Monday, April 22, 2013

Camp Counselor as Political Career Prep

Do we need a super-counselor?
Canada is so cute sometimes.  The new leader of the Liberal party, Justin Trudeau, has been criticized for having a lame resume, including serving as a camp counselor.  So, the response then gets interesting--that being a camp counselor is excellent prep for being a Prime Minister.  Given my expertise in this area, as a camper for eight years and a counselor for three, I feel duty bound to weigh in. 

Hmmm.  Well, the first thing to remember about being a camp counselor is that the camp is there for you and not for the campers.  Yep, that's right.  Your task is to keep the kids entertained long enough so that you can hang with friends, go swimming, hiking, and generally prolonging one's adolescence while getting paid for it.  This, of course, included playing all kinds of pranks* on the kids.  This is perfect prep for politics because the reality is that the politicians end up focusing on the games in the capital and ambition and perhaps not so much on helping out the folks in the district/riding.
* I could hang a spoon off of my nose.  My campers wanted to imitate me, so I told them to dunk the spoons in spaghetti sauce and then put the spoons against their nose.  Ten seconds later, kids had red stains on their noses.  Tis the easiest and least traumatic prank I pulled or witnessed.
The second thing is that the biggest fights were over the distribution of scarce resources.  In this case, it was breakfast.  In addition to pancakes or eggs or whatever, we would have about a dozen or so small boxes of cereal ranging from sweet (frosted flakes, corn pops) to healthy.  So, allocating those on a regular basis required some system that seemed fair enough not to create fights every morning.  I forget what systems I used, but perhaps politicians could use similar ones to close military bases.

The third thing is that you had to figure out ways to get the kids to do what you wanted without it making it look like a chore.  So, when we had the occasional water balloon fight, the group of kids that picked up the most pieces of balloon afterwards would get a treat.  Yep, they cleaned up for a
token prize.  I don't know how the Republicans do it, but getting poor people to oppose welfare seems like a similar trick.  I guess the token prize is easy access to guns.

I am sure there are other lessons I learned as a camp counselor, but those are a good start.  Any suggestions?

No comments: