp" shirts to the campers \with the most captures. Please make sure your camper is up to date on all of his or her vaccinations and sign up for Junior Exterminator Camp today!
2. Bridge Camp - The most dynamic card game of the 1950s and 60s is back and boss as ever! Hold on to your pillbox hat because this camp will be one non-stop crazy bash. Counselors have been recruited from Heavenly Acres Retirement Home and they are cranked to teach campers how to lead with their best suit! Campers won't want to miss Skyping with Omar Sharif, movie star, turned bridge mogul

Who knew that Omar Sharif was a contract bridge
player and formed the Omar Sharif Bridge
Circus in the 1960's? Don't say you never
learned anything here. 

3. Oversharing Narcissism Camp - Finally there's a camp all about your favorite subject...you! Campers love our special selfie room, where they can admire themselves in the 360 degree mirror to determine their picture-perfect best selfie angles! Counselors discuss which topics should be strictly private and off-limits to discuss on-line... JK! Nothing is too private to write about on the Internets because, you are helping others when you discuss intimate details of your life. For instance, sharing how facial cleanser wrecked your love life could save a marriage because some woman out there might have the same bizarre (some would say unbelievable) reaction to parabens that you have. But enough about that lady, let's talk about you and how this camp is perfect for you because you are awesome and have awesome ideas and experiences that you should share with everyone because how else will everyone know how awesome you are if you don't share your brilliance?! An exciting edition to Camp curriculum, you will learn the fine art of the humblebrag so only you will know how narcissistic you really are! Your secret is safe with you! ;-)

4. Space Barista Camp - We are preparing today's campers for jobs that haven't even been invented yet. Space colonies are a foregone conclusion because of climate change, and workers with specialized knowledge will be in high demand in the colonies. Secure your child's future now, with a summer at Space Barista Camp. Campers will learn how to tamper, foam milk, and pour a double shot all at zero-gravity. Camp culminates with the ever-popular anti-gravity cappuccino pour-off. At the end of camp, each camper will receive his or her own patented lidded tablespoon. (Limit, one per camper.)     

5. Lord of the Flies Camp - Pass the conch, kill the pig, and light the signal fire! Have you ever wanted to spend the summer with your best buddies, learning to live off the land? At this adventure-filled camp, campers will enjoy the high points of the best-selling William Golding novel, while skipping over all that nasty societal breakdown and killing business. If you think the themes might be too dark for your camper, think again, the Hunger Games Camp actually exists.

6. Tattoo Artist Camp - Be like your imaginary bff, Kylie Kardashian Jenner and get a head start on one of the top careers of the future, tattoo artistry! Perfect your technique for inking random Chinese letters on pretentious teenagers. Learn from the mistakes of others so that you can avoid doing things like this:


and this:

and this?


Which is a really good likeness of Will Ferrell in "Elf," but why? Not 18 yet? No worries. Campers practice inking sedated pigs. You know what they say, "If you can tattoo a pig, you can tattoo people!"

7. Copy Editing Camp - Does your child love the Oxford comma? Does she correct the spelling of graffiti scribbled on the bathroom stall at school? Does he involuntarily spasm when someone uses "your" instead of "you're?" If this sounds like your (not you're) budding grammarian, Copy Editing Camp will be your child's perfect match. Special activities include debating whether to change the name of Copy Editing Camp to Copyediting Camp and field trips in search of misspelled signs. The latter activity is a favorite, and last year's campers found some excellent examples:






As we like to say, this is the Copy Editing Camp about which your mother warned you!

8. Taxidermy Camp - All children love stuffed animals. But why confuse them with anatomically inaccurate versions of animals, when they could be playing with the real thing? Campers will start out with small mammals (courtesy of our joint agreement with Junior Exterminator Camp) and work up to mounting a deer. That's right, campers will learn the skills needed to create a high quality commercial deer mount, including shaving the cape, sawing off the antlers, and preparing the cape for tanning. Campers are asked to bring their own capes, as the Camp facility has limited freezer space for full deer heads. Sign up for Taxidermy Camp and ensure that the artistry of taxidermy will be passed down to another generation.  

9. Extreme Couponing Camp - There's nothing like the adrenalin rush you get when you score a double coupon on a store special. If your child craves a bargain like other children crave candy and unlimited screen time, Extreme Couponing Camp is for her (or him, boys like to save a buck, too)! Campers get schooled in BOGO, manufacturers coupons, the best coupon websites, and how to find the greatest deal on every product. Campers learn from the best, with video tutorials from experts, like Kate GosselinBachelorette Ashley's sister and this lady and other coupon fanatics (all of whom are also good Christian homeschoolers). Campers will receive their own coupon file and a wealth of knowledge that makes this the only camp that practically pays for itself!

I've got to say, that Copy Editing Camp was a tough one to turn down, but the Boy said he'd prefer basketball. Kids!  

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