It’s Summer! Time To Go Camping With Your Dad And His Friends!

You are one teenager. You are sitting quietly, thinking of the end of civilization, when suddenly you find yourself near the whereabouts of your dad. “Let’s go camping,” says your dad. “It’s the hot month of Summer and you need to become an adult! Nothing turns a teenaged nothing into a middle-aged everything quite like a trip to the woods with an adult dad like me. Come live in a tent with me and I’ll teach you how to be a grown-up.”

Have fun! 

american summer camp primer for @scared-of-clouds

I’m a camp person. I went to a girl scout camp as a kid, and I worked at a summer camp as a teenager, and I’ll be sending my kids to camp in two weeks. Let me say up top that summer camps are largely white, and are wholly guilty of cultural appropriating from Native Americans by glorifying bits of various cultures and twisting it for their benefit. Some camps still, in 2016, have appropriative names and offensive, racist practices, and it’s ridiculous. I’ve not been to one of these camps, but the history of American summer camp in general can be problematic for this reason. Just important to note!  

day camps - basically glorified day care. generally hosted by local parks departments, or churches as an outreach, or are interest based (art, music, computers, etc.) are generally a mixture of inside + outside. parents pick them up and drop them off every day. can attend every week or on a week by week basis.

sleep-away camps - this is what you’ve seen on tv, and jonas brothers and wednesday addams aside, those depictions are scarily accurate. 

who’s in charge? an adult who is either a saint or has given up on life. that’s your camp director. sometimes it’s a married couple. then you have a dozen or so teenagers or college students as counselors. working with them are even younger teenagers, 16-17 year olds. those are your junior counselors, or C-I-Ts (counselors in training). you might have a few cooks and must have a nurse and a lifeguard. it’s this group of individuals that parents entrust their kids to for a week. (usually because they want to sip wine and control the remote, or because they went to camp when they were little, or because they worked there. something. the last one is why my kids are going to camp in two weeks). 

what happens: you literally drop your kid off with a sleeping bag, a mess and or toiletries kit, some clothes, and some sunscreen, in the middle of nowhere, usually, and hope your tires don’t peel out as you drive away. camp can be amazing or awful, depending on what kind of camp it is. some camps are more primitive than others, and it largely depends on the purpose. girl scout camps and boy scout camps are going to be rougher, say, than a camp designed for rich white suburban parents to send their kids for 6-8 weeks. those are like mini sororities and frats in training. it’s usually a couple hundred acres of land in the middle of nowhere with a central hall (cafeteria/rec room/etc.), some kind of sleeping accommodation (cabin, canvas tent things, shelters, etc.), bathrooms (range from literal holes in the ground to fully functioning bathrooms, complete with shower), some kind of bonfire type meeting area, or several, a lake or pond or pool, fields, and a variety of questionably safe outdoor activities. let’s give a bunch of teenagers bows and arrows, train them for a week, and let them show a group of awkward prepubescent middle-schoolers how to use them. what could possibly go wrong here???

common activities: archery, horseback riding, hiking, hide and seek in the woods, capture the flag, various field games, color days in which cabins compete against each other, canoeing and swimming, high ropes courses and zip lines and such, arts & crafts (tie dye and nylon lanyard keychains ftw!). songs. so many songs. all the songs. horseshoes and frisbee and volleyball are common. putting up and taking down the american flag is sometimes a big deal. shenanigans. so many shenanigans. i could tell you some amazing camp stories, my friend. campfires complete with s’mores and hot dogs.

variations: some places are interest-based. computer camp. theater camp. horse camp. music camp. we have amazing camps for kids designed specifically for kids with different types of disabilities, or illnesses so they there’s a place where they are the norm and don’t have to deal with ableist bs for a week. it’s pretty cool!

if you want to hear my favorite this american life episode, it’s notes on camp.

Goodbye Stranger

Summary: Phil Lester has always felt uncomfortable in his own skin. Making friends doesn’t come easily, and his sexuality is a giant question mark he doesn’t want to answer. Attending a summer camp is the last thing he wants to do, but it’s there he meets the lively, perceptive Dan Howell, who might prove him wrong in more ways than one. As the years go by the two continue their correspondence and become best friends. But some mistakes are irreparable, and Phil is forced to confront the consequences of his actions and decide what it is, exactly, that Dan means to him.

Extra tags: asexual

  “I can’t cook without burning something,” Dan says warningly.

    “I steal people’s cereal,” Phil counters. “And I can’t either.”

    “If you steal my cereal I’ll kill you.”

    “What happened to walking through hell for me?”

    “You have to be dead first.“

Children given military training in Hamas summer camps - Tens of thousands of Palestinian children flock to summer camps where they're given military training alongside regular summer activities - 19 July 2016

Approximately 30,000 Palestinian children and teenagers have signed up to attend Hamas’ 25 summer camps in the Gaza Strip.
The camps run by the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, include military training with live fire, combat tactics, and religious indoctrination.
In an announcement marking the opening of summer camp the al-Qassam brigades declared: “The responsibility to liberate Palestine and return all the stolen rights of the people is common to all sects and groups in society, and is to be fulfilled by inculcating the culture of the struggle into every house in Palestine, as we do in the ‘pioneers of liberation’ summer camps.”
They emphasized that the importance of inculcating these militaristic values stems from the necessity of preparing them for future challenges of “actions for restoring the rights of Palestinians.”
The Hamas’ youth group also encourages young Palestinian girls to attend the camps.
Hamas promises that the girls will gain knowledge and strengthen their fear of Allah by taking part in religious preaching (called “Dawa” in Islam), all accompanied by field trips, arts and crafts, lectures, and more.
A video produces for recruitment calls on the girls to “join us”, with an image of two girls armed with an AK-47 assault rifle on a background of the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount. The song playing in the video talks about the goal of “liberating” the al-Aqsa mosque.

