Jan. 1, 2013 -- Somewhere, Texas --
Retired Marine Master Sergeant Jasper Sweet today announced the opening of his ninth Peak Oil Boot Camp - this one in Somewhere, Texas. During the opening ceremony, Master Sergeant Sweet spoke about his calling to open the Camps. "After thirty-two years serving my country, I realized America needed people every bit as tough as soldiers - she needed farmers. And by God, I'm going to give them to her, even if I have to wipe the snot off the nose of every last pansy-a$$ juvenile delinquent in Texas."
Parents send their frequently over-priveleged, occasionally criminal, teenagers to the camps to learn specific skills such as growing food, scavenging parts, first-aid care, and baking bread, along with fundamentals like hard work, cooperation, and planning. They pay handsomely for the service, which boasts a success rate of 93% felony-free graduates three years after completing the program.
John Franks, a mid-level manager from Connecticut, confided, "I knew my son needed to learn a few things when I realized he was afraid of earthworms. And roly-polys. Maybe this camp will toughen him up a bit - right now, the only callus he's ever had is from gripping his Wii too tightly."
During the four-month program, camp attendees build a passive-solar house, plant a fruit and nut orchard, start and maintain a garden, and learn how to jerry-rig everything from washing machines to windmill-powered battery systems to blenders. POBC recruits rise at 6 a.m., practice calisthenics and strength training, attend classes and work, clean camp, and go to bed at 10 p.m., after a dinner grown and cooked by recruits on-site. Until the first group house is completed, the group sleeps on the ground outside, huddling together like puppies for warmth.
Drill Sergeant Eric Harrison, who teaches in Camp Wakeup, Alabama, discussed the content of the intensive permaculture, organic agriculture and perennial polyculture courses studied by all recruits. "Pesticides? Herbicides? If you know anything about peak oil, you know that $#it ain't going to be around in twenty years. Besides, until I see some Monsanto m#$%&*%^$#&s swig a big gulp of that $#it they're selling, I'm not spraying it on food eaten by my kids."
Scholarship graduates of the camp, which includes room, board, and health care, spend two years of service working to build community gardens, mini-farms, and community centers in cities across the country - all of which are prepared to weather blackouts, tornadoes, ice storms, heat waves, oil shocks, currency devaluations, hyperinflation, economic collapse, and hell or high water.
"You've got a lot of sheep out there still living in denial," said MSgt. Sweet. "They're still clutching their entitlements, their comforts, their cushy jobs where they sit on their a$$es all day. What are they going to do when the $#it hits the fan and sprays all over their comfy assumptions? Come running for help, that's what, and we've got to be prepared to give it to them. Because this is America, by God, and I'm not going to stand by and watch three-year olds starving in the streets."
While some criticize Sgt. Sweet for his take-no-prisoners style and particularly foul mouth, Boot Camp graduates stand by their founder with pride. Murphy Bryant spoke from her office in Virginia, where she recently opened a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. "Three years ago, I didn't know an artichoke from an...um, armpit. I was clueless in every sense of the word. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I couldn't even spend half an hour away from my iPhone without withdrawal. Now, I can plant an acre of fava beans without breaking a sweat, harness ten different kinds of power, organize a crew of forty farmworkers, and bandage a tractor wound."
Ms. Bryant concluded, "And maybe most importantly, I CAN handle the truth."