When I opened up the Sunday New York Times over the weekend and found an article on sleep-away camps for women, I said to myself, “Finally, someone took my idea seriously.”
It was about time. I had the idea years ago when I had my first encounter with summer camp, or more accurately, when I first had to research camps for my kids after my town’s camp failed to be a viable option any longer (they tended to lose kids much like the clothes dryer tends to lose socks – you know you put both in, but one always goes missing).
Admittedly, my camp intelligence was lacking, but that day my eyes were opened to the dazzlingly diverse world of summer camp. I was mystified by the extraordinary breadth and scope of recreational activities designed to create a spectacular summer experience for kids. There was, quite possibly, a camp for every single activity on earth.
It was then I had the epiphany. Why in God’s name are we sending kids to camp instead of adults?
If anyone needs a camp, it would be us. I mean how stressful can life be for a kid? They don’t work. They don’t cook. They don’t do laundry. Or go food shopping. Or even put their dishes in the sink. They don’t have a mortgage to pay. They don’t plan for their future. And, most importantly, they don’t have kids. What on earth do they need to get away from?
Among the varied and almost limitless options unearthed by my research were a knitting camp, a tech and gaming camp, a yoga camp, a few fashion camps, several theater camps, tons of art and sports camps, and a a gifted and talented camp. Then there was a camp to learn how to shape hot molten glass; a rock-and-roll camp to teach children the important life skill of rocking out on stage; a drumming circle camp, where one can learn “earth-based beats” and chant a “root mantra;” a Tae Kwon Do camp; and a zoo camp. I think that last one is just a way for the zoo to get free pooper scoopers, though. Well, actually, you have to pay to be a pooper scooper.
But that’s not all. I also found a circus camp to train youngsters in the fine art of juggling, plate spinning and slapstick aimed at those parents who hold aspirations for their children to become circus clowns. I even discovered a Magic for Muggles camp.
I considered submitting an application to the volleyball camp I came across, but it was only offered for 5th through 8th grade girls, and while I look young for my age, I thought the counselors might catch on. I was quite bereft over the situation since my volleyball class ended for the summer, and no volleyball courses are offered for women with the skill set of 5th to 8th grade girls. Which seemed a little unfair. If you ask me, it appeared to be blatant age-discrimination.
The one camp that really caught my attention, though, was the Surf and Turf Adventure Camp. This wasn’t so much a camp as a land-based cruise ship. The camp boasted a full-fueled, action-packed summer of rafting, hiking, tubing, biking, canoeing, spelunking, and surfing. I’m pretty sure you also got to take a zip-line tour through a tropical jungle somewhere in the continental United States. And, by you, I mean your kid.
That’s what I’m talking about. Do you think I’m going to shell out $500 a week for my kids to go have all the experiences I want to have?
And, I didn’t even get to all the sleep-away camps we’re missing out on. Or were until I read the article in The New York Times. I’m just thankful someone finally saw the travesty of it all had the good sense to take me up on my idea.
Now, if I could just get two weeks to myself in the summer.
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