Letters From Camp Pick-a-Potus
You betrayed me,
This camp is crazy.
Please come get me.
If not, send pizzas.
A camp to teach kids how to pick a president? I thought this was a camp to learn how to pick a new flower called a Potus. Way too adulting Mom and Dad. Us campers here are shook!
Everybodys' favorite camp counselor is Dave, hundo-p. Us girls secretly call him Counselor Tasty Snack. Dave says Potus, which means President of the United States, also means Parent of the United States. And since picking out a president is kind of like picking out a parent, we better be picky. All us campers liked that idea. Picking out your own parents. Think of the possibilities!
I never got the pizzas I told my friends were coming, so now I look like a liar, just like this rich chubby kid from New York we call Fat Ronnie. Ronnie can't seem to tell the truth Mom. But it's kind of fun because we have these campfire sing-a-longs every night called Liar, Liar, Pants In The Campfire. It’s when we burn the pants of the campers who were caught lying that day. Amy from Nebraska thinks Ronnie lies on purpose because he pees in his pants every time he sees Camp Director Mullins. She thinks he'd rather be known as a liar than a kid who pees in his pants. The fire does smell funny some nights. His mother has to send a whole box of pants for him every week!
We have a lady counselor named Sheila. She calls Dave Counselor Lefty-Loosely because he's so laid back and tells the campers to just live and let live. Dave calls Sheila Counselor Righty-Tighty. I think it's because of the way she walks. She walks like Aunt Ashley, you know Mom, like she's got a-stick-up-her-you-know-what. Counselor Dave says she's controlling and has to have everything her way — I don't get it.
Some days it seems all everybody does is fight, and it's always over the dumbest things. Like yesterday, some of us wanted to go canoeing. Jennifer from Connecticut and Jerry from Georgia could not stop arguing over who would steer the canoe. I said just put the damn thing (learned that from Amy) in the lake and we'll take turns steering, we'll work together. They said I was being silly, so I left — I don't get it. JOMO.
Counselors Sheila and Dave gave us homework today. Homework at summer camp? We have to make a Potus Attribute list and know it by heart before we leave for home. None of us kids knew what attribute meant. Dave said it meant the same as character. Then he had to tell us what character meant. Then he said our list of character attributes had to be a list of good ones because there are plenty of bad ones running around these days and people are getting confused — I don't get it.
The number one, hundo-p, Potus Attribute on my list, is trustworthiness. Dad, you and Mom are trustworthy. Well, you were before this Camp Pick-a-Potus bait and switch thing. Dave taught us what bait and switch means. He said it's what happened to our country in the last Potus election. A big, giant, humongous Bait and Switch took place and that's why these Potus camps sprung up over the country. Dave said our Potus Picker got broken and we need to fix it — quick! He almost cried when he said that. I think he's really worried Dad, are you?
My number two Potus Attribute is very important. I need my Potus to be protective. The counselors make us tell real life stories so they’re sure we know the meaning of the word. I said I want to feel safe like that baby turkey under her Mama's wing in the tree last night. Dave said it was a excellent analogy (new word I learned) but never use a turkey in describing a nice Potus Attribute because of what we got in the terrible Bait and Switch Election. We got a big ole fat Turkey! I like turkeys — I don't get it.
The activity I really don't like is P.C. Trivia Night. Two older campers, Diane and Jeremy who are total clout-chasers, run it. They laughed at me when I said I thought P.C. meant polite camper. Making fun of people isn’t very P.C. to me. Last night it was all about saying African American instead of Black. I stood up and made a big stink. Counselor Righty-Tighty said to sit down. I didn't. I said if calling black people black was bad, then aren't you saying being black is bad and that my art teacher Mrs. Goldberg said the color black absorbs light, so then black people must be full of all kinds of light. I said we're all Americans anyway, then I sat down — I really don't get that.
We have another activity called the Wall Buster. It's a twenty-foot concrete wall climbing contest. We sing "red rover, red rover, this wall we must get over" while trying to climb it. It‘s lit, all the campers love it! Some older boys pole vault over it. When Fat Ronnie tried, he broke the pole and Counselor Mike said he couldn’t use the poles anymore. We told Ronnie he could be on the girls' team but only if he would be the bottom rung of our human ladder. The cheerleaders from Ohio taught us how to make it. He said yes. Then I heard Counselor Mike say that was just where he belonged. So we tied a rope around Ronnie's waist, and climbed on top of each other’s shoulders carrying the rope until Susie from Kansas got to the top, and swung down the other side. We set a record today, ten girls in ten minutes! Fat Ronnie was stuck all by himself on the other side because he's way too big to haul over. He cried like a baby, we could hear him. We almost peed in OUR pants laughing — I get that!
My third Potus Attribute is empathy. What a pretty word for The Golden Rule. The real-life story I told was when I got stung on my hand by a bee last week. Don’t worry, I'm okay. All the campers wanted to hang out with me because my hand was so fat and funny looking. But when the swelling went down and it wasn't fun anymore, most of them left. Renata and Marie from Brazil stayed with me. They both knew it still hurt because they had been stung by a bee before. Dave said my story was a perfect analogy for the meaning of empathy. Then he asked what would be a good word to call the kids who left when the swelling went down. I said "Little Shits". Mom, I learned that from you and Dad. It's what you call me and my brother when we've not been nice.
Some days I like this Camp Pick-a-Potus place even though it's not about flower picking. Picking a President or a Parent may not seem like fun at first, but as Counselor Dave says, it may be the most important thing we learn how to do, so why not start when we're young — I really get that!
I’ll write another letter next week. I love you!
P.S. Please send more pants or pizzas. I like pizzas.