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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 4, 2012/ 17 Sivan, 5772

Welcome to Camp Competitive

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My daughter is only 8 but, being a child in Washington, she has already felt the cruel sting of rejection.

“At this time, we have acceptances out for all spaces available in both sessions of Creative Campers,” said the letter from the Holton-Arms School’s summer camp. The day camp offered to put my daughter on the waiting list for the session beginning July 16.

It was Jan. 27 — and already too late for summer camp.

This called for handling the matter in a uniquely Washington way: paying to play. The Smithsonian’s camps, it turned out, would give a one-day head start to register for their camps if you “become a donor to the Smithsonian Associates at the Contributor level ($300 or higher).”

Eleven hundred dollars later, including $800 for the camp, and an hour waiting in the call queue the moment the registration period opened, my daughter was accepted for two weeks of camp. It was Feb. 8.

For the money and the trouble, my little camper will have some super-cool experiences: touring the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Natural History Museum, and making helicopters and plaster casts of fossils. And yet, the experience is another reminder to me of what’s wrong with this town.

In the coming weeks, summer camps everywhere will open their gates to lucky children who will enjoy lazy days with canteens, kayaks and calamine lotion. Yet here, even this last bastion of carefree play has fallen to hyper-competitiveness, one-upmanship and cash.

For me, summer camp meant eating ice cream with wooden spoons, playing pickup basketball on cracked asphalt, trying to peek through the cracks in the wall separating the boys’ changing room from the girls’, and passing the test so I could swim in the deep end.

But for my daughter and her cohorts, things have truly gone off the deep end.

Parents send their kids to “camp” to study Spanish, Chinese, science, math, geography, even “criminal trial advocacy.” Schools, local governments and nonprofits generate cash by feeding parents’ desire to give their kids a competitive edge — or by satisfying parents’ own competitive urge to enroll their kids in the coolest camp.

Hence, we have the “Hunger Games Camp” modeled after the teen novels, fencing camp, Lego camp, doll camp, bring-your-dog-to-camp camp, video-game camp, chess camp for 5-year-olds, fantasy gaming camp and Japanese drumming camp. Think summer camp isn’t rocket science? Guess again: There are various missile-building camps.

Maybe it’s for the better that children are learning robotics at summer camp instead of peeking through the changing-room wall. My daughter is certainly better educated than I was. But still: summer camp? Is there no value anymore on unstructured time in childhood?

The rest of the year, my daughter attends a demanding private school. Regardless of school, public or private, kids her age here are on traveling soccer teams, or started piano lessons at age 4, or get math drills at the dinner table.

I’d prefer to protect my daughter’s unstructured and even — gasp — unproductive time, but that risks her being left out, or left behind.

In this environment, we shouldn’t be surprised that parents of middle-schoolers pay $3,600 for three weeks in the Duke summer program or that parents of second-graders send them to writing workshops at the Johns Hopkins summer program. Preschoolers as young as 2 — too young to ingratiate themselves with the admissions staff at Duke or Johns Hopkins — can go to “camp” for French immersion.

The McLean School of Maryland actually calls its camp “SummerEdge” (featuring “Brain Camp” for the pre-K-to-grade-6 crowd) and promises campers its techniques will “increase their edge” over other kids. The Fairfax Collegiate summer program offers, among other things, public speaking and test prep, with “breaks” for soccer and basketball.

At a time of so much over-programming, I side with the anonymous contributor to the Web site dcurbanmom.com, a chat room for type-A parents, who ridiculed a parent who asked if there was a “jump rope day camp” in the area: “How about a hopscotch camp? This is a joke, right? Is nothing for children unstructured anymore?”

Apparently not. St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School camps, perhaps the area’s most exotic, offer, among many others, a Civil War camp, a fashion camp, a veterinary camp, a ghost-hunting camp, and the aforementioned fencing and Hunger Games camps.

The Hunger Games camp, all three sessions of which are sold out, offers marksmanship and laser tag. That’s fine, but it isn’t summer if the kids don’t get a chance to eat ice cream with wooden spoons.


