Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tea Party Creates a Summer Camp

I found this story through the Washington Monthly, and I just can't believe it. The original source story is through

TAMPA — Here's another option now that the kids are out of school: a weeklong seminar about our nation's founding principles, courtesy of the Tampa 912 Project.

The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include "America is good," "I believe in God," and "I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."

Organized by conservative writer Jeff Lukens and staffed by volunteers from the 912 Project, Tampa Liberty School will meet every morning July 11-15 in borrowed space at the Paideia Christian school in Temple Terrace.

"We want to impart to our children what our nation is about, and what they may or may not be told," Lukens said.

A Tea Party summer camp? Is this for real? To me, this camp feels like a way for Lukens to shove his ideology down young children's' throats, rather than allow the children to find their own way, and develop their own political philosophy. I mean, Government cannot force me to be charitable? I can assure you that when I was around 8 to 12, I was more interested in playing "Cops and Robbers," or "Army men," rather than spouting how government is forcing me to be more charitable.

But wait, there is more:

Tampa Liberty is modeled after vacation Bible schools, which use fun, hands-on activities to deliver Christian messages.

One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the "banker" will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.

"Some of the kids will fall for it," Lukens said. "Others kids will wise up."

Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).

Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.

Still another example: Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other's bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.

"What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom," Lukens said.

The more I read this, the more I'm starting to think about another "political" summer camp that was started in the 1930s:

Are the conservatives starting to get that crazy?

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