We see them every day on reality television, dating websites, and job interviews.
They’re comedians, musicians, artists and writers. They sing, they dance. And they have a dream – which usually involves being rich and/or famous.
They’re America’s young adults: confident, proud, cocky. Full of spirit and ambition. Eager get out there and show the world what they’ve got. And yet they’re mediocre, witless, and untalented.
Where do these young men and women get what it takes to overcome that reality and put themselves center stage with so little to back them up? Where do concepts like “aptitude”, “intelligence” and “paying one’s dues” find themselves smothered to death by a big duvet of denial?
Camp Falsehopes, for Unpromising Teens. That’s where.
Founded in 1964 by Dr. Angus Delton, Camp Falsehopes was one of the first places of its kind – a pioneer in the field of adolescent deniology coupled with praise therapy. What began in the back room of a dental office quickly expanded to accommodate a growing influx of bleak and incompetent young adults. Not long after its founding, it became obvious how badly America had needed such a place. A place where kids wouldn’t be asked to practice, study, or not eat eight pounds of bacon. A place that wasn’t afraid to tell them just how incredibly awesome they were, over and over and over again. A place where coddling wasn’t just for eggs, but for children – beginning mere moments out of the womb and ending right around the time they try to join the workforce.
For unremarkable young American men and women, Camp Falsehopes is the answer.
Our graduates are regularly in the public eye. Perhaps you’ve noticed them on American Idol, or heard them thinking they’re going to enter the workforce at $150,000 a year. Maybe you’ve accidentally stumbled on to their back-room comedy show which they believe to be absolutely hilarious.
At Camp Falsehopes, our mission is simple: Reward every single child with an endless stream of praise so that they develop an overwhelming confidence and sense of ability. Equip an entire generation with the can-do attitude that outshines the dim realities that they might find troubling. Make sure every child knows we’re all equally smart, attractive and share the same unlimited potential. Simply wanting to succeed is enough. Effort and ability should never be part of the entitlement equation – and at Camp Falsehopes, they never are.
You are the smartest, most talented, most beautiful young man or woman to ever grace us with your presence. You poop gold.
Some Of Our Methods:
– Showering your amazing child with morale-building praise.
– Setting easily-attainable standards of excellence.
– Making criticism as unheard of as marital fidelity in Paris.
– Mandating every eighth word should be a variation of “wonderful.”
– Blaming all negatives on outside forces, like mean people or l’ailment du jour.
Some Of Our Classes:
You Are Brilliant! The purpose of this class is to give everyone the confidence they need to form opinions and make declarations – but without the awkwardness of encountering dissent. Kids who attend You Are Brilliant! have all the answers, and quite frequently choose to take the follow-up class: My Great, Unchallenged Idea.
Stop Dreaming And Start Being. Want to be a great singer who should be famous? You are! That’s the message our kids leave after taking this class. All performances receive incredible amounts of applause, giving even the most tone-deaf aspiring star the gusto he or she needs to make their case in front of 38 million people on American Idol.
That’s Not How I See It. Students taking this class will learn how to deal with criticism from all the nasty critics of the world with phrases like “You’re wrong!”, “My mom says otherwise” and “I disagree!”
Matchcrafting. Students learn how to ramp-up their online dating experience by creatively redefining the meanings of “slim” , “intelligent” and “very attractive.”
Yet Another Comedy Troupe. No one’s funnier than you are. Practice your act in front of an audience of supportive, like-minded peers before letting the world see your hilarious mocking of the Normandy invasion and your signature “Grandma’s Menstruating Again!” sketch. (Kudos to alumnus Jimmy Fallon, regular breacher of the fourth wall.)
Blame Dynamics. Being able to quickly assign blame for one’s faults is of paramount importance. Students learn how and when to attribute problems to Attention-Deficit Disorder, Dyslexia and jealous others who don’t want them to succeed.
Some Of Our Facilities:
We have a wide range of outdoor activities designed in the spirit of encouragement through the removal of needless challenge. Our archery targets feature a four-foot wide bullseye.
The swimming pool is 14 feet long, but labeled as “Olympic Sized” so as to give the impression of achievement. The water is heavily salted, giving even the largest boy or girl the buoyancy of a physically adept, professional swimmer. Public address speakers are hidden in the stands and play a continuous loop of encouraging cheers.
The prestigious Camp Falsehopes Hall of Fame features every single young adult to ever attend Camp Falsehopes.
Our state-of-the-art auditorium features a Jennifer Lopez 500X Audio Processing System that will make your son or daughter sound like a million-dollar contract.
Pollux the Pony is arthritic and practically immobile, giving all students a chance to easily mount and ride him. Being able to mount and ride a pony makes kids feel good – like they could run a Fortune 500 company with a 1.9 GPA from Sparkplugs University.
Our cafeteria staff will call you gorgeous even if you choose to externalize inner sadness with muffins.
Some Of Our Key Staff:
Margaret Heyberry founded F Stands For Future, a grass-roots group which successfully removed grading from schools because of its tendency to hurt feelings and make kids feel uncomfortable. Thanks to her achievements, all K-12 students nationwide pass with flying colors and get a giraffe sticker.
Paula Abdul could find something nice to say about Hitler. “You tried real hard, good for you!” she’d say, “You have the spirit it takes to succeed and I love you for it!”
Brendan LaPierre was one of the first young adults to attend Camp Falsehopes, and he liked it so much he stayed for good! He is working on his fifteenth novel and expects it to be published as soon as he finds an agent who recognizes his genius.
