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Summer camps: Here we go again!

With report cards mailed out and lockers scrubbed clean, it's time to say goodbye to school and hello to summer camps. Many working parents have spent months scrambling to fill their kids' idle time this summer. Seattle writer Tim Haywood can relate to this and all the complications that go with it.

Summer just isn’t what it used to be, Tim says. Card-table lemonade stands are a thing of the past, and gone are the days when you could just send your kids to the YMCA,  “which has been around so long, Lewis and Clark actually traded pelts for s’mores at a place just outside of Portland.”

So how can parents keep their kids busy this summer and, as Tim puts it,  make sure their baby sitter isn’t The Price Is Right or Hoarders?

He weighs some of the options:

“A lot of the popular camps are really expensive and hard to get into, so you’d better be ready. Sure, you can do it online, but it’s not much different than back in the day when we slept on the sidewalk waiting to buy tickets to Journey and REO Speedwagon. If the only way to make the schedule work is a new camp, one of the carrots we use is the old buddy system. We’ll say something like, “Hey, look, honey, I know you’ve never been to composting camp, but it’s the only week where you and your friend, Ashley, are both available. According to her mom, her summer is already booked up with a Dog Purse Crocheting Camp and a two-week hamster obedience seminar. And you were so lucky to get a spot in Texting Camp that it can’t be changed.” One place we’ve never had to convince her or her friends to sign up is the UK International Soccer Camp. It’s run by a group of nineteen- to- twenty-one-year-old soccer players from England and Scotland, and let me tell you, my kid is a sucker for a good accent. I’d better not find out that these guys are actually thirty-five-year-old unemployed actors from Tukwila.

Tim Haywood is a Seattle writer. More of his musings can be found at his blog, Reflections of a Shallow Pond.

Lindsay Lowe is an intern at KNKX. She attends the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, and plans to pursue a career in public radio after graduation.