here in the people’s republic, planning for summer camp starts as early as january. it’s absolute mayhem if you’re a working parent because you need to get your kid situated somewhere with before and after care. camps make it difficult, too, because the public school programs and the parks and rec programs and the programs at private schools and the programs at the YMCA and so on all have different signup dates.
some of them even have lotteries for the signup. you can end up signing up for three different camps on the same week only because you’re afraid you won’t get into your favorite camp with the latest date so you need to be covered just in case. it’s insane. and some camps are filled up by mid-january; no lie. i’m lucky i am working out of my home these days; the worst thing that will happen is that BC will spend a lot of quality time with me. not a problem in my book, though girlfriend might disagree at times 😉
anyway, it’s a far cry from my idyllic youth, when i attended one day camp for the entire summer. nothing glamorous; we played outside, learned to swim, did arts and crafts, and occasionally ran through the graveyard where my grandma rose was buried. (we played capture the flag in the woods, which are now covered by mcmansions; but i always managed to run through the graveyard and wave to my gram. i was a weird child, even then.) i was saddened to ride past my camp recently, only to see that it is completely overgrown, including the pool where i learned to swim and the area up to the garden state parkway (where my brother, a counselor, would sometimes threaten this one annoying boy (who shall remain nameless, though i’ve learned he continues to be annoying as a grown man) that he would throw him onto the road so he could play parkway tag (rules: if a car hits you, you’re it!) if he didn’t straighten up. good. times.
i ended up working there as a counselor once i was old enough. it was all great fun except since i was a tomboy of sorts, i always ended up taking the boys. it was great — we played soccer, softball, everything — lots of fun until they discovered the tie on my bikini top and chased me all around to try and untie it. did i mention these were good times?
anyway, i wish i could go back to camp. however, times and my abilities have changed. i have made up some new camps i would like to attend.
week 1: Wine Tasting Camp. travel around the countryside while your designated bus driver takes you to 4 wineries per day. sleep it off in charming b&bs.
weeks 2+3: Rock Band Camp. start that garage band you always wanted to be in but were too busy studying and being a good and obedient child. since CBGBs isn’t an option, pick a club of your choice and gig there.
week 4: Indy Brewery Camp. see week 1. substitute independent brewers.
week 5: Waterpark Camp. every day, visit a different waterpark, which has been reserved for campers over 30.
week 6: Spa Camp. visit some ritzy spa for a week. enjoy proper food, exercise, and pampering treatments. wave at oprah, who is leading the camp and who showers you with her favorite things of the week.
weeks 7+8: Follow Your Band Camp. pick a band you like, and follow it to different cities for two weeks, discovering the joys of various cities in between shows.
week 9: Go to California and Watch Films with the Actors Week. make it john cusack, johnny depp (not the captain hook crap, though), and robert downey, jr. week and that will suffice.
week 10: Vacation. a redundant concept, but i’m not as young as i used to be, you know. gotta rejuvenate before school starts.
are you with me?