The American Camping Association Ruined Dating
05 July 2010
I don’t understand online dating. I have been trying it for the past couple of weeks and don’t really understand the idea behind emailing someone fifteen times prior to speaking to them in person. I know this isn’t exactly a new rant, but has all the distrust come to this? I blame all of my anger on the American Camping Association. These are the people in charge of regulating summer camps. This is an important task as many camps are run by semi-trained monkeys.
The main problem with the ACA is the lack of trust with children. The directive of this organization is to sanitize camping, to make it more structured. I bet you're wondering how this relates to internet dating, but I will get back to that. I could give you one of those, ‘when I was a kid’ stories, but instead just facts: 84% of children born after 1997, the year ACA began mass accreditations, have led less risky lives. 73.6% of children born after 2001 have had awkward social encounters, caused by a fear of risk. The most startling fact of all is a whopping 67.8% of children born after 2009 will use risk as a means of exiting a situation that could have led to excitement. These facts may not hold in court, or a reputable news source, but you get the idea.
The camping industry, led by the ACA, is growing children that are not equipped to deal with taking chances. By creating a more rigid structure in such an open bastion like a summer camp, you are taking growth experience from children. By mandating child to adult ratios, and when and where children will be at all times, you are taking away a child’s ability to learn what risk is. Yes, these chances may lead to a great amount of risk, and sometimes the results can be frightening. The cold reality is that not knowing these risks as an adult can lead to greater complications. As you may have already picked up on, I believe that children need a place where they can be free, if only for a week. Summer camp used to be that, but now, it is much more similar to school then summer.
Now back to the dating. I had a date today that went poorly, in part because of her views on risk vs rewards. If I am sitting at home there is no risk and no reward. Regardless of the risk, doing something, anything, is better than nothing. The idea that someone can not even meet at a mutual, public site, like a coffee house is kind of foreign to me. Everyone on this site has problems meeting members of the opposite sex, and is using the internet to help with it, including myself. But if you are online on a Saturday night, and we have emailed a couple of times then… really? We can’t meet? There are rules that dictate this behavior and I am firmly convinced these rules, brought forth by the rise of the ACA, will lead to this nation’s demise. Actually I don’t believe that, it just gave me an excuse to complain about a crappy date and the ACA at the same time.