Summertime and the livin' is quesy
I personally never went to Summer Camp. I don't think. I mean, I know for sure that I never went to sleep-away camp. I'm not really sure how I spent my summers when I was a kid. Roller skating and playing "Little House on the Prairie" and begging my mom to take us to the pool, I imagine.
My Kid used to go to summer camps when I was working full time and he was younger. I think it's been two summers since he's gone. He went to the general day camps that are full of activities and swimming and games and field trips and then I think he did a couple of weeks here and there of specialized camps - sports mostly but there was one summer when he did a couple weeks at the zoo.
The general camps got old to him after a while. They were fun enough, but it kind of sucked that he still had to get up early and be gone all day when he was supposed to be on summer vacay.
A couple years ago we began letting him stay home in the summer. We'd moved out to the suburbs, so there were kids around, it was safe, plenty of moms stayed home. Big Daddy was working partly from home. We got My Kid a cell phone and stayed in close contact with him.
But now it seems like even that is wearing thin. I already hear him complaining about being bored on the weekends. In a perfect world, all the kids on the cove would be home every day and they would play baseball and swim and when it got too too hot they'd come in where it's air conditioned and play XBox.
But a lot of the boys on the street play competitive baseball, so they're not around a lot. And that one boy, seems like he's always on restriction for one thing or another.
The local paper has a huge database of all the local summer camps. I hinted to him that maybe a week here or there would take the edge off the summer boredom. Now that I'm not working, a lot more options would be open to him, because a lot of them are like 11-4 or noon to 3. He blew me off like some kind of pre-teenager.
I looked through the list today, thinking there might be SOMETHING that could sway him. But they're all so sucky. Every single camp falls under one of these categories:
1. Sports (baseball, soccer, basketball, and a few volleyball thrown in for good measure)
2. Crafts (may be fun if you're SIX)
3. Fairy princess/ballet/dance/hip-hop/cheer (LOTS of these)
4. Horseback riding
5. Geeky clubs (chess, computer - stuff he likes, but NOT stuff he wants to sit with a group and participate in for even one week)
6. Photo/Video production (which would be cool, but the ages are like 6-12.)
7. Nature camps (see "Crafts" above)
Where are all the camps for 12- to 14-year-old boys?? Where are the camps where you play laser tag all day, or learn to do ollies on your skateboard, or battle other kids in NCAA March Madness 2005?? Sheesh. My Kid is facing the black hole of summer vacation and none of the marketers seem to be noticing. Am I on to something here?