Tea Party summer camp brainwashing kids?

The “Tampa 912 Project” an offshoot of the Tea Party is hosting a week long seminar in Tampa, Florida about our nation’s founding principles. Three of the principles that will be taught to children between the ages of 8 and 12 are “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.”

Organizer Jeff Lukens said of the camp’s purpose “We want to impart to our children what our nation is about, and what they may or may not be told,” and that he was not familiar with public school curriculum, but what he did know is that “they have a lot of political correctness. We are a faithful people, and when you talk about natural law, you have to talk about God. When you take that out of the discussion, you miss the whole thing.”

Some of the activities are as follows:

Children will win candy to use as currency for a store, representing the gold standard. On the second day, the “banker” will issue paper money. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value. “Some of the kids will fall for it,” Lukens said. “Others kids will wise up.”

Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World). Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown, but afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.

Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other’s bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles. “What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom,” Lukens said.

“We’ve had classes for adults,” said Karen Jaroch, who chairs the Tampa 912 Project. “Now we want to introduce a younger generation to economics and history, but in a fun way.”

If successful, Jaroch and Lukens will look to run more sessions, either during the summer or after school resumes and may try to bring its curriculum to public schools during Constitution week in September.

“We definitely teach the Constitution, especially during Constitution Week,” said Linda Cobbe, a school district spokeswoman. She said the district would need to make sure the organization does not have a political agenda, and that they would need to be approved by SERVE, a nonprofit agency that clears volunteers in the schools.