I received the following Tweet on Monday morning:
“Seriously. If my kids don’t get into Pullen art camp and camp at Jaycee, I will have a rage blackout. #ITBproblems cc @WNFIV”
This is how I found out about a near riot over the City of Raleigh’s Summer Camp sign-up process. Apparently, the City offers summer camps for children from ages 3 to 16 in 36 locations in Raleigh. Parents were told that camp sign-up would be handled through a website that opened at 5:30 am on Monday morning. The website totally failed, crashing repeatedly and causing parents to lash out. Here is a brief sampling of the reaction: (these are real)
“Raleigh Parks and Rec has gone way downhill the last few years. Can’t say I’m surprised once again a major fail by them! I would not recommend them!”
“It was hung up, we HAD to cancel the transaction which logged us off. This is an AWFUL way to book camps!!!!”
“AWFUL. I was almost in tears at 5:50 AM on a Monday morning. My friends and I were in a text freak-out string. What is being done to fix and prevent it in the future? Would love to know.”
Hell hath no fury like an ITB mom “text freak-out string.” I expected the Holderni to do a parody video titled “Website Crashes” based on “Lightning Crashes” by Live.
Website crashes, a new mother cries,
Her Macbook Air falls to the floor…
According to Andy Specht’s coverage, the city processed more than 8,000 summer camp registrations Monday morning, causing the site to crash. I totally understand the backlash. Having to deal with your kids during the summer is any ITB parent’s greatest fear. That’s why most parents send their kids to Camp Sea Gull or Seafarer for as long as they possibly can.
I figured these camps would consist of throwing some kids in a gym all day for dodgeball or maybe some nature walks. I had no idea how much time and effort the City put into these. Below are just a few that I would sign up for if I hadn’t already aged out.
Bricks 4 Kidz – Jurassic Brick World with LEGO® Bricks
Bricks 4 Kidz – LEGO® Bat League: Heroes and Villains!
CSI Forensics – Who done it? Campers will investigate a mock crime scene, finding clues through scavenger hunts, fun activities and discussions. They will use experimentation and forensic technology to explore, gather and analyze evidence to solve the mystery of the week. Campers will participate in a mock trial, acting as lawyers, judge and jury.
Holt Brothers Football Camp – Torry and Terrence Holt, former NC State and NFL football stars, will lead this one-week camp experience for boys AND girls interested in learning about sportsmanship and teamwork.
Where were these camps when I was a kid? I now see why parents had a meltdown over not getting their kids into these camps. Fortunately, those parents are now left without any summer camp options, which means my camp doesn’t have to be THAT great.
At ITB Insider Summer Camp, kids learn valuable life skills through the following activities:
Wash the Suburban, Tahoe, or Yukon – learn teamwork skills as you attempt to wash and detail these Wade Ave 500 road warriors.
Manage a LaCroix stand – not only are the profit margins huge at $5 per can, your little one will learn about supply and demand, managing inventory, sales, and marketing.
Constructing the downtown Raleigh canal – kids love heavy-duty construction equipment. Why not let them use it? Kids will have access to the finest construction equipment as they begin to dig out the canal.
Excavate Dix Park – Let your child be one of the first to uncover fossilized remains of the dinosaurs that used to roam these lands. (Any dino-DNA discovered during excavation will remain property of ITB Insider™ for future use in genetically engineering actual dinosaurs.)
Pick up my morning Rise biscuits and donuts so I won’t have to deal with the delays from road closures.
Just finished the Rise Challenge where you have to drive all over Raleigh to get to Rise because Hillsborough Street is blocked for the Krispy Kreme Challenge. @risecameronvillage . . . #rise #riseup #donuts #doughnuts #healthyfood #healthyeating #breakfast #biscuits #friedchicken #carbs #calories #local #eatlocal #shoplocal #raleigh #raleighnc #nc #northcarolina #startup #influencer #food #foodpic #photooftheday #photo
I even figured out how to incorporate my sponsors to decrease the cost to campers. Snacks and lunch will be catered by Rise and the SUV pick up and drop off lines will be brought to you by Thompson Buick GMC Cadillac. I’ll also be sure to use Walk West for my registration website so it won’t crash. Also, for just one case of LaCroix a day, you can sponsor a child to attend ITB Insider Summer Camp.
My lawyer Stacy Miller, with Miller Law Group, said this camp violates all sorts of child labor laws, no matter how silly and outdated they are. So I may need to make some changes before we go live with registration.
Next year, I plan to log on early and reserve as many spaces as possible so I can resell them to parents who slept in. Feel free to share your summer camp sign-up experience in the comments.