April 10, 2006 - Wait For Summer
To most people summer is about as far away as Lompoc. But, for many people with kids in Santa Barbara, summer began on Saturday. It was the day to sign up for all the great camps offered by the City Parks and Recreation Department like Nature Camp, Aqua Camp, and Junior Lifeguards. Family plans for the entire summer depend on kids getting into the camps and their sessions of choice. And, if the kids don't get in, the prospects for summer are about as gloomy as the fog on a June morning.
In days gone by, the sign-ups occurred at MacKenzie Park. The line would stretch all the way from the office in front to the baseball field in the back.
It was a real parent-be-seen scene. People showed up with folding chairs, coffee and donuts, and everyone seemed to know everyone else. Those at the front of the line were viewed with awe at the depth of their dedication.
The sign-up on Saturday was at the Carrillo Rec Center, next to the Julia Morgan Carrillo Gym. There were still many familiar faces, beach chairs and coffee, but this year, the affair seemed a little subdued. While the parents from the olden days who still have camp-aged kids were there in force, there didn't seem to be many new faces. So, the total number of faces was down from previous years. Perhaps it's the fact that about half of the available spaces are reserved for online registration, giving parents the ability to sign up their little ones for camp from the comfort of their own computer chairs.
Perhaps it's the changing demographics of Santa Barbara.
The dedicated staff of edhat.com arrived at the Rec Center shortly before 7AM. We checked in with our friends in line who had arrived before us. At the very front of the line was 5th grader, Jamie, signing up for Junior Lifeguards. Second in line was our friend Leigh. No, third in line was not Curtis. Jamie and Leigh arrived together at 4AM. Marc arrived at 5AM. He was 18th in line. The length of the line at 7AM was 66, and it didn't grow significantly longer before registration started (they said it would start at 8AM, but it actually started 15 minutes early – they're so nice!).
To our dedicated knowledge, there weren't any sold camps on Saturday.
If you're interested curing your summertime blues, contact City Parks and Rec today. And, tell ‘em Ed sent ya!
In Friday's contest there were no contestants who guessed 66 as the 7AM line-length, but there were three contestants who guessed 67.
The winners were Gael KM, Tom Hat, and the red-hot Icy Jen (winner of Thursday's contest). The dog was given three identical dog treats to eat one at a time. We used a stopwatch to determine how long she took to eat each one. Tom Hat's dog treat was the fastest to be eaten. He wins an Edhat t-shirt. We will gladly deliver his shirt to him on Shirt Patrol Friday (SPF), or he can show up on Tuesday at the March Ed-Ness awards ceremony at Cellar 205.
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