Monday, May 09, 2005

New Palestinian Summer Camp Activity 

Please don't let the Palestinian Summer Camp Activity Director see this:

Indian army officers blow fire and perform in Bangalore as part of an exhibition designed to encourage young Indians to join. (via BBC)

Summer is already tough enough for the little Palestinian campers without having to learn the dreaded "Fire Breathing Pole Walk of Death". Of course, it does teach important life lessons, like... like... well, like learning to risk your life for no purpose, with complete self-disregard, just because you're told to. Of course, the typical camper's schedule's already chock-a-block with other important opportunities to prepare for adult life, should the campers actually grow up. Like:
A Palestinian boy jumps through a ring of fire in front of U.S. and Israeli flags during an Islamic Jihad movement anti-Israel rally, in Gaza, April 15,2005. Thousands of Palestinians attended the Islamic Jihad rally in Gaza. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (hat tip: lgf)
It is impossible to understate, or is that overestimate, or even understand, just how critical it is to learn the dreaded "Leap Through the Flaming Ring of Death" drill. All too often, the children of weaker societies, when confronted with a Flaming Ring of Death, will balk at the critical moment and not leap through, merely walking around the ring instead. But years of summer camp prepare these kids to do it right, in later years even mastering advanced techniques like sticking marshmallows on each finger before jumping for that satisfying but gooey post-exercise treat.

Palestinian policemen take part in a drill in the West Bank city of Tulkarem. Close to 10,000 Israelis marched through Tel Aviv in a show of mass support for the proposed withdrawal of all troops and Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip in July as preparations gathered pace for the controversial evacuation.(AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh) (hat tip: lgf)

It's also impossible to imagine a stay at summer camp without the dreaded "Disgusting Pipe Crawl of Death". I won't dwell long on its pedagogic benefits, since if you've never done plumbing the hard way, you simply have no idea how difficult it is without proper training. Especially if you're doing it on an Israeli settlement. Surrounded by barbed wire. In camoflauge paint. Dragging an AK47 and a belt full of grenades. At night.

Two young Palestinians practice with unloaded weapons during a rally of the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades militant group, in Gaza City Friday April 8, 2005. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) (hat tip: lgf)

A few eager and very flexible campers are always selected to train for the Jihadiad, an event which is to the Summer Olympics what the biathalon's combination of skiing and shooting is to the Winter Olympics. Of course, the Jihadiad, combining gymnastics with marksmanship, hasn't yet been accepted as an official sport, but when it finally gets recognition, these kids should be ready to absolutely dominate.

Palestinian scouts play music in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque as they march in the Old City of Jerusalem. Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plan to meet next month, officials said.(AFP/Atta Hussein) (hat tip: lgf)

Lastly, what camp experience would be complete without the "Blaring Bagpipes of Death". Sure it might just look like a simulated exercise in goose slaughter, but there is a method to the madness here. Each bagpipe is filled before the parade with sand equivalent to 2 kilos of semtex, just for practice. Sure, some of these kids may never be called on to put these important lessons to use, but the learning is important for its own sake.

Every society should raise such well-rounded kids.
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