When I saw the movie Jesus Camp, I was rather alarmed at the indoctrination those young people were receiving in the heartland of America–and remarked to my buddy Craig, “I’d rather go to Pioneer Camp than Jesus Camp.”
Now the Pioneers are being reinvented – more like the Nazis or Bolsheviks than the description of Pioneer Camp my Russian-and former USSR expatriates gave, which was basically the same as my (YMCA) Camp Dudley summer experience, without the mealtime prayers and Sunday morning church.
Politically motivated summer camp is a rather sharp sword to wield–young minds can be pretty impressionable, and while inculcating the values of environmental responsibility, self-reliance, community service etc. (the kinds of happy values you would associate with happy summer camp), making ‘good communists’ or ‘christian soldiers’ doesn’t sit well with me. While you should be guided in your choices (and beliefs), making robots of the youth isn’t such a good plan.