Why make you sit there and listen to a typist's reasons for sending kids to camp? The readers have reasons that are every bit as good, and maybe better. Herewith, a sampler:
Memories: That's what spurred Ed Nicklas of Bethesda to send $25 to our annual drive. "About 60 years ago," Ed writes, "I worked on the staff of Camp Good Will in Rock Creek Park. Only those having the opportunity of working with these city kids . . . can appreciate the benefits coming from their contributions." Well said, sir -- and well done.
Personal knowledge: On June 3, Jenny Adams of Reston left for "my 10th summer at camp in Maine. Having been both a camper and a counselor, I know how important the camping experience is," Jenny says. So will 1,100 D.C.-area kids this summer -- if you readers help.
Curiosity: "Since the campaign is in its 38th year, I am sure there are people who are now adults who were sent to camp thanks to the Send a Kid to Camp program," writes Carolyn M. La Lumiere of Hyattsville. "So I challenge you to ask via your column if those adults who did attend the camps could write or call you and tell you (and the rest of us) about their camping experience and how they have benefitted from it." Challenge hereby accepted, Carolyn. Your $10 check's accepted, too -- with gratitude. How about it, former campers?
Coincidence: "Your campaign for funds for summer camp started on our 35th wedding anniversary," says Agnes Stoertz of Herndon. "So I'm sending a check for that number of dollars. As my husband and I met when he was a counselor and I was a secretary at a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains, you can see why camp memories mean something special to us." I can see, indeed, Agnes. Many thanks -- and I look forward to $36 next year.
Windfall: "The enclosed $58 check is the winnings from a Maryland Lotto 4 number," writes a woman from Northeast who requests anonymity. "Thought a youngster would enjoy it more going to camp." Any other successful gamblers care to copy?
True Altruism: "Your plea in today's Post got to me," writes Elizabeth Ketchum of Northwest, in reference to a column I did about a 12-year-old boy named Melvin, who is eager to go to camp next month. "I hated summer camp, but if Melvin wants to go, here's a little help. Wish him and his cohorts 'happy summer' for me." A pleasure to do so, Elizabeth. Thank you so much.
Keeping the Big Boys Waiting: I'm still giggling over this one. John F. Bridge of Woodley Park sent in a very generous donation of $150. You might call it a horses-in-midstream contribution. John started to make the check out to "Dow Jones." He stopped in mid-Jones, scratched out both words and changed the payee to "Send a Kid to Camp." I'm sure Mr. Dow and Mr. Jones can live without the bucks for a while, John. I'm equally sure that the campers (and I) appreciate them greatly.
If I Can Do Something Nice For Myself . . . .: A $50 contribution from Susan Jenson of Rockville was wrapped inside a note. "I just spent approximately this amount on flowers and plants to beautify my yard for my own summer enjoyment," Susan wrote. "Hope the same amount will buy a day of sunshine and fresh air for someone who has no nice back yard to enjoy." It will, Susan. Thanks.
Hands-On Experience: "I worked several summers at a riding stable in Pennsylvania where the owner would bring in groups of kids from downtown D.C. for a day with horses," writes Abbie Chessler of Silver Spring. "For many, it was their first time in the country . . . . They took so much more home with them than they arrived with." The same can happen this summer -- and will, if more readers send in a contribution, as Abbie did ($20 worth).
The Best Reason of All, Fun: It was a camp for girls in the mountains of North Carolina that Lucy M. Hand of Chevy Chase ($50 contribution) remembers. "It was a wonderful experience," she writes, "living not in the suburbs but in a cabin in the country, learning to be away from home, doing new things, making friends . . . . I am sure the children you are helping will also find camp an interesting and valuable time. And fun? Did I mention fun? . . . . I wish your kids fun -- and all the other benefits of camp." Thank you, Lucy. I can't say it better.
Wouldn't you like to help a child have the kinds of camping experiences that so many contributors remember? Wouldn't you like to help make this a stronger community by giving campers a chance to learn about sharing, cooperating and self-reliance? Wouldn't you like to help a child whose family is too strapped to give him two weeks of camping life?
All you have to do is go get your checkbook -- right now, before the toast burns, before the kids start screeching, before the clock starts gaining on you. Send a Kid to Camp pays proven dividends. It needs your help.
TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAMPAIGN:
Make a check or money order payable to Send a Kid to Camp and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.