Thanks to the recent announcement that this coming May Long Weekend is going to be a booze-free one in provincial parks, it has come to my attention, that although I may not act like a grown-up, I'm sure starting to think like one, and I may be well on my way to being a crusty old woman who sits on her front porch and threatens teenagers with a shot gun.
Having grown up in and around a provincial park, and being fortunate enough to have my dad run the campground for many years, I think that I see both sides of this issue quite clearly. When I first saw the headline in the paper this weekend, I was shocked, and a bit pissed, because being an avid camper, I know that really, camping is generally a time to relax, eat burned hotdogs and wash them down with a few gallons of beer; and that's just breakfast. However, it didn't take me long to stop and think about the decision and why it was made, and I've got to admit, they have got to do something about the problem, if only just to save a few trees and picnic tables from their impending destruction.
Having been an obnoxious, but outdoorsy, teenager myself, I am well aware that for anyone under the age of 21, May Long Weekend is a time for mayhem, celebrating graduation, drinking yourself stupid, and destroying nature. Of course, not all kids do this.....one bad apple usually spoils the bunch. Over the past few years though, it has been getting worse. Really, it has been! Come Victoria Day, the local news is flooded with stories about under-age drinkers starting picnic table fires, driving drunk, disrupting everyone else's well deserved weekend off, what have you. For those of you who grew up with me, you know we weren't angels, but come now, how much trouble could we get in, with all the fish cops keeping an eye on us 24/7? Plus, we knew that if we fucked up royally, when we got home, our parents were sitting there, ready with a good lecture and a punishment. So for the most part, we tried to be as good as a bunch of loud teenagers could be, and we weren't bad apples, even though most adults just assumed we were. I actually think that our group of hooligan's should have been given a little bit more leeway....so the C.O's could go and get the few bad apples BEFORE they tried to burn down the park. Hey, I would bitch and complain, but I also feel that I lived and learned.
As a legal adult, I realize that this weekend, unfortunatly, is about the kids. I also realize that alot of adults are really bummed out about this new law. Families and groups of 20 and 30-somethings look forward to that first weekend of camping, and they aren't perfect either. But for the most part, the old folks really do just sit back and have a couple of cold ones, and wind down after a long winter of working their asses off. It's unfortunate that they won't be able to do that this year, or if they do, they're going to have to act like teenagers and be sneaky about it.
We all just have to remember that this is just an experiment, just like every other crazy idea The Man has come up with in long weekends past to curb crime, and it's only for this one weekend. They realize that it won't stop everyone from drinking, as the kids that really want to camp will just get drunk elsewhere before heading back to their campsite, and all the adults will just become creative and sit around the campfire and drink their booze out of travel mugs. But I can guarantee you , that with all the adults being on high-alert and not wanting to get in trouble, the C.O's will have more time to worry about the ones who are starting the mayhem and getting into trouble. They aren't going to worry about the rest of you all that much. It's just an attempted preventative measure, and I give them credit for trying.
But my question to all of you May Long campers is.....why the hell are you going camping anyways? It's either going to rain or snow, just like every other year. I'm too fragile and wimpy to camp in the snow, so I'm hopefully going to clean the yard, have some beers down at The Pub in the brief afternoon sunshine, and save all my camping energy for Canada Day, when I won't have to worry about flashing back to my teenage years, worrying about whether or not the fish cops are going to show up and confiscate my booze.
.........And speaking of confiscated booze.....I am 99% sure that when my beer didn't get dumped out on the street in front of me, it was drank right in front of me at the annual staff party at my parent's place, or other gatherings over the summer. Good one guys, real funny. Jerks. :)