A Tale of Two Camps

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

So begins Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities. And so begins the next four years of reign in Ontario and Caledon. Will heads roll like in the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, or will cooler heads prevail? The superlatives of comparison made me wonder about something closer to home.

If you live in Canada, you are well aware that June 6, 2018 is Tim Horton’s Camp Day. Choosing the right Camp for your children is a very important process for parents. Choosing the camp that you are in is also very important for adults. You get known by the company you keep. Let us reflect on a modern “Tale of Two Camps” and decide which one we want our children to attend.

Both camps share the opposite shorelines of a beautiful central Ontario lake. They both have adequate cabins for the campers and traditional lodges for meals and camp singsongs and an identical selection of activities for children to enjoy. However, for whatever reason, the personalities of the campers who go to these camps is very different.

Camp A is filled with campers who are happy, positive, empathetic and intelligent. They work together to solve problems, sing through rainy day weather, and help out without being asked. They are highly skilled in all of the activities, hardly ever missing a target in archery, and rarely tip a canoe. If they do tip over, they rescue the canoe quickly and never blame their paddling partners. They write thoughtful letters to their families every week, share their tuck shop treats, and always speak respectfully to their peers and counsellors.

Camp B, on the other hand, is filled with what my dear departed Mom used to call Negative Nellies. For whatever reason, the campers are always looking for the worst in other people and bring out the worst in each other. They have potty mouths, insult other campers, and put down just about every good idea the camp counsellors develop.

They complain about everything, rarely help the camp accomplish anything positive unless it makes them look good, and constantly grandstand for attention. If their canoe tips, they always blame their paddling partners. They never thank their families for giving them the opportunity to go to this beautiful camp and they rarely speak respectfully to their peers and counsellors.

You, very caring parent, have a choice of sending your child to Camp A or Camp B. Choose wisely.

And have a Happy Camp Day on June 6, 2018.


Skid Crease, Caledon

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