Burrard Toastmasters
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Camping: The De-evolution of The Human Race

Winning speech, 2005-2006 Club Humourous Speech Contest
Winning speech, 2005-2006 Area 71 Humourous Speech Contest
By Brad Zaytsoff

Good evening fellow Toastmasters, welcome guests, and most brilliant impartial judges.

In my speech this evening I posit the argument that the popular past-time, camping, is not a wholesome and healthy leisure pursuit, but an act that stymies maturation, is counter-evolutionary and a slap in the face to those who have provided us with the innovations that have helped humankind move beyond the dark ages. 

Humans are an innovative species. We have made many discoveries which have shaped and improved the way we live today, 5 of which I will elaborate on here. 

  1. Fire - Many a millennia ago, man discovered fire. First used by people for keeping warm, cooking food, and occasionally, each other. 
  2. The wheel - Which has helped with transport and makes the car chase far more exciting. 
  3. Money - Allows us to place a value on goods and services. Now when I want a cappuccino from Starbucks, I don't need to carry a chicken in my pocket to exchange for it.
  4. Electricity - Now we can see when it's dark, and keep beer cold in hot weather.
  5. Cable television - With cable television, we are free to choose beyond the conventional and inane type of programming created by the geniuses behind the Simple Life, Jerry Springer and Fox News.

Now, to build upon this, man has taken these discoveries and created the home - a place where all these comforts converge. A place where one can sit and be warmed by fire, have a drink cart wheeled out to them, where beer, that was purchased with money, and kept cold by electricity, can be drunk while watching a hockey game on cable television? Isn't this nice - I think so.

So why, when man has strived to create such perfection - when he has evolved beyond bashing dinner on the head only to eat it raw, does he choose - I repeat - choose to leave his comforts only to be sitting outside, cold, with warm beer, and no hockey?

This, my fellow Toastmasters, guests and brilliant judges, is camping.

These campers, or masochists, purposely set out to make themselves as uncomfortable as possible. They physically remove themselves from a safe, warm, environment (that had cable television), to be amongst bloodsucking insects and large, carnivorous, animals. Just within the realm of parks BC there are 11,075, mosquito rich, campsites and 2,767 kilometers of torturous hiking trails. From these numbers, you can see that this, ascetic, movement is strong. 

Now why is this a problem? There are many reasons, though due to time constraints, I will limit myself to three. 

  1. Camping does not let people mature past childhood.

    There is a proper time for camping - and that time is between the ages of 8-13. For a child to not necessarily wash their hands after relieving themselves or to go a week without bathing is expected. But what are we to make of an adult exhibiting these characteristics? 

    St. Paul, in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, 13:11 said, "When I became a man, I put away childish things." He did not say "When I became a man, I put away childish things and bought more elaborate and expensive childish things from Mountain Equipment Co-op." 
  2. Camping is counter-evolutionary.

    Ancient Greek philosophers such as Anaximander postulated the development of life from non-life and the evolutionary ascent of man from animal. How confused would Anaximander be to discover now we're trying to go back? We have worked long and hard to get to the top of the food-chain, and now many are intentionally climbing down the links. If you disagree, go camping and ask a grizzly. I'm sure he'll explain it a lot more effectively than I. 
  3. As per my earlier points, camping makes light, and offers no appreciation of evolutionary discoveries.
  • There is no electricity to run cable television
  • money does no good (try to buy some berries from a grizzly)
  • wheels - no, heavy items are transported on the back, making one unstable and top-heavy (which the grizzly thinks is just fine)
  • finally, due to the current campfire ban, even fire is lost in this folly.

To conclude - It is generally accepted (and by that I mean I read it somewhere on the Internet) that "evolution" is the process by which an organism becomes more sophisticated over time. Camping? More sophisticated? Certainly not. 

So why is it, that I keep going? 

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