July 2008

I just had the most amazingly awesome weekend in the history of the world. All of the high school kids who are in the three-week programs (our whole dorm) all came down to New York City for the entire weekend. I git to touch the Atlantic Ocean for the first time ever! And we visited museums, rode on the subway, saw a Mets game, went to Central Park, ate gigantic hot dogs and pizza, did everything! Some of the things were educational, but it was all fun. I think I am 47 times smarter than I was on Thursday!

Here is some of what we did and saw.


  1. Keep you purse zipped and buttoned and under your arm the whole time.  Guys need to have their wallet in their front pocket in case a pickpocket comes behind them.
  2. Don’t talk to your friends while you’re walking or you will run into stuff. Or people. Or both.
  3. No flip flops.  This place is hard enough in tennies.
  4. Bring at least ten friends on the subway because when you lean and fall you want to land on people you know and not strangers.
  5. Bring a LOT of money.  Like way more than you think you need.  A LOT of money.
  6. And bring ear plugs.
  7. They sell pizza one slice at a time but a slice is huge.  A whole pizza is called a pie.
  8. Don’t smile and say “Morning” when you pass people on the street cause they will think you are totally weird.

Sorry there is no picture. I am on a bus writing on a friend’s phone and I don’t know how to send the picture but I promise to put up a bunch tomorrow.

I wear shorts like these

I wear shorts like these

I live in Texas where girls where jeans, short skirts, or short shorts.  I have 2 skirts for times when I have to dress up and one fancy dress.  But, when I came up here for a three week program, I mostly brought shorts, and both skirts, and one pair of jeans.  Here’s the problem: ALL THE GIRLS HERE WEAR LONG SHORTS and I am afraid they will think I look slutty if I wear my regular shorts.  So … do I buy a pair of long ones at the university shop for a zillion dollars a pair?  Or cut up my jeans and make something like this?  Or become best friends with a girl who wears my size?  Or wear jeans every day?  Ack!

Or like the ones on the right.

Or like the ones on the right.

But everyone else wears shorts like these.

But everyone else wears shorts like these.

I could make these from my jeans.

I could make these from my jeans.

I am currently in a college program for HS juniors and seniors interested in US History and the Constitution.  It is a very different program from anything I’ve ever done before, but is completely worth it.  Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages.


  1. I am learning a lot. (More on that in future posts.

  2. The students here are very smart and interesting, and they’re all interested in learning.  No one acts bored if you give an answer that’s more than three words.

  3. The professor is teh awesome!

  4. This is giving me great experience for when I really do go to college.

  5. There is a TON of food in the dining room and no one cares if you take seconds.


  1. The shower in the dorm has no privacy. Ick!

  2. I miss my family.

  3. My brain might explode from all the reading.

  4. I miss my Texas friends.

I have never really gone to any special summer camps, but I went to the rec center camp when I was younger.  Some of my friends have done tennis camp, karate camp, and gymnastics camp.

This year I’m going to a very cool three week program for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in politics and US history.  But check out these camps!

Extreme Summer Camps

News: Goodbye, crafts and color wars. Hello, explosives and Dianetics. Some summer camps for kids with very specialized interests.

July/August 2008 Issue

Lil’ Angels Kids Spa Camp
(Newark, Delaware)
Activities: Etiquette, modeling, mani/pedi, and facial skills in a “magical milieu.” Plus: “Limousine field trips every week—because only the best will do!”
What to Pack: Mommy’s platinum American Express card

American Idol Camp
(Lake Arrowhead, California)
Activities: Singing, dancing, developing “personal style.” Includes “master classes” by past Idol finalists such as Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon, but no guarantee that you’ll end up on the show.
What to Pack: A thick skin

Wagon Train Junior Camp
(Hume, California)
Activities: Discipleship in a Wild West setting. Campers sleep in covered wagons, eat at the Outpost, and study the Good Book with counselors like Wagonmaster Shep and Pancho Peet.
What to Pack: “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo” T-shirt

Food Allergy Summer Camp
(Edmonton, Alberta)
Activities: Dietary restriction-themed storybooks at bedtime. Milk-free, egg-free, and nut-free cinnamon buns!
What to Pack: EpiPen…just in case

Scientology Camp
(Sheridan, Oregon)
Activities: With L. Ron Hubbard’s study program, “the world of knowledge becomes fully accessible and a young person with abilities and interest discovers his unlimited potential for success.” Plus: Tom Cruise’s kids are rumored to go there.
What to Pack: Solar E-Meter

Spy Camp
(Lake Como, Pennsylvania)
Activities: “Martial arts, code breaking, surveillance techniques and undercover maneuvers.” Plus evasive driving and paintball.
What to Pack: Spy camera (boys); camera-jamming device (girls)

Summer Explosives Camp
(Rolla, Missouri)
Activities: Blowing stuff up. To attend, kids write an essay titled “Why I Am Interested in a Career Focusing on the Application of Explosives.”
What to Pack: atf waiver

Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids
(Papillion, Nebraska)
Activities: Lessons on “the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, Hunter Safety and law, International Bow Education” from the man who brought us “Jailbait,” “I Am a Predator,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Daughters.”
What to Pack: Hunter-orange Ritalin dispenser

Kiera Butler is an associate editor at Mother Jones.