Image Designs by Justin A. Burnett
By Trebor Elliverf
I know that many of my classmates will be returning to school with tales of going to see The Meg in IMAX or taking some expensive trip to an amazing national landmark, so I decided to jot this down so they can see that a simpler experience can be just as incredible.
You’re not gonna best me this time, Scottie Lindermeyer! I owned this summer like a boss!
No, my parents didn’t take me to some stupid water park or some garish paintball range. They didn’t have time for that because they had to go on a top secret mission with the special forces police in the bulletproof vests. My dad was the first to return to save Mexico from tyranny and then my mother bravely followed him into the fray.
What I learned this summer was that I don’t need my mom and my dad to have an awesome time. I don’t even need to know anybody. I can make friends anywhere.
This is the story of how I spent my summer and the following are just some of the sick highlights of my stay at McCallen Camp. I think you’ll agree that Texas camps are lit AF!
The coolest thing about McCallen Camp is that the counselors let the kids pretend to be animals. We’re even given cages that are too big for any dog but just big enough for us to play like we’re dogs. I even got to chew through a leash and bite the other children. That shit was fire!
Learning Through Fun
I’m not big on homework or any of that junk, but I gotta admit, I had the opportunity to learn some new things while having a blast at McCallen Camp. For instance, I learned a new word: Resettlement. Apparently, it’s another word for staying somewhere other than your home. I guess that means my brother and me resettled in our parents’ backyard when we set up our tree house last year.
Wait…where’s my brother?
Yeah, maybe you thought you were the coolest kid on the block because you and your friends built some skateboarding ramps or your dad let you help him restore an old car, but that ain’t nothing compared to McCallen Camp’s activities.
Within one week of being there, me and the other kids were given the opportunity to help the counselors build an entire frigging !city! That’s right, we built Tent City, a new place where I decided that a superhero of my own creation, Brownie the Macho Muslim, fights crime and honors the Prophet.
Because of our world building, 5,000 more kids can enjoy the astounding activities of detention camp and that’s pretty dope.
Okay, technically I didn’t get to play a firefighter and neither did my fellow campers, but we did get to play the fire which was pretty sick. The counselors got to make believe like we were blazing buildings and they trained fire hoses on us while we scrubbed our tired bodies with something called Dawn Mist.
The neatest thing about this is that the first time the hose hits you, it’s like you’re the bad guy in some western and you just got shot in the chest during a duel. Pretty friggin’ nuts! Once the welts go down, you’re ready for more world building.
Acting Grown Up
Camp was nothing like school, it wasn’t crummy or overly complicated and there were no rules except something called a “no formal protocol.” But the best part is, we weren’t treated like little babies. Instead, we were encouraged to do grown up things.
One day, an actual teenage girl was released into my cage and I thought we were supposed to play dog fight, but instead she showed me her baby brother and taught me how to change a diaper. It was gross and all, but I think it’s dope that the counselors let us wear our big boy pants.
While your parents were forcing broccoli down your throat at P.F. Chang’s, I was loading up on Lays Potato Chips. Nobody was there to stop me. In fact, the counselors let me eat all the chips I wanted. Chips and water were served as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Beat that, Scott!
The best part of my camp experience came last week when a group of my fellow campers tried to run away. Buzz, my favorite counselor, handed me a shotgun loaded with birdshot and taught me how to find a target.
When I squeezed that trigger and those kids spilled like a jar full of marbles, I felt like I had finally become a man. Unfortunately, the camp counselors don’t agree with that assessment. In their eyes, I am still a minor and will have to stick around here for some time before I can be resettled.
Imagine that. Your summer is winding down and soon you’ll be back behind that uncomfortable desk at school. For me, summer is just beginning. I can’t wait for tomorrow when I get to fight the blind kid for a stick of bubblegum. I’ll be one happy camper. If not, they might just take away my ‘tato chips.