Friday, July 15, 2005

Let's Get Campy With Harry And The Gang!

In summer camps around the country, they're just wild about Harry Potter. The New York Times reports that camp councilors are having to go through some extraordinary efforts (id: debator20057 passwrd: antimatter) in order to cope with the overwhelming demand for the sixth installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
The boys and girls at the Kennolyn Camps in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California will get a most unusual wake-up call on Saturday. Roused from their beds at 6:30 a.m., more than an hour earlier than usual, they will be marched to a campfire meeting, served hot chocolate from a bubbling cauldron and read the first chapter of the new Harry Potter novel by counselors dressed as characters from that popular series.

Few of the campers - or their counselors, 18-to-25-year-olds who have spent the last seven years following Harry Potter's adventures - are likely to complain, said Andrew Townsend, the camps' director.

While all five of the earlier novels were published in summer or early fall, most arrived either before the traditional summer camp season or at a time when the frenzy surrounding a Harry Potter debut was more subdued. As a result, many camps are having to make special plans to deal with the book's arrival.

"We have a clearly defined package policy," said Jason Sebell, the assistant director of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen, in the forest near Andover, N.H. "But we make a special exception for Harry Potter. We made it clear to parents that if an package arrives, or if they want to send the book to their children, we'd be glad to accept it."

And while many campers around the country will have the book read to them each night in their bunks by counselors, all-night Potter parties are likely to be few.

"Absolutely not," said Jill Kleinman, the director and co-owner of Camp Taconic, in Hinsdale, Mass., in the Berkshires. "If kids want to get under their covers with a flashlight and read the book, they can. But we have to live with them the next day."
As a teacher and parent, (The 13-year-old TeenWonk ordered her copy long ago.) I think that it's great to see the kids get excited about reading anything during the summer months.
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