THE BLOG
05/05/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Summer Fun All Kids Deserve

As winter slowly loosens its grip around the country,
many parents suddenly experience a chilling realization: It's already time
to think about summer camp for the kids.

The selection process demands an early start. Sifting through all the
options can take weeks. Long ago summer camp stopped being a place for just
hiking and roasting marshmallows. Newspapers and magazines are now filled
with ads for camps that specialize in drama, computer science, horsemanship,
weight loss, languages, music, and many other academic and recreational
pursuits.

In spite of these diverse opportunities, it seems to me that numerous
compelling aspects of modern culture are being ignored by camp operators. So
I'm offering four suggestions to fill the void. Each has the potential to be
immensely popular and profitable.

UP ALL NIGHT Camp. Leave the sunscreen at home while you enjoy the
dusk-to-dawn lifestyle that every child dreams about! Digitally compressed cable
TV system brings the universe of bad movies and endless infomercials into
every cabin. Media center features live video feeds from nocturnal hot spots
such as Planet Hollywood, the Nikkei Exchange, and FedEx headquarters. Play
midnight basketball, then listen to music until dawn at the blues cafe.
Upon returning home, campers should allow two weeks for circadian rhythms to regain normal orientation.

TV ANCHOR Camp. Have fun while building self-esteem and a favorable
Q-rating. Expert consultants and scientifically selected focus groups will
help you develop effective speech patterns, authoritative body language, and
photogenic hair styles. TelePrompTer workshops expand vocabulary skills and
heighten the appearance of intelligence. Our guiding philosophy: If you can
fake sincerity, you've got it made!


CONSPIRACY Camp. The truth is out here, at our remote mountain hideaway. A
dedicated staff of former government security officials provides new
information on the Roswell saucer crash cover-up, electrical secrets of Nicola
Tesla, suppression of the Tucker automobile, and Men in Black. Is the World
Bank financing cities on Mars? What really happened to Judge Crater? We
have the stories you won't hear from the mainstream media or your parents.
That is, if they really ARE your parents.

60's Camp. Time to get up close and personal with the do-your-own-thing
decade! No schedules here, just freewheeling spontaneity. Stare at blades of
grass while discussing significant passages from Love Story, Stranger in a
Strange Land, or anything by Herman Hesse. Cover a friend with body paint,
debate the existence of truth and beauty, then jump on the karaoke stage and
belt out "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." It's a kaleidoscope of sensory
experiences, one prolonged, uninterrupted Be-In. Parents should not ask for
specific recollections afterward. As the saying goes, anyone who says they
remember 60's Camp wasn't really there.

As winter slowly loosens its grip around the country, many parents suddenly experience a chilling realization: It's already time to think about summer camp for the kids.