Monday, November 14, 2011

Mike Gillis GM Camp for Kids - A Brochure Review

"A camp where kids and inept teens can gather and learn how to navigate life the Mike Gillis way" - Brochure.

"Don't be an idiot. Come here and learn something." - Brochure (first draft).

I was recently going through my "fictional things" drawer and I came across a brochure for an intensive summer camp for prospective or future GM's run by Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis.

(This kid will not be kissing any girls at the camp this year. Fact.)

I was thumbing through it and I must say, it seems like it would be an informative if not slightly belittling experience for children to go through. His hard nosed approach to everything from contract negotiations to media press conferences to trades can really teach today's youth things that they can use in everyday life. I've always wondered what Mike Gillis' thought process might be like when he makes the moves that he does, and it seems this camp would be a perfect way to get that insight.

(Clearly a man eager to spend time mentoring children.)

Here are some highlights from the brochure and a few details on the six day program. The camp is located deep in the British Columbian wilderness (but still within service range of his blackberry).

July 1st - Orientation / Free-Agent-Pool fishing.

On the first day, Mr. Gillis hosts an orientation at the camp entrance. The "orientation" will consist of an eight second handshake and 11 seconds of direct eye contact. Yes, that means there will be a slight overlap of eye contact.

(Note: Parents should stay until after orientation, as many children get frightened and request to leave the camp.)

After Mr. Gillis weeds out the weak children, he takes the remaining campers fishing and shows them art of navigating the free agent pool (which is comprised of three large fish and 50 smaller, weaker ones).

He'll teach the children that you don't always have to haul in a fish because it's there and not to feel like if you don't catch one you aren't doing your job. Some fish might seem attractive, but Mr. Gillis warns that sometimes it's just a safer bet to not fish and eat hot dogs instead.

 (Joel Ward - $12 mil over 4 years? Hot dogs please!)

(Note: If your child ignores this advice, fishes in the free agent pool and pulls out one of the small fish, he will be asked to leave the camp and Mr. Gillis will be keeping your deposit).

(Ya done, Curtis! Ya done! Go home and take your Wisniewski fish with you.)

After the 6 1/2 hour fishing lesson, Mr. Gillis will select one lucky kid to make a real life NHL free agent deal from his blackberry.

(Marco Sturm. Yeah. Thanks, Eric.)

July 2nd - Canoe Trip / Crisis Management.

Mr. Gillis takes the children on an extended canoe trip. Halfway down the river he'll throw every child's paddle overboard. Mr. Gillis will then shout hypothetical scenarios to the children, such as:

"You've just lost one of your top scorers for 20 games with a lower body injury. You need to make a move to keep this canoe on track because if you falter, even slightly, people will demand you empty the boat, sink it and swim for shore. What do you do?"

(Note: Parents must sign a release waiver for their children. If they are a bunch of bandwagon fans who can't tolerate the loss of a premiere player for an extended period, Mr. Gillis will let them drown now to save him the headache in the future.)

(Note: Life jackets are only in the picture for legal reasons. There will not be life jackets.)

July 3rd - Mr. Gillis teaches the children how to mask their inner feelings and become emotionless husks. He stresses the importance of presenting a stoic front to the press, even though at times he has been known to... sound mildly agitated. Mr. Gillis will ask the children several questions repeatedly, and the child who does the best job at stonewalling him and masking how angry they are gets an eight second awkward hug from Mr. Gillis himself.

(It will be... well, what's the opposite of heartwarming? That!)

July 4th - Talent show.

(Note:  Mr. Gillis will not be in attendance.)

(Stan Smyl and Thomas Gradin will be judging. So will all the other children. Rightfully so.)

 July 5th - Mr. Gillis takes the campers deep into the woods for a scavenger hunt. Here, he teaches them the fine art of acquiring previously broken or unimpressive things in order to make shoddy crafts few people would want. If Mr. Gillis isn't able to turn a profit on these makeshift items, he will then throw them back in the woods and the wolves will get them. The Chicago Wolves to be specific.

(Could find some use for it. Also, there is a strict "no crocs" policy.)

July 6th - Mr. Gillis takes the kids to the other side of the lake where the Florida Panthers GM runs his own camp:

"The Dale Tallon GM Camp for Easily Confused Children".

 (The smartest girl at "Dale Tallon Camp".)

The children from both camps all eat lunch together, with Mr. Gillis teaching everyone the proper technique for generating trades with less adept partners.

Last year, one of the children managed to trade a meatless sandwich with day old bread to one of "Tallon's Tots" for cookies and ice cream. It was one of the proudest moments in the storied history of "Mike Gillis GM Camp for Kids" and was later used as the blueprint for the Samuelsson/Sturm - Booth/Reinprecht deal (in fairness, the ice cream was melted and the cookies were crumbled).

("Quick, put him in the freezer. He's still good! He's still good!")

The final activity for the children will be the annual "Gillis vs. Tallon Red Rover Classic" in which kids from both camps will engage in a massive game of Red Rover. Camp Gillis has never lost, as their strategy of asking Camp Tallon to send over their three strongest kids and several draft picks for future games has yet to be stopped by the Florida GM's camp management team. They'll figure it out.

(Note: No they will not.)

So come enjoy the fun (there will be minimal fun), the laughs (there will be minimal laughs) and the great outdoors (... we can guarantee that at least) at the "Mike Gillis GM Camp for Kids".

(Note: If you are really good your first few years at camp, Mr. Gillis will require you to come back for at least the next 12 years.)


Well I must say, that sounds like a pretty in depth, action packed and near emotionless six days. If this camp were real, well, I probably wouldn't send my kid there. He'd be on the wait list for "Ryan Kesler's Handsome Academy"

That's a pretty quick camp though. If you don't look enough like him you get sent home on the first day.

(There has never been a Day 2 at Ryan Kesler's Handsome Academy)

Thanks for Reading.

- jB

I am on the twitters @jbowmancouver. I will make you a deal. You follow me, and I will never say anything relevant ever again. Sound good?

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