This Space Camp Looks A Lot Like Fat CampCommentary • Opinion • children • ISSUE 45•24 • Jun 11, 2009 By Corey Manis Wow. I can't believe I'm really here. When I told my parents that I wanted to go to space camp, I never thought they'd actually agree. Especially not after they took me to see that doctor and he said that if I didn't lose some weight this summer I might end up getting diabetes. Mom and Dad seemed pretty concerned after that. But, hey, here I am! Ready to learn all there is to know about the stars and the comets and the universe at Planet Thin! Boy, there sure are a lot of fat kids here at space camp. Wasn't expecting that. This is going to be the best summer ever. Man, I can't wait until they let us go inside a real NASA shuttle, with all those switches for the rocket boosters and the thrusters. It's going to be so cool. Look over there! I bet that treadmill is the same kind of treadmill the real astronauts use. And that, right there, is like, maybe, the same kind of tire course that real astronauts have to run through. And um that's probably the same gym rope they all have to climb. All the kids back at school are going to be so jealous. No way are they going to keep teasing me once they find out I went to space camp and spent my summer learning all about navigating the cosmos. Hmm. The other campers don't look quite as excited. In fact, for kids who are about to spend three months making awesome robots that can fly across the surface of Mars, they look pretty miserable. I guess they just don't love outer space as much as I do. But there's probably nobody in the world who loves outer space as much as I do! That's why being here, at space camp, is a dream come true.They really do have everything. From the looks of it, I'll even get to eat like a real astronaut. These "Zone Bars" everyone's carrying must be some kind of special freeze-dried food they take into space. There's not a lot of room inside the lunar module, after all, so you need to save space. That also explains why the space camp counselors took away all my potato chips on the bus.The food pyramid posters are a little weird, though. But, I guess they kind of make sense, actually. Like, say, if you're ever stuck on some distant planet, and you need to know what's good to eat, learning about the food pyramid is probably super helpful. Yeah, that's it. That's what those posters are there for. Boy, this space camp is just the best!Uh-oh. Better stand up straight. Here come our NASA-trained camp counselors! Strange. They look a little young to have graduated from the flight academy already. And why are they wearing gym shorts and coaches whistles instead of their regulation flight suits? Come to think of it, why am I the only one who showed up wearing a flight suit?Well, at least they're carrying clipboards. I can't wait to hear them tell us about all the cool missions they've been on! And explain what jumping jacks and self-esteem-building exercises have to do with being a pilot.Hmm it looks like we have to take off our shirts. Probably just some standard NASA-protocol thing, I'm sure. Okay, that was definitely not a space thing. I mean, I can understand them taking our measurements to figure out what size space suits we need. And I can understand them passing out those weight charts, since it's pretty cool to see how much you weigh now, and how much less you're going to weigh on, like, the moon. But telling us that we need to undergo a complete lifestyle change? How does that relate to space? I'm pretty sure Mission Control didn't tell Neil Armstrong he was worrying his parents with how inactive he was. Or how all he did was play video games all day long. Or how he always turned to food when what he really needed was a friend.What kind of space camp is this anyway? Where's the high-speed centrifuge? The state-of-the-art communications center? Why is that NASA nurse testing everyone for high cholesterol? It's almost as if it's aw, crap! No, wait. It can't be. This is not what it looks like. It's space camp. That's why this gymnasium they've taken us to has a giant model of the solar system. Yes! Check it out! A giant, sprawling replica of the solar .Okay. Those are just a bunch of different colored exercise balls. Unless of course! This whole thing—the humiliating weigh-ins, the dangers-of-obesity film, the banner that reads "Get Ready to Kiss Those Pounds Goodbye"—it's all one big psychological experiment. The kind of experiment they put astronauts through to test their mental toughness. Yes, that's what this is! A test! The same test Buzz Aldrin had to take before he could walk on the moon. It all makes perfect sense now! There's no need to be worried. Just, sit down and find your inhaler .I'm at space camp. This is space camp. Space camp. It's got to be space camp.