When I was 13 years old, I heard about this amazing Indian summer camp in Vermont where kids lived without electricity, in Tepees, wore loincloths, and basically ran around shooting at each other with bows and arrows for 8 weeks.
I wanted to go very badly.
My parents thought it was such a good idea they said, “You pay for it, you can go.”
So I ran an ad in our local newspaper consisting of my school picture with the headline “Send This Boy to Camp” and body copy about my willingness to do any and all odd jobs for cash.
When I got home from school the day the ad first ran, my Mom presented me with a stack of phone messages. I had my choice of jobs: painting, gardening, babysitting, cleaning, car washing… You name it.
Mom and I went through all the options and finally she asked me what I wanted to do, suggesting that yard work would likely pay the best. To which I replied:
“Yard work? The hell with yard work, I want to make ads!”
That summer I learned how to make a Tepee, dance at a Pow-wow, not tip over a canoe, and get to second base with a girl.
I also learned that adverting works, and that it can, and should be, fun.