Understanding How The Germans Felt In Hogan’s Heroes
If truth be told, I spent the first day dodging bullets. Metaphorically, not literally. But I knew the success or failure of my mission as a chaperon would largely depend on two things.
And my ability to define success in such a way that I couldn’t fail.
It’s really the secret to life. Don’t’ let Tony Robbins tell you otherwise.
So let me tell you how I did that in a bit. First, after barely surviving the march to the camp, we all met the camp counsellors – not a one of whom actually looked like Bill Murray (massive disappointment to be honest,) and they told us we were going to have a lot of fun. Then we were sent to our cabins to unpack.
The cabins had been assigned ahead of time – 4 boys cabins and 4 girls, the latter on a small rise sitting above the camp. It looked like something out of Hogan’s Heroes minus the barbed wire and armed guards.
But the cabins were fine. The kids would sleep in bunk beds, the adult in a very vulnerable bed near the door (which I couldn’t decide was because we were supposed to make sure no one got out or to ensure we could run away at any moment.)
The teachers had done their best to put friends together in the same cabin. The cabin’s occupants ranged from one full of easy-to-manage kids to one where William Golding would have gotten his idea for Lord of the Flies, to one cabin filled with Hogan Hero-like kids.
Luck was on my side as the teachers must have looked at me and thought, no way we’re putting Sgt Schultz in charge of Hogan’s Heroes (or the Lord of the Flies kids). Instead they gave me the beginner’s cabin, the easy-to-manage one, the one with training wheels.
Thank God. I would have been shouting HOGAN!!!! At the top of my lungs for the whole time if they’d given me any other cabin.
Our cabin quickly unpacked and readied for the day’s adventures. As stated, there would be 5 trials of Hercules. Archery. Canoeing. Navigating. Forest Treasure Hunting. Firestarting. The kids were divided up into five groups, mixing the cabins together for a more interesting social experiment.
And here’s where I’m a genius. That’s right, a genius.
When my parent-buddy joined me (yes, it takes at least 2 to properly keep an eye on everyone though I’d argue that 10 would be a more appropriate number of parents needed for 12 kids), anyway, when my parent-buddy joined me, I stated that my goal was simple.
Bring them all back alive.
No one sucks out poisonous tree sap. No one drowns on my watch. No one gets shot in the head with an arrow. No one is set on fire. No one gets lost in the woods and eaten by badgers.
Easy, right? Set the goal so low that’s it totally achievable.
Bring them all back alive.
Of course, this whole brilliant idea had only one flaw – the kids seemed to have other ideas.