Duncan Lynde coaches our baseball team. Everyone who returns to the dugout receives a victory hug regardless of their on-field performance. He eliminated humiliating “shirts vs. skins” competitions and now everyone wears a flattering olive poncho.
Victoria Shoutingwolf is an angry Native American and everything she writes is great and meaningful as a result.
James Blunt performs his hit song “You’re Beautiful” constantly, only stopping for bathroom breaks and yogurt.
Camp Falsehopes has dramatically changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of American teens, why not yours?
Camp Falsehopes is not responsible for anything that happens off camp grounds.
Dear God, did that EVER need to be said. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
What the hell?
Maybe it’s age creeping up on me, but after the intial laughter came increasing anger at the sad truth of what you have written. Yikes.
I graduated from camp Falsehope and let me tell you-your’re wrong! Just b/c Simon,Randy and Paula used words like appalling and hideous doesn’t make them “right.” My mom AND my counselors have informed me no less than 100,000 times that my voice is unique. I know I’m brilliant b/c for the last 20 yrs camp Falsehope has been telling me I am.
SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER:
All public high school students receive a full scholarship to Camp Falsehopes. Ask your school counselor for details!
So that’s where my sister-in-law learned to celebrate her children’s mediocrity! It’s all becoming so clear…
Ah, sadly true. All except for a minor picky detail. Fat people are actually far more bouyant than athletic people. Fat, not unlike false hope, floats. Unsalt your pool, you fool.
Wow, what kind of white-gloved perfectionist am I? I can’t just enjoy the satire. No, gotta pick it apart.
[ I’m switching to poo jokes. Those folks are less picky. -B.]
Are you sure it isn’t Spark-Plugz U?
Kudos on a great piece!
Do Camp Falsehopes students attend field trips to the American Idol tryouts?
Great post, but yo, Grammar Cop: Jimmy Fallon is an alumnus, not an alumni.
You didn’t expect unadulterated praise after that post, did you?
[ Nuts. Damn Latin. Corrected. -B. ]
A brilliant, inspired post. But you already knew that.
I found this rebuttal to your posting online- pretty interesting, sir. Pretty interesting indeed..
“While accurately portraying our camp as an institution that facilitates confidence and self-discovery, Mr. Sack has taken a few liberties in his piece that must be addressed, in order to keep Dr. Delton’s initial vision alive. First, it should be noted that we have never encouraged any of our campers to eat eight pounds of bacon. There are a wide variety of meats to choose from at any given meal, not to mention any number of Boca and Morning Star products for the health conscious. Second, it’s an Olimpic sized pool. There were some trademark issues. While these are minor inaccuracies, it would be advisable to Mr. Sack, if only for the sake of his readers, to research his topics a bit more thoroughly before sending them to press. However, it should also be known that everything he writes is infallible genius, and should be praised and lauded by everyone.”
Dr. Frederick Gustafson, General Director: Camp Falsehopes, 1987-present.
Finally, a definitive of why I taught. How sacred is this philosophy. How reaffirming to know that 30 was not in vain! EVERY child can be brilliant, successful, talented and find recognition on Reality TV. I am vindicated for my views. Thank you. I only wish you had been ‘around’when my beliefs were being mocked. :Onward and yupward with the arts”
This has nothing to do with the camp falsehope posting,but can you please do a piece on the dick cheney accidental shooting? I know that you would be able to come up with something truly spectacular!
You are truly the funniest man alive; as well as lovable, handsome and swell. Your children are golden and your wife is stardust. In heaven, your first name is a hymn, your middle name a psalm.
I am so glad we met here at Camp Falsehopes and I know we’ll talk more after I secure my position as major label record producer and Weider spokesperson.
Wasn’t this way better than Camp Bringing Mommy the Smirnoff’s; “Uncle” Mark is Coming Over Tonight So Play In Your Room Quiet?
All the best, and I mean all (excluding the quantity of best I will require).
Am off to take a dump. Ka-ching.
It’s a good thing you and I don’t fall into the “America’s Young Adults” category. Everyone would still be wearing parachute pants.
Happy Valentines Day, Old Fart.
Actually, you were right about salting the pool. Think of the Dead Sea. Nobody sinks in a body of water that is saturated with salt.
Does anyone actually have to pay for Falsehopes or does everyone assume someone else will pay for them? Is everyone on an athletic scholarship? Id assume so. Then again maybe Falsehopes will take a percentage of their NBA/record/acting contract as payment.
Very nice post that gets at a real delusion at work with young people today, I mean it- except for the fact that dyslexia and ADHD really do cause a lot of problems for those who have one or the both. Obviously, like anything else, parents, teachers, and kids can blame those problems when really the cause is just the kid’s or their own failures. I agree that this happens often. However, they are real diorders that can easily hold kids back and/or make it harder for them to thrive in a traditional environment. (Perhaps that they are over-scapegoated is all that you are pointing out, in which case I apologize for preaching to the choir. I couldn’t tell your exact sentiment from this post, though.) Maybe you have one of these disorders, in which case I apologize for my assumption, but it sounds like you are speaking from the privilege of one who has not had to deal with dyslexia or ADHD.
[ Doctors diagnosed me with ADHD in 1972, long before it was trendy. My mother refused to let them use Ritalin on me, for which I’m eternally grateful. The diagnosis is all too often an excuse for bad behavior and lazy parenting. -B. ]