Source: Camps That Should Exist From My other Blog.
I used to run a gymnastics summer camp. It was a great place and I have some great memories from there. Now I do a weekend long camp. It is expensive but we really are the best. I was talking with a parent the other day and there were trying to figure out how they were going to pay for their 15-year-old’s hockey camp this summer (seriously? $500 and I still have to feed him lunch??), plus Gym Momentum Training Camp for their daughter. ($485 but at least you supply lunch).
When I was growing up, our camp options were far more limited than the proliferation now available. I remember music camp (which I did not attend) and sports camps (which I did), as well as your traditional quasi-Native-American-themed, lanyard-crafting-type camps. These days, however, kids can spend a week or two at camps for every possible sport as well as chemistry, chess, computer programming, SAT-prep, and rock climbing.
I couldn’t help but wonder why there aren’t really useful camps for our children. Let’s discuss things like important life skills. Things these children will benefit from knowing long after the carpooling, lollygagging childhood days are over. Let’s arm them with knowledge that will assist them in making friends, luring lovers and getting invited to multiple holiday parties!
Instead of hockey camp and gymnastics camps, here are a few ideas I have for camps parents may actually enjoy spending money on:
1. CAMP “CLOSE THE EFFING DOOR.”
There’s a trite old saying that goes something like, “When one door closes, a window opens.” I wouldn’t know about that, because NOBODY CLOSES DOORS in my house or gym. And I’m not just talking about the front/back doors. Nope. You name a door and the kids will leave it gaping open like Chris Christie’s mouth during a Trump press conference. Fridge door, Cupboard door OF COURSE. At the gym- I can tell when the kids go get chalk because the cabinet door is left open. Freezer? Yeah. Guess what, darling? If you pull open that door to get ice you have to shut it, otherwise ICE pack for your ankle will be like arm and not of much help. At Camp CLOSE THE EFFING DOOR, the sanctity of leaving things as you found them (I.E.: CLOSED) will be lesson numero uno. They will start with basic conditioning and motor coordination it takes to open and close things.
2. IKEA CAMP.
At this camp, the kids would actually spend their days and nights inside their local Ikea store, learning things like how to assemble a desk using only an Allen wrench, their own tears and expletives. They’ll also learn the secret meaning of all those funny product names AND how to prepare a plate of kick-ass meatballs. Your children’s future roommates/partners will love you for choosing this camp.
3. CAMP COCKTAIL.
Relax, people. No actual alcohol will be in proximity to your underage snowflakes. They will, however, receive a super-size serving of basic drinking knowledge that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Here is where they will learn stuff like how to salt a rim without clumping, how to open a bottle of tonic without the whole thing exploding like Mt. Vesuvius and the right way to cut a freaking lime. Won’t it be nice when Junior knows you like it shaken, not stirred? Ahhh. Family movie night just became a little more relaxing.
4. HOW NOT TO BE A TOTAL DICK ON SOCIAL MEDIA CAMP.
Yeah I know, Facebook is just for us old farts now, but let’s be proactive in making the social media world a fun place for future citizens. At this camp there will be several offshoot groups, with topics like “Absolutely Nobody Wants To See Your Feet,” “You Shouldn’t Hit ‘Like’ on Sad Posts” and “Reading Before Sharing is Caring.” Counselors will train the kids to take viral videos in landscape vs. portrait mode, and teach them how to organize snarky memes so they are instantly accessible during comment section fights.
5. Adult Realities Camp
Why waste time learning how to heave a shot put at track camp when you could be preparing for adult life? Parents want their youngsters to learn how to navigate medical insurance billing, compare mortgages, work the internet to find a good price on a used car, and manage a checking/savings account without incurring fees. Nobody taught me how to do all that, which strikes me now as ridiculous. We should be starting kids early on this stuff! And I bet parents would shell out camp fees to get the job done. In fact, we had better reserve some weeks for adult campers.
6. Home Repair Camp
About a month ago I was pulling the lint off the removable filter from the dryer and I happened to look way down into the slot where it fits. “Wow, that should probably get cleaned out sometime,” I thought. Out of curiosity, I looked up “clean dryer vent” on the internet, and sure enough, one is supposed to clean the entire exhaust line of one’s dryer once a year–I mean really roto-root that thing all the way to the vent where it exits the house into your bushes. The problem is that it’s quite a procedure and requires a special tool, available on amazon for $33.32. So of course I haven’t done it. But how was I supposed to know about this? And don’t tell me to read the owner’s manual. What I need is a teenager who has spent two fun-filled weeks at home repair camp learning to do all kinds of useful tasks for me: clean the gutters, change the filter on the furnace, repair drywall, do a little light electrical work, and master 101 uses for spackle, duct tape, and WD-40.
7. Farm Camp, City Camp
Come to think of it, all these new camps would make great reality TV shows, so here are some more cable-ready ideas. Send a bunch of city kids to camp on a farm, where they learn how to shovel manure and milk cows, culminating the camp experience/broadcast season with the county fair. Alternatively, send a bunch of rural kids to the city, where they learn how to use the subway, eat at bodegas, and rent a tiny, outrageously expensive apartment.
8. Appropriate Eye Contact Camp.
An issue many of us continue to struggle with long into adulthood, this intensive week-long camp consists of only one activity: looking directly at your campmates for five seconds, then away for two. Campers who succeed in not making anyone feel uncomfortable the entire week receive a $50 Dave & Buster’s gift card.
9. How to Leave A Social Event Camp
Campers will spend the week practicing farewell techniques such as ghosting out of a party, feigning food sickness to go home early and the “Let’s-Get-Together-Soon-Lie-Good-bye.” Campers are awarded bonus points for leaving the camp itself without anyone noticing.
10. Working Out As An Adult Camp
This camp is designed for people who exercise because they know they have to in order not to die. Campers will slowly walk on treadmills, use the elliptical on the lowest resistance setting and sit in saunas convincing themselves the sweat counts as a workout. Every night campers undo any minimal calorie burn by drinking four craft beers with dinner.*
*Campers should bring an eco-friendly water bottle, which they will promptly lose on the first day.
11. Should You Get A Dog? Camp
Campers will spend an exciting two weeks in various dog parks reading back issues of Dog Fancy, debating cute v. practical dog names and calculating the largest animal they can morally and ethically keep in the square footage of their apartment. At the end of the summer, campers are put on a waiting list for a rescued Miniature Australian Shepherd puppy that they will never receive.
12. Student Loan Camp
This spiritual camp focuses on meditation techniques that empower campers to develop mantras such as, “It Will Be Forgiven in 30 Years,” “Just Don’t Open the Envelopes” and “Maybe I’ll Die First.” Special emphasis is also placed on the Buddhist notion of impermanence as it relates to choosing the wrong major.
13. Salary Negotiations Camp
At this month-long retreat in a suburban office park, campers will make lanyards that represent their salary demands. Female camper’s lanyards start thirty percent shorter than male camper’s and never catch up in length no matter how frantically they braid.
14. HOW TO CAMP CAMP
Activities include paying someone else to set up your tent, using DEET without getting it in your mouth and which $1,300 portable kitchen camping set you should purchase on Amazon. Campers will also enjoy a bonus breakout session on aggressive acting techniques to pretend that they are actually enjoying themselves while camping.