Brat Camp 8/17/05 Recap – A Sort of Homecoming
Ahh, it’s been a long 2 weeks in between the last 2 episodes of Brat Camp, and I can hardly believe Jada hasn’t changed a bit. This is the second-to-last episode of this sometimes angry, always emotional series, so I intend to pen the ultimate recap for you all (Hello? Is there anybody still out there?). That is, obviously, until next week…that one will be the ultimate.
When last we left the brats, they all received their “earth names”, and in case you have forgotten all of them in your grief for the passing of Peter Jennings, don’t fret…the Brat Camp producers make sure you recall them by attaching the earth names to the brats’ real names when they flash those fancy graphics while one of them talks. This week, we will find out who is ready to go home, and I find myself praying to whatever power that may be that Jada is left behind. She is still a lying drama queen, and she knows it.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas???
It’s day 37 at Brat Camp—5 days before Christmas--and all of the students are anxiously awaiting word on whether they will graduate on time or not. But they do not graduate as a group…they will graduate as individuals, after the individual camper completes their own program and meets their own goals. Lexie does a sort of review of her time since first coming to Brat Camp for the whole group, telling everyone about how she simply did what she knew when she first came to camp—that being her act of the tough girl who would never let anyone take advantage of her. However, camp has taught her to believe in herself, and that she is worth something to somebody in this world.
Other students follow Lexie’s lead, and start to really open up about their issues in front of the other campers. Lauren and Nick realize their true self-worth now and have accepted why they were sent away to Sagewalk. Meanwhile, back at the Sagewalk World Headquarters, the counselors review each and every student and what they have each accomplished, what they still need to accomplish, or whether or not they are ready to go home. Most students will not be going home for Christmas, and I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that Jada is one of those being held back. She just doesn’t know what the counselors want from her (which is exactly her problem…they don’t want an act, Jada, the want real change). Others that will not be going home include: Isaiah, who still has a few anger issues to deal with; Lauren, who needs to give her grief a little more time (she embraces the idea, realizing she herself is more important than a holiday with her family); Derek, who needs more time to learn to focus and actually go the distance: Frank, who clearly has a lot of anger issues to deal with (he argues with just about everyone in the camp), and still won’t allow himself to be close with people; Shawn, who is told that the counselors want to take the time to get him on track.
Around the campfire, the “angry” students—namely Isaiah and Frank—cause more problems by fighting with other students. There is definitely tension within the group, which the counselors believe to be good, because the campers get their emotions on the table and deal with them, instead of repressing them. A fight with someone else ends up being a fight with themselves.
That night, in order to relieve some of the tensions and let the negative emotions be released, some of the camper’s will take part in a very intense type of therapy known as the Empty Chair exercise. The selected students will sit in one chair, opposite an empty chair, and have the opportunity to unload openly on whoever or whatever in their lives is causing them pain. Shawn is first, and he talks to his birth mother, from who he wishes he had some answers as to why she didn’t keep him. He sometimes wishes he had never been born. Lauren goes next, and she sits her father in the empty chair. She tells him how much she misses him since he died 6 years ago. She often feels abandoned by God and by her father, but she loves him very much. Heather goes next, and chooses to speak with her biological mother, who has been in a drug induced coma for the last 14 years. (Whoa!!) Heather really delves deep into her problems, telling her mom that it seems like she loved drugs more than her son and daughter. Heather vows to learn from her biological mom’s bad behavior and quit doing drugs and take life seriously. Finally, Lexie sits down in the chair, and talks with the man who molested her. The tears are flowing as Lexie confronts this person who had so much power over her for so long. She often felt it was her fault for what happened to her, but not anymore…she knows what she is worth now, and relinquishes all power from the half-human who molested her.
Home, Sweet Home
The next day, there are actually some students who ARE going to get home by Christmas. Lexie, Heather, and even Nick—after some hard last minute work to meet the goals of his program—will be heading home for the holidays. Their parents are brought out to the campsite, with Heather’s parents arriving first. Her parent’s are extremely proud of what she has accomplished out in the wilderness, and of course Heather is extremely happy to see them, even though she will be leaving for boarding school after the holidays. Next, Lexie’s parents show up to hugs and cries from their daughter. They mostly just hug, with mom noting how buff Lexie has become on the diet of oatmeal and hiking. Finally, Boulder pulls Nick aside and asks him if he is sure he is ready to graduate. A big smile shows up on his face as he is told to go meet up with his family. His mom has missed him the most, admitting that not having him around has been really hard. His father and brother are there too, and hug him hard and long since he has been gone so long.
All of the graduating brat’s are gathered together with all of the visiting families, and the parent’s or family of each graduate get a chance to tell the group how proud they are of their particular child. The emotions are gushing forth, as everyone has a giant love fest and each child realizes how much they used to take for granted with their families. Lexie’s parents are very happy to finally have their Lexie back, and have her start to get over the horror of her past. Each graduate gets a flashback scene as to where they started, where their journey took them over the past 40 days, and where they are right now.
And Then There Were Six
Since the graduates have all left camp with their families, there are now only 6 brats left at Brat Camp. Each remaining student reviews their feelings on not getting to go home for Christmas, and it is all too apparent why those that are left behind are still there…they all seem to not be taking this experience as seriously as they should be.
On The Finale of Brat Camp
Next week, the remaining Brats face more physical challenges, as they camp over Christmas. Jada breaks down….again, and the students start to graduate.
Want to know what’s on my Christmas list? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org