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Summer on the Internet
School’s out. Summer’s in. Our long warm days are filled with camp and
family vacations. What’s up on the Net? Here’s an eclectic summer mix,
including two virtual summer camps and a virtual road trip. But remember,
it’s summer. Don’t forget to go outside and play.
The "yuckiest site on the Internet" is an
eclectic mix of science and summer fun. You’ll find dozens of
summer-themed activities including directions for giving yourself a suntan
tattoo and making a frozen hand-cube that floats a punch bowl. And don’t
worry, all the original gross and slimy stuff that made Yucky.com famous
(learn about belches, scabs, vomit, worms and bugs) is still here.
Teachers who yearn to be yucky will appreciate the curriculum guides for
grades K through eight.
Calling all amateur detectives and mystery lovers. Each month
TheCase.com for Kids ("Mysteries to solve, scary stories, magic
tricks, and contests") features a quick solve (the answer is just a
click away), a mystery writing contest, and a mini mystery Solve-It
contest. Monthly winners are rewarded with a mystery book. Nancy Drew
enthusiasts have their own site (you’ll find the link on the main page).
And older readers (I’m talking high school and adult) can click on over to
TheCase.com for even more mysterious fun.
"Just in time for summer fun! Thousands of teachers, students and
parents are exploring the Internet in search of 103 treasure codes
buried in wonderful and safe destination sites hand-picked by CyberSurfari
staff members." Players are divided by age into divisions, and can
join as individuals or teams. There are two complete sets of prizes. One
set goes to the first players to find ninety-five of the treasure codes.
The second set will be awarded by random drawing. CyberSurfari Summer runs
through October 15, with CyberSurfari Fall opening the following week.
Practice clues are available here.
Just like real camp, before you can participate in this virtual camp,
your parents need to fill out a permission form, and return it by toll-free
fax or posted mail. Upon receipt, you’ll be emailed your camp user name
and password. While you are waiting for your password to arrive, get your
computer ready by installing the free Flash
plugin. Whew! When you finally get to camp (which is updated weekly
and closes on Labor Day), follow the pointing finger to the activities,
games and contests.
What was summer vacation like years ago? And who
invented summer camp? Climb aboard the Way Back wagon and learn the
history of car camping (also known as gypsying), Miami Beach, and the first
summer camps. My favorite click is the Road Trip, a coast-to-coast
adventure (from Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts to Disneyland, California) with
stops at twelve famous vacation spots.