shutterstock_146763233__1374431480_142.196.156.251Go through any camper’s mail, and apparently you will find elaborate systems for sneaking in junk and other forbidden items. Many camps have banned the “care-package” for a variety of reasons and some parents just aren’t having it.

From The New York Times:

In camp after camp, directors described how they had outlawed such packages after getting fed up with hypercompetitive parents sending oversize teddy bears and bathtubs of M&M’s.

And they’re not alone. Across the country, sleep-away programs of all sizes are fighting back against overzealous status-mongers.

Not taking this in stride, parents have turned to increasingly elaborate smuggling routines, from hollowing out Harry Potter books to burrowing holes in tennis balls to get their little dumplings a taste of the checkout aisle.

What a great lesson to teach your children; you don’t have to listen to authority and you can get around rules by using intricate methods of deception. Also, if anyone asks you about these packages, lie! Good job, parents.

Why would any parent absolutely need to send their child a care-package? Camps insist that the packages are usually filled with junk food. This makes children less hungry for meals, attracts vermin, and promotes jealousies amongst children who aren’t receiving them. I understand it’s nice to receive news from home, but wouldn’t kids be happy receiving letters, too? Why do we always have to give our kids “stuff” to make them happy? And if the only thing that makes them happy is “stuff,” wouldn’t they do well to be without it for a few weeks when they’re at camp?

“We get parents who call us up and say: ‘Oh, my God, my kid is in a bunk with someone who gets a care package every single day. We have to keep up.’ ”

No, you don’t. Explain to your kids that it isn’t allowed and you want to respect the rules of the camp. If we’ve come to a place where we feel like we need to bribe our kids with stuff to be happy, we’re failing big-time.

If our kids are getting jealous because someone is getting junk and they’re not, it’s a pretty good life lesson; there will always be someone who has more shit than you. I guess the earlier they learn that, the better.

(photo: dnaveh/ Shutterstock)