IN THE COMING weeks, countless Washingtonians will find summer ways of "getting away from it all" on beaches, mountainsides or airplanes to cities all over the world. Before you take off, a word, please, on behalf of some youngsters around town who need a little help with their vacation plans:

The kids we have in mind are anxiously awaiting a signal that they can be among those who will leave the steamy sidewalks and unprogrammed days of summer downtown for a wholesome, memorable two weeks at camp; and right now their fate is in the hands of those who care to contribute to the "Send a Kid to Camp" program being conducted once again by columnist Bob Levey. The truth is, the campaign is far short of goals set in early May. To send the 1,228 deserving kids for whom plans were made, the program still needs to come up with $60,000.

We like to believe that many people have just been too preoccupied by the awful weather and other unsummery events to write out a check. But the first buses will leave for the camps two weeks from today; and as the dreams of these first campers come to life, the dreams of many others will be on standby. Meanwhile, so many of those who have been to camp in years past are living proof of the lasting value of this experience--having returned from camping with new hope, new knowledge, new pride in accomplishment--and new great memories.

Help, in any amount, will be welcomed. A check or money order can be made out to Send a Kid to Camp, and mailed to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.