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Previously:



05/31/12 Digging a racial grave
05/30/12 A new conspiracy theory: Is Romney a unicorn?
05/29/12 Do Republicans really want to clone one for the Gipper?
05/24/12 Obama's protectors are under the microscope
05/22/12 Obama's Old World mess: Allies are coming up short at a key moment
05/16/12 Where have all the candidates gone?
05/15/12 Barack Obama, the first female president
05/14/12 Irrationality wins: Voter cure for Congress's failures will likely backfire
05/08/12 Obama's marriage mess: His advisers scramble to clean up his 'evolution'
05/07/12 Taking out Dick Lugar
05/03/12 Gingrich may have ended campaign, but he will remain out of this world
05/02/12 Our do-almost-nothing Congress
05/01/12 President Obama, campaigner in chief
04/25/12 Romney's immigration Etch a Sketch
04/23/12 A congressional deal on immigration? Dream on
04/19/12 Dems battle back against Republican 'war on women'
04/18/12 Debauchery: An American govermental specialty
04/17/12 Silent witness
04/12/12 Rebuffing Obama's gimmicky 'Buffett Rule'
04/11/12 Santorum's Gettysburg surrender
04/09/12 The facts vs. Mitt Romney
04/06/12 Mitt Romney, talking to the press, keeps the press at a distance
04/05/12 From tracking al-Qaeda to tracking the wayward spouse
04/04/12 Budget cuts as back-door deregulation
03/26/12 My pet Mitt
03/22/12 Mitt Romney's latest gaffe may be etched in history
03/20/12 Supreme Court conceives of life after death
03/15/12 Conservative for Obama: The British PM as campaign prop
03/14/12 In Section 60, a silent search for meaning
03/13/12 Super Friends, unite
03/12/12 It's time to believe: Romney's a winner
03/07/12 Settling in to Washington's ways
03/06/12 AIPAC beats the drums of war
03/05/12 Did Republicans forget the women's vote?
02/29/12 Mitt Romney's acceptance speech, in (mostly) his own words
02/28/12 Common ground becomes a great divide
02/27/12 An expert witness for the GOP gender gap
02/21/12 Where Romney shines
02/15/12 A Republican death wish?
02/14/12Obama's budget games
02/13/12 Are GOPers playing right into Obama's hands?
02/08/12 Obama pumps the compressor of Joe Hudy's Extreme Marshmallow Cannon
02/07/12 Abramoff's atonement
02/01/12 Why we in the media just love Newt
01/31/12 The end of the road for Newt Gingrich?
01/25/12 Gingrich is Obama's best surrogate
01/24/12 Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney's attack dog
01/16/12 Mitt Romney's Al Gore problem
01/12/12 Kamikaze Gingrich, on the loose in South Carolina
01/11/12 Journalists' campaign trail secrets revealed
01/10/12 Mitt Romney's money problem
01/09/12 Newtonian exceptionalism
01/05/12 Mitt Romney out of control
01/04/12 Indecision 2012: In Iowa and the GOP
01/03/12 Rick Santorum's curious closing argument
12/28/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/23/11 A few cracks in my crystal ball
12/20/11 Strange brews and views?
12/19/11 Cellphone ban would be a distraction
12/15/11 Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and the Malfunction Minuet
12/14/11 The presidential auction of 2012
12/12/11 Newt's tactics comes back to haunt him
12/06/11 Can an anthem save Occupy non-movement?
12/05/11 The winner of the GOP campaign: Washington
11/30/11 Barney the bully: Congressman Frank's other legacy
11/23/11 Jon Kyl's search-and-destroy mission
11/21/11 Pay to play, brought to you by Washington
11/17/11 Big enough to save the supercommittee?
11/16/11 Why Newt Gingrich won't last
11/08/11 The 2012 campaign gets seedier
11/06/11 A Machiavellian model for Obama
11/03/11 The Herman Cain crack-up
11/01/11 Cain can --- he will survive
10/27/11 Stuntmen of the supercommittee
10/26/11 Democrats on the sidelines
10/24/11 Rick Perry's birther Parade
10/24/11 The birthers eat their own
