Modest is Hottest

 “Modest is hottest!” I use that phrase multiple times a day during the summer. When campers get dressed for the day in skimpy shorts or low cut tops sagging their pants to reveal their underwear or wearing a tee shirt with an offensive message at CYC they get sent back to find something else to wear.

I am terribly “un-cool” not trendy enough and “just don’t understand the way kids dress”. Unfortunately for our campers I am not seeking votes in a popularity contest and no amount of eye rolling or arguing is going to make me agree that “juicy” written across one’s rear end is appropriate camp wear.  

I recently came across a YouTube video titled “The Media’s Manipulative Influence Over Your Morals” (click here). If you have nine minutes to spare I highly recommend watching it although be aware there are some racy images throughout the video.

The average teenager spends nearly 11 hours per day consuming some form of media (tv music movies magazines or online). And the images and messages coming from the media are getting more sexual violent disrespectful and offensive as media sources fight to stand out and capture attention.

Every day I speak with prospective camper parents who are faced with the difficult task of coordinating their children’s summer schedules. I’m continually amazed by the endless options that kids have available- programs that specialize in anything you can imagine- athletics art science not to mention the summer leagues for sports school requirements and so much more that my head is starting to spin as I think about it. It has been my challenge to try to get CYC to stand out and get noticed above all of the other options and convince parents that CYC is a valuable investment.

The YouTube video talks about media not just being a source of information but that the content is shaping society. As I watched the images of scantily clad women and people fighting violently while listening to the quote “most of all [media] is shaping our children’s brains and lives and emotions” all I could think was “yikes!” I don’t like the thought of those images influencing campers as they develop and learn. But if kids are being exposed to media 11 hours a day (which is roughly 80% of the time they are awake) what can we do to counter that with positive moral messages?

You know what my answer is- Catholic Youth Camp. But this isn’t meant to be an ad for camp. I’m not trying to sell CYC; I’m trying to change the immoral discourse. “Modest is hottest” “make good choices” “respect yourself others and God” “be kind to one another” “stand out for doing the right thing not for being the most extreme”……these are the messages that we use to counter the images shown on the video. My hope is that this tiny summer camp can do its part to fight back against the bombardment of disgusting and offensive images and offer a different perspective to kids.

My hope is that parents choose CYC not because it is the flashiest best advertised program not because it is the best deal or cheapest not even because “everyone is doing it”. My hope is that parents pay attention to videos and statistics and react with outrage! THAT should not be acceptable for our children and we will do what we can to stop it together. Be unpopular when your child chooses clothes music video games or movies that are inappropriate. Use my phrase “modest is hottest” and explain what modesty means. They might roll their eyes at you but hopefully they will develop strong enough self respect that they never post half naked photos of themselves online or show up to a party with their backside hanging out. 

"CYC is a great place to have fun, make friends, and share your faith. At camp, you can make a new friend almost anywhere like during activities, around the campfire, or in your cabin. If you get homesick, you’ll have nice friends and understanding counselors to help you out. You won’t need to worry about it too much because you’ll be having fun all day. No matter where you are, fishing, swimming, or playing soccer, you’ll be having a great time. CYC rocks!" - Joe

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