Chris Rock Wants Your Kid to Go To Camp Kick-Ass

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Chris Rock
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Last summer, we had one of those amazing moments in improvisational comedy when an uncomfortable truth becomes fodder for two extraordinarily funny people. The fact that they both happened to be wealthy parents talking about their kids was a special bonus.

Chris Rock was on Jon Stewart’s show talking about Rock’s various projects, and Stewart questioned (starting at around 3:45 in the video) whether all of this activity was merely a convenient way for Rock to avoid spending time with his family.

Rock: I just do not like these people. I don’t understand them. My kids are rich, I have nothing in common with them.


Stewart: I’m trying to figure this out. I had jobs since I was 14. My kids are rich, I don’t know how to explain it to them… It’s a different world. Maybe there should be like an Outward Bound that we put them in where it’s like “You’ve got to live like shit for a week.”


Rock: Every summer I beg my wife to put ‘em in camp in Harlem, and she won’t do it. I think my whole rich-ass neighborhood needs to go to camp in Harlem in the summer and get their lunch money taken and beat up… There’s gotta be a Camp Kick-Ass.


They never actually come right out and call their children spoiled, and maybe their children aren’t spoiled in the slightest. All these two guys seem to want — and I really think this was genuine and unscripted on their part — is to figure out a way to expose their children to people and places that are not like the people they normally hang out with and the places they normally go.

This is an interesting contrast to the approach that many parents take, shuttling kids off to Jewish camp or Latvian camp or soccer camp or music camp. Some parents now choose (and tour) camps with the same care that they evaluate colleges with (and then lobby camp directors for better food in the dining hall).

While it’s hard to find fault with wanting to cement kids’ identity and cultivate passion and skills, a little Camp Kick-Ass or something like it would probably be good for many kids. Not a literal butt-kicking, perhaps, but some kind of wildly different perspective. Have you found a way to do this with your children during at least some of the summer? And how would you build a summer like this for them if you were starting from scratch with this goal in mind?

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