As you are already aware, it was with great reluctance that we accepted your child, Mitt, into our “Presidential Campaign Camp” program this summer. From the outset, it was clear that even the members of the Very Young Republicans Club, who sponsored his entrance into our program, were unenthusiastic about his participation at best. We now understand why.
Our program was designed to give interested children the experience of creating their own “campaigns” for elected office via fun activities like speech-writing, coming up with slogans, marketing strategies, etc., in order to hone the leadership skills that will serve them in their future endeavors as adults.
Once integrated into the group of PCC participants, to say that Mitty does not play well with others would be an understatement of immense proportions. While he has tried repeatedly to rally other campers around him during playtime, the gatherings continue to be small and poorly attended – despite what you may have read in the FoxCamp Newsletter (which we at PCC have always considered to be a questionable source of summer camp news, traditionally appealing to youngsters who can’t read).
During his interview for potential placement at PCC, Mitty convinced our board that his history of exceptional scholastic achievement should be considered above all else as a criteria for acceptance into our summer camp program. However, every time we’ve asked Mitty to provide his prior report cards, his response has been that “we people” have all we need to know.
When pressed on the topic, Mitty insists that he doesn’t remember what years he attended Silver Spoon Academy for Boys, and thus far the only confirmation we have of his alleged academic achievement is a highly-redacted handwritten report from his first grade teacher, whose address turned out to be a post office box in the Cayman Islands.
On our first day at PCC, we traditionally treat the campers to our most popular activity, horseback riding. While the other children enjoyed riding their horses in the nearby meadow, Mitty insisted that his horse be made to “dance” – and threatened to tie it to the roof of a car if it did not perform to his satisfaction. In addition, Mitty later threatened our laundry staffers with the same fate if they failed to wash his underwear in such a way as to maintain their magical powers. So as of his first day with us, Mitty’s behavior gave us pause – to say the least.
The campers recently held a competition to see how many friends they had made so far at PCC. While many children were proud to have garnered the names of ten to fifteen fellow campers, Mitty had amazingly amassed over twenty thousand names in a single afternoon. In a camp of only thirty kids plus staff, we find this number to be somewhat suspect.
As part of our program, we encourage campers at PCC to participate in story-telling while gathered around the campfire each night. Mitty’s contribution to this activity was something about “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in.” Obviously I am paraphrasing here; no one, not even Mitty, would be dumb enough to say something like that. But whatever he said was pretty stunningly stupid, nonetheless.
Mitty has been consistently rude to our staff and counselors, often telling them they’ve been fired. When asked for an explanation, Mitty admitted that he can’t help himself as it’s something he enjoys doing immensely. He has also suggested several times that we send counselors to work at neighboring campsites for cheaper wages, and give him the money we save on their salaries as compensation for his having come up with the idea.
During a recent boating excursion, Mitty refused to participate in paddling or rowing with the other boys, and when he was made fun of by his fellow campers, he insisted they were swift-canoeing him. Mitty also responds to anyone who questions his behavior as “bedwetters” – and demands an apology forthwith.
Last week’s traditional baking of S’mores over the campfire ended on a sour note, when Mitty disdainfully commented that the treats did not meet his standards, and were obviously shipped in from the local 7-11 that morning.
At our monthly postcard writing sessions, where most of the children write messages to their parents about their camping activities, Mitty invariably spends his time sending letters to Switzerland and Bermuda, inquiring about returns on the investment of his weekly allowance.
Perhaps as a result of his inability to forge friendships with the other youngsters, Mitty insists on making room in his tent for imaginary friends with names like Bain, GM, and Microsoft, because, as he persists in saying, “corporations are campers, too.”
Two weeks ago, Mitty took it upon himself to head up (or “save”, as he described it) our annual inter-camp sports competition, and was given access to the petty cash set aside for this event. After the fact, it was discovered that not only had all of the budgeted monies been spent, the other campers were forced to contribute a huge portion of their summer allowances in order to fund the enormous shortfall Mitty had created.
Sadly, it now seems abundantly clear that Mitty is ill-equipped to deal with real-life experiences – like communicating with others, developing friendships, participating in structured activities, handling his share of responsibilities, and living in a tent that is not fully staffed with servants, nor equipped with a row-boat elevator.
Our PCC program is designed to hone the leadership skills every child is capable of developing via their own effort, commitment and hard work. It cannot, however, infuse such skills in someone in whom they have been so apparently lacking since birth.
In view of the aforementioned, we wish to advise that we will be sending Mitty home tomorrow morning on the first available bus, and would like to retroactively resign him from his short stay at PCC. It is an experience all of us – campers, staff and counselors – would just as soon forget ever happened.
In closing, we would remind you that in the summer of 2008, we accepted a young girl to participate in PCC who, until recently, we considered to be the worst possible choice for our program. We have since been notified that for all of her failings, she is now considered to be the better candidate for inclusion in our program by those who sponsored her participation at that time.
Ms. Shirley Hadda-Nuff
PCC Placement Specialist & Theorist