At what point do we lose our eagerness to camp overnight on Queen Street, content with a hard sidewalk, a single portapotty, and a dream?

Ahhh, the simplicity of youth.

We hear a lot about how unmotivated and lazy Generation Y is (or is it Z now?) but on my way into work yesterday morning, I witnessed much more effort than I ever expended  for Lollapolooza tickets.  As of Monday, kids started arriving at MuchMusic headquarters on Queen Street West with tents, coolers, and chemistry homework (hey, you gotta keep busy in line, right?). Wristbands for the awards show featuring Miley Cyrus, Drake, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry will not be given out until Saturday at 8am so Much security wouldn’t allow tents to be set up until Wednesday morning.  For the diehards (mostly Bieber fans), that’s THREE chilly nights to endure on the sidewalk.

I went out on my lunch hour to chat with a few of the campers.  We already know the Why – the unexplainable exuberance of youth – but I was curious to find out How.  What I discovered is that these kids come VERY prepared.

In addition to the usual Bieber and Jonas Brothers fanzines (yes, Tiger Beat stills exists… after all, you can’t practise kissing on a computer screen), I saw lots of novels (“Jane Eyre” as well as the “Twilight” books) and a few girls were doing some cahier/livre French homework while getting some sun on their legs.  There was a circle of mani-pedi’s happening (I kind of wanted to join in – my nails are a mess!) and some ghetto blasters for those spirit-lifting singalongs when times get tough.  Most kids brought tents, tarps, sleeping bags and coolers stocked with everything from Orange Crush to pasta salad.  Pillows were carefully set up to form makeshift couches outside the tents – you know, indoor and outdoor living space is important.  I saw one enterprising young soul inflating an air mattress.  If you have to camp, camp in comfort!

I found the sight of these Tentflies very uplifting.  Who needs to drop 600k on a teeny semi a half hour streetcar ride from downtown when you can enjoy a pied-a-terre in the heart of the city?  They’re quite a spiritely bunch too so if you’re on Queen West, feel free to knock on one of their fabric doors and say “hi”.

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