Notes on Camp

Last week, Occupy Wall Street finally made its foray into the boroughs by way of a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. The night before the march, we happened to run into Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz last week and he had some choice words for the group. “I think that they have made their point, and now it’s time to go home and work,” he told The Transom at an event for a charity he started. “If you just stay at that location, Zuccotti Park, you are meaningless. You’re doing nothing for anyone. Go to work! You’re not going to change America staying in that park. That’s it,” Mr. Markowitz said, growing increasingly agitated as he discussed the issue.

His blood pressure was significantly lower, however, when discussing an issue nearer and dearer to his heart: Camp Brooklyn.  In 2002, Mr. Markowitz founded “Camp Brooklyn,” a charity that takes kids from low-income families to sleep-away camp. Mr. Markowitz says the program provides the kids with guidance and much needed discipline. “Sleep-away camp gives a child a whole different perspective, gets them out of the center city, out in the open air, under adult supervision, that won’t take nonsense from them,” he said.

The Brooklyn borough president expressed concerns about the pressures facing Brooklyn’s youth. “Today the incentives and the inducements to follow a life that is not productive are so many more than when I was a boy. We didn’t know about drugs. Believe me when I tell you, we didn’t know about internet, there was none.” We believe you, Mr. Markowitz.

In short, his position on camping is as follows: Camping in parks, bad. Camping in suburbs, OK.  Camping when you’re an underprivileged kid, OK.  Camping when you’re an underprivileged adult, bad.