UK: Telegraph claims Nice terror is first such attack on kids: forgets about Antwerp (1980) and Toulouse (2012)

The very “monstrous first” happened on 27 July 1980 in Antwerp when a Palestinia terrorist hurled two hand grenades at a group of Jewish children, leaving David Kohane, 15, dead and several wounded, the youngest being Willy and Marcel GJeiser, aged 11 and 9 (JTA):

Jewish communal institutions throughout Belgium have been granted special round the clock police protection following yesterday’s terrorist attack against a group of Jewish teenagers in Antwerp which resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy and the wounding of 20 other persons. The attacker, a man carrying Moroccan travel documents, hurled two grenades at a group of 40 children waiting to board a bus for summer camp.

Paris-born David Kohane, whose parents had just driven him to the Antwerp Community Center and were still present when the attack took place, was killed on the spot. Close to 20 children were wounded, 17 seriously and six of them are still in critical condition. Most of the parents, members of the Agudat Israel, and generally employed in the diamond industry, saw the attack and then helped chase the assailant. […]

A few yards away from the arrest scene, pandemonium had broken loose. Youngsters were bleeding profusely from their wounds and crying out in pain. Parents were trying to give first aid, passers-by massed in a circle and after a few minutes dozens of ambulances and police cars rushed to the site of the attack. […]

The Belgian authorities released this morning a list of some of those wounded in yesterday’s attack: Mrs. Pollak from Antwerp; Guy Koening from Israel; and Isaac Abramovich, 17; Charles Lerner, 20; Michel Grossman, 15; Jacques Uhr, 16; Willy and Marcel GJeiser, 11 and 9; Eliag Gryn, 19; Golda Ehrenfeld, 39; Heinrich Rosenblum, 15; Arnold Freifeld, 17; and Joshua Erblich, 13, all from Belgium. read more

And this is what happed to the Palestinian terrorist (JTA):

Senior government ministers seem embarrassed in the aftermath of a prisoner-for-hostages swap over the weekend that freed a Palestinian terrorist convicted of murdering a Jewish child in Antwerp 10 years ago.

Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens passed off as a coincidence the simultaneous release of Said Nasser from Leuven Prison near Brussels and the freeing of four members of the Houtekins family, who were turned over to Belgian authorities in Cairo on Saturday, after more than three years in captivity.

Nasser, said to belong to the Abu Nidal terrorist group, was swiftly removed from Belgium and reportedly also landed in Cairo.

The Jewish community is outraged by the deal, which the news media reported months ago to be pending. read more

UK Media Watch reports:

Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon penned an op-ed (Now they have come for families, July 16) on the Nice terror attack suggesting that the truck-ramming assault that claimed at least 84 lives represented the first time in the West that jihadists have targeted children.
In noting that at least 10 children were killed by the Tunisian-born terrorist, named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, Gordon makes the following point:

There is nothing more innocent than a child. Nothing. That is not to say that the deaths at the Bataclan or in Brussels were any less tragic than those that occurred on Bastille Day; or that the 84 adults who were killed on Thursday night in Nice should be grieved less than the ten children who found their lives cut short just as the holidays were beginning. It is not at all. It is simply to say that the attack in Nice has shown that nothing is sacred any more. Nothing. Men, women, children… to fanatics like Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel,  we are no more than human bowling pins. 
This September, it will be 15 years since we entered the murky world of modern terrorism: suicide bombers with scant regard for their own lives let alone anybody else’s. First they came for the businessmen and women. Then eventually they came for the young, carefree concert goers.
Now they have come for the families. For the children. Perhaps this should not be a surprise given they have been doing it for years in Syria and Iraq. But in the western world, it is a monstrous first.

However, even if we were to ignore attacks on children in Israel, Nice did not represent a monstrous “first” in the West.

In 2012, three Jewish children and one adult were murdered by a jihadist named Mohammed Merah in an attack on a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse.

read more

The New Antisemite: http://ift.tt/2a1IOYv
Mette-Marit at the Utøya memorial, 22nd July 2016

As this was quite a sombre occasion, I’ll keep this post brief. Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon were present at a moving memorial service to mark the 5th anniversary of the terror attacks in Utøya and Oslo. 

I refuse to repeat the name of the perpetrator and give him any more publicity. His crimes led to the deaths of 77 individuals in total. Most of the victims were young people at a summer camp on the island of Utøya. 55 of the 77 people who lost their lives were teenagers. 

Mette-Marit and Haakon attended a church service and then lay a wreath. The event was particularly meaningful for the Crown Princess. Her step-brother Trond Bertsen was a security officer on the island of Utøya and was killed during the attacks. He was hailed as a hero after his quick thinking saved his son’s life. Mette-Marit’s tearful displays at the memorial shortly after the attacks in 2011 touched members of the public across Europe.  

I haven’t yet identified who designed Mette-Marit’s tasteful, appropriate outfit. She wore a pink lace skirt, black stilettos, and a black lace peplum top. The Crown Princess is known as being deeply religious so her outfit respected the occasion and the setting. 

I’ll keep my copycat descriptions brief. For the top, I’ve gone with the lace peplum top which is on sale at H&M for just £7.60 ($9.99). For the skirt, I’ve chosen my usual favourite Boohoo. The Aria lace midi skirt in pink is selling for £45.75 ($60). To finish the look, I’ve chosen black pumps by Juicy Couture selling from £14 ($18).