10/19/11 The GOP's middle man
10/17/11 The waiting for nothing Congress
10/12/11 Sparsely occupied D.C.: Why the movement hasn't caught on
10/10/11 Can Obama strike an alliance with Occupy Wall Street?
10/06/11 Chris Christie, such a presidential tease
10/05/11 Obama and his foot soldiers go toe to toe
09/28/11 Cain could deliver
09/26/11 Republicans? Mr. Nice Guys?
09/22/11 Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary
09/21/11 I am a job creator who creates no jobs
09/20/11 Obama launches a revolution
09/19/11 Dems for Romney?
09/14/11 ‘Supercommittee’? More than stupor committee
09/07/11 Mitt Romney finds his (corporate) voice
09/01/11 The infallible Dick Cheney
08/31/11 This liberal says Perry is the ultimate conservative candidate
08/29/11 Wanted: More bite from Obama the Great Nibbler
08/10/11 How Rep. Austin Scott betrayed his Tea Party roots
08/09/11 The most powerful man on Earth?
08/08/11 The FAA shutdown and the new rules of Washington
08/04/11 Lt. Col. Allen West fires a round at the Tea Party
08/03/11 Government on autopilot
08/02/11 Dems mourn debt deal like death
07/27/11 Life imitates sport
07/26/11 Obama and Boehner take on Washington
07/21/11 Why Americans are angry at Congress
07/20/11 The new party of Reagan
07/18/11 Rob Portman, the boring Midwesterner who could bring sanity to the debt debate
07/13/11 John Boehner's bind
07/04/11 Stephen Colbert, Karl Rove and the mockery of campaign finance
07/01/11 President Puts Up His Dukes, As He Ought To
06/28/11 Rod Blagojevich verdict: All shook up
06/27/11 Progressives voice their anger at Obama
06/24/11 ‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
06/22/11 Jon Huntsman's first step toward oblivion
06/21/11 Scott Walker finds making bumper stickers is easier than creating jobs
06/20/11 A day of awkwardness with Mitt Romney
06/06/11 Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour
06/02/11 The Weiner roast
06/01/11 Congress clocks in to clock out
05/30/11 Hermanator II: No More Mr. Gadfly
05/24/11 How Obama has empowered Netanyahu
05/24/11 Pawlenty bends his truth-telling
05/20/11 Default deniers say it's all a hoax
05/18/11: Gingrich gives voice to moderation
05/17/11: Donald Trump and the House of Horrors
05/16/11: The medical mystery of Mitt Romney
05/12/11: The body impolitic: Schock photos should tempt lawmakers to cover up
05/10/11: Muskets in hand, tea party blasts House Republicans
05/09/11: The GOP debate: America -- and the party -- needs the grown-ups
05/05/11: Mitch Daniels, an alternative to scary
05/03/11: Obama's victory lap
05/02/11: How the journalist prom got out of control
04/28/11: Obama's birther day: Why did he lower himself by appearing in the briefing room?
04/27/11: Obama, lost in thought
04/24/11: Andrew Breitbart and the rifts on the right
04/22/11: Ten Commandments for 2012
04/21/11: Obama likes Facebook. Facebook likes Obama.
04/18/11: Without Nancy Pelosi, Obama is adrift
04/15/11: If progressives ran the world
04/14/11: Faith in political apostasy
04/13/11: One man's revolution is another's political expediency
04/11/11: Shutdown theatrics
04/06/11: Paul Ryan's irresponsible budget
04/05/11: Robots in Congress? Yes, we replicant!
04/04/11: Robert Gibbs, Facebook and the White House corporate placement service
04/01/11: Haley Barbour, the fat cats' candidate
03/31/11: Republican freshmen in House shut down compromise, and possibly the government
03/30/11: Coburn and Durbin, the dynamic duo of the debt crisis
03/28/11: The Obama doctrine: A gray area the size of Libya
03/24/11: Dems as Weiners
03/23/11: Obama's quick trip from tyrant to weakling
03/17/11: Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?
03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


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