Early Wednesday morning, The Mugdown discovered a mysterious letter outside of the Fish Camp office in Koldus. The note was written by an unknown author with the moniker “Wormwood,” describing a plot among Fish Camp co-chairs to “undermine the Aggie Spirit.”
The trail has run cold, and there is no indication as to who these chairs are or who “Wormwood” is. However, our Editorial Board has decided, in the interest of full faith and transparency, to publish the letter in full. The text is found below.
On the Nature of Fish Camp
My Dear Friends,
I am thrilled to see that you, after enduring years inhaling the noxious gas the Aggies call “The Aggie Spirit,” have risen to the rank of Fish Camp Co-Chairs, manipulating your way into the halls of power, with your conviction and dedication to our mission not only intact, but stronger than ever. You are all strong and faithful to our quest against the Aggie Spirit, and your skilled assimilation into A&M’s culture has kept our destructive intent hidden. Your actions over the coming weeks, as you and your partners select 24 counselors, are crucial to the success of our endeavors. Take heed of my advice, as close adherence to my recommendations will surely lead to Fish Camps that turn incoming freshman away from the allure of the Aggie Spirit.
You must avoid picking counselors who are grateful at all costs. Gratitude, whether to you, the organization, or to Texas A&M as a whole, is anathema to our goal. Grateful counselors make excited counselors; excited counselors are passionate about the mission of Fish Camp; passionate counselors will provide freshman with a good experience and cause them to believe in the hateful Aggie Spirit. Grateful counselors will be the Aggie Family for freshman—we simply cannot allow this!
Freshmen at Fish Camp must feel excluded. The rhetoric of counselors and their actions must be blatantly hypocritical, because hypocrisy creates resentment; resentment, cynicism; and cynicism drives freshmen from the Aggie Family. Your counselors should not focus on the freshmen, but are rather focus on themselves. Your camp must look inward, not outward; they must be careless, instead of caring. Above all, they must be motivated by fun and personal enjoyment, rather than a sense of responsibility or passion for service.
In order to achieve this, you must pick counselors in the shallowest ways possible. I recommend the following criteria.
Attractiveness. An attractive camp, or “face-camp,” will stir the resentment of other counselors. This resentment will cause other camps to focus less on serving freshmen and more on petty squabbling and resentment. Another beneficial side effect is your counselors becoming attracted to one another, which opens up a new rabbit hole.
Organization Involvement. Several organizations at Texas A&M, including FLOs and other social organizations, have historically had large representation in Fish Camp; thus, their current members feel entitled to Fish Camp membership. Entitlement is a powerful tool for us.
Social skills. Focus on over-the-top, outgoing counselors, no matter the quality of their character; in fact, the poorer their character, the better. A camp of extroverts will make shy freshmen feel uncomfortable and excluded; this is just what we’re looking for.
Agenda. Nothing is more destabilizing to a camp than extreme political agendas. In fact, counselors on either side of the aisle can accomplish our goal. Hardcore conservative “Saviors of Tradition” mentalities are just as destabilizing as progressive “diversity above all else” agendas.
Connections. Well-connected counselors are likely to feel more entitled, particularly second and third years. As I’ve said, this is powerful; older counselors are naturally examples to younger ones, and self-serving attitudes among your older counselors will naturally filter to the rest.
Alcohol. Your counselors must be willing to break Fish Camp’s drinking policy. Three positive outcomes could result from this. First, your camp may splinter into cliques and thus create drama. Second, you and your partner should come down on this breach in a draconian fashion, creating tensions, resentment, and discord. Third, alcohol can lead to poor decision-making. Poor choices made by your counselors can slowly chip away at the credibility of the Aggie Spirit.
Selecting counselors based on these criteria ensures a large portion of your camp will feel entitled to be there. Unfortunately, not all of your counselors will be entitled. More than likely, you will have several grateful, passionate counselors, no matter how hard you try. However, even a small dash of entitlement in a camp lays the foundation for dramatic, selfish, and inward facing camps that leave freshmen’s hearts hardened to the Aggie Spirit.
Remember, friends, nothing destroys the Aggie Spirit faster than when its supposed “protectors,” those tasked with showing it to others, act in a way contradictory to everything being an Aggie stands for. You must find people like this, and you must ensure they are members of Fish Camp 2018. Best of luck this month, and I look forward to learning of your progress.
With fond affection,