The official kickoff of the summer season -- Memorial Day -- is uponus. But those really in the know view this weekend as a brief taste of what's in store after June 13.
Why that date? June 13 is the last day of school for county students, a mere handful of days until parents all across the county get to commune with their offspring 24 hours a day.
The first few weeks of freedom are no problem. But by the time August dog days hit, the kiddies are ready to go back to school. Their parents are eager to let them, too. That's were summer camp programs come into the picture, providing mid-summer diversions.
Judging from information I've received, there is a wide selection of programs in our immediate area.
The county Recreation and Parks Department is again offering day camp at Downs Park for children ages 5 1/2 to 12in the north, northeast and northwest portion of the county.
Campactivities include music, nature programs, sports, swimming, arts and crafts, cookouts, drama, field trips, special theme days and guest performers.
Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with three two-week sessions planned. Session I will run June 24 to July 5, with camp closed on July 4. Session II will take place July 8-19. Session III is scheduled for July 22 to Aug. 2.
Fees are $110 for session I and $120each for sessions II and III. Discounts are available for families with more than one child and children attending all three sessions. Registration deadline for the first session is June 10.
Tim Chesnuttat the county Department of Recreation and Parks is the answer man for the Downs Park Day Camp. You can contact him at 222-3600.
For campers able and ready to add a little something different to their summer experience, the county has Wilderness Challenge Camp.
The outdoor, overnight adventure program is open to boys and girls, ages 8 to 16.
Activities include camping, hiking, water activities and nature and environmental programs. Four, four-day sessions are planned and all activities are age appropriate.
Youngsters ages 11 to 13 can attend July 9-12 or July 30 to Aug. 2; ages 8 to 10 attend July 16-19. Teens 14 to 16 attend July 23-26.
The fee is $125 and includesmeals, tents and bus transportation. A complete clothing, supply anditinerary list will be mailed to campers.
Need to know more? Contact Bob Brandenburger at 222-3600.
Another day camp in the Pasadena area is Camp Smallwood, located at Fort Smallwood Park and sponsored by the YMCA. Camp Smallwood is open to children ages 6 to 12, from June 17 to Aug. 30.
Campers can choose from a variety of activities including games, sports, crafts, swimming, picnics and field trips.
For registration details, call Jay Dickey at the Glen Burnie YMCAat 761-1251.
Gibson Island Country School is offering a Summer Enrichment Program for children ages 4 to 12.
The program will run July 8-26. Classes take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.
Primary-grade youngsters, ages 4 to 8, can venture into the world of animals through experiences involving crafts, music, books, outdoor play and creative movement.
Students, ages 8 to 12, have a choice of three different programs: arts and crafts, science and nature or computer education and literacy.
Tuition is $60 per session and registration can be arranged in person or by mail. Deadline for registration is June 7.
Contact the school at 255-5370 for more details.
Attention, teens between the ages of 15 and 17. The keysto your future are here (the car keys that is).
Chesapeake High School will offer a driver education course this summer. The three-week program consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hoursbehind the wheel.
The non-credit course will begin June 19 and isopen to all students in public or private high schools.
"The costof the course is $100, far less than private driving school charge,"said Dennis Groves, driver education teacher.
Students interestedin registering must be 15 years old by the first day of class and noolder than 17.
Registration forms are available at the guidance office at CHS, 4798 Mountain Road.
Registration ends June 7.
Fordetails, call Groves at 255-9600.
The Northeast High School PTSA will elect officers for the next school year at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A slate of nominees will be presented by the nominating committee.Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor.
Northeastis just off Fort Smallwood Road at 1121 Duvall Highway.
Get your tickets early for the Jumpin' Junebug Dance from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. June 22 at the Venice Civic Association Community Hall, 1919 Arundel Road.
The event, sponsored by the Ladies Guild of Magothy-Chelsea Community Lutheran Church, will have dance tunes provided by Soundtracks DJ.
Tickets are $12 per person and include a hot and cold buffet, beer, setups and door prizes.
To order tickets, call 255-0104.
Watch out Hollywood. Make room on old Broadway. It's show time at George Fox Middle School and St. Jane Frances School. Both schools will be having variety shows at 7 p.m. Thursday.