Fantasy Summer Camps

As I sit here, trying to figure out how I’m going to pay for my 15 year old’s hockey camp this summer (seriously? $500 and I still have to feed him lunch??) I can’t help but wonder why there aren’t really useful camps for our broods. I mean, yeah, my boy loves hockey and since he’s my kid I am obligated to say he’s good at it...but let’s be real. He ain’t no Wayne Gretzky. It seems kind of silly to spend my sparse funds on something that, at best, might become a fun pastime for him as an adult.

Let’s discuss things like important life skills, baby. 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. Because if we’re being honest here, and I assume we are, I think we can all agree that the reason Bob and Karen have such a happy marriage isn’t because Karen learned how to ride a cranky senior horse named Caramel in the summer of 1989. They have managed to stay married because Bob knows how to fold towels and Karen knows what in the holy hell an HDMI cord is.

Instead of hockey camp, here are a few ideas I have for camps I’d 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. And I’m not just talking about the front/back doors. Nope. You name a door and my kids will leave it gaping open like Chris Christie’s mouth during a Trump press conference. Fridge door? Yeah. Guess what, darling? If you pull open that drawer labeled “Crisper” you have to shut it, otherwise the fridge stays open all night long. Kind of like Taco Bell but instead of a tortilla filled with mystery meat you get $20 worth of warm milk and e-coli.

Cupboard doors, bedroom doors, attic doors (I know it’s kind of Discovery Channel that we literally have bats in our belfry but leaving that door open is an invite to an Amityville nightmare I am not equipped to handle). Garage doors, entertainment center doors and medicine cabinet drawers. At Camp CLOSE THE EFFING DOOR the sanctity of leaving things as you found them (IE: CLOSED) will be lesson numero uno.

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 the same proximity as 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, mama.

4. HOW TO NOT 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 and how to organize snarky memes so they are instantly accessible during comment section fights.

5. CAMP TARGET Here, kids will learn from experts the Art of Targeting. Young Hazel will be a Cartwheel ninja after six weeks at Camp Target. Our babies will know exactly how to navigate the clearance endcaps, when the free popcorn is at its freshest and the right way to angle your cart so as not to block everyone’s path while you weigh the pros and cons of buying that chevron throw pillow.

There will also be a financial aspect to this camp: once your child masters the skill of “stacking” deals (sale price + cartwheel deal + pharmacy rewards + 5% RedCard discount) you will never yearn for “alone time” at Target again.

6. TOWEL CAMP This is the camp where kids finally discover how to live with towels. They’ll learn the right way to fold them (the tri-fold way or the highway, dearies). Experts in the field of terrycloth textiles will teach the kids that it really won’t kill them to use the same towel twice and that we know towels dry out faster when hung up vs. languishing on the floor because science.

There will also be specialized classes where the kids will find out exactly what towels should be used for (drying off their bodies, wiping up the floor after a bath/shower and covering up post-cleansing) and what they shouldn’t be used for (wiping butts/noses, rolled up under doors to hide the smell of ganja, left under a teenage boy’s bed until it’s actually a petrified masturbation fossil). Functional washers/dryers will be on-site in order to show the kids how much fun it is to launder said towels.

7. FUTURE MOMMY BLOGGER BOOT CAMP Because let’s face it, ladies...at some point we’re all going to write that “So long, suckahs!” final blog post and there has to be someone to document all of this incredibly important stuff when we’re gone. At this camp, I envision several breakout groups, kind of like the real live big time blogger conferences. Only at Future Mommy Blogger Boot Camp, instead of topics like “Monetizing Your Blog” and “Where To Find Awesome Free Stock Photos” the upcoming members of the Yoga Pants Mafia will learn stuff like this:

  • 100 Euphemisms For “Vagina”
  • How To Write A Listicle ;)
  • MEME FEVER! How to make ALL THE THINGS into a viral meme
  • The Open Letter: This Is How We Do It
  • For Boys Only: The Nuts and Bolts of Being A Daddy Blogger
  • Formula/Breast/Natural/C-Section/Vaxxer/SAHM/Working Mom Labels And How to Alienate People

Please note that these camps are purely fantasy and there is no way you can sign up for them. Not now, not last minute. There are no early bird specials and definitely no scholarships. You can add to the dreaminess if you like, while you’re perusing your calendar and your bank balance and trying, desperately, to find a place for your offspring to get all camped up this summer.

And if you do happen to see a camp like any of these, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY AND SWEET AND PURE let me know.


  1. After a very long day and a white knuckle two hour drive home, I totally enjoyed your "camps" blog!Thanks, I really needed the chuckle!!!

  2. Any chance they'd take a grown man in camp #1 - "Close the EFFING DOOR?" Gawd almighty, WTF is so damn hard about closing the drawers or the cupboards. When I call him on it (aka nag!) - "I was working on this & this...." Yeah, right - YESTERDAY!!!!! Grrrrr

    Great Camp ideas, Jen! You make me laugh!!! :-)

  3. I just sent my daughter off to space camp today with her entire grade, $500 + expenses. Chances of her being an astronaut: 0%.

  4. This reminds me of 7 years ago on my blog (but it seems like yesterday - yikes!), when my commenters and I put together a bunch of courses so that our teens could major in "Getting a Clue."

  5. This was amazing. Thanks for the chuckle. It came at the right time.

  6. Brilliant Jenny, brilliant! Love it!

    Andrea Miller

  7. HA! Laughed out load at every one. Cried at the towel one. Cried!

  8. I have a USEFUL one... Faux Child-Labor camp. It's entirely based on it costing nothing but still keeping children alive and well.

    My 9, 10, and 11 year-olds are responsible and kind enough to stay home alone for several hours. However, it would be SO UNBELIEVABLY SHITTY to do this every day, especially during the summer. So let's make this mutually beneficial, yes? They love younger children... and are responsible. Soooooo- how about they occupy/help/de-escalate squabbles and PLAY with the young-young children who need more than something neat to do and remain alive? I offer you my children as good peer-pressure mentors! I won't pay you but you won't have to pay them either.


    Bonus for them: Not being bored and also, not having to complete endless cleaning/reading/project checklists from Mom!

  9. I just saw this tweeted by HUffPo Parents to their 750K followers! WOO! Congrats!


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