Letter from the Editor

Jane Hawes

Dear Columbus Parents,

I'm writing this at a point when I probably shouldn't - at the tail end of the information gathering and editing process for our Summer Camp Guide. At this point - 304 listings in the hopper and there may be a few more to shoehorn in tomorrow before my page designers break down my office door and demand the file - I have been having "camp listing dreams" every night for the past week.

Putting this issue together is always a monumental task. And for this year's effort, I got the bright idea (right after we finished with the 2013 guide) to overhaul how we collect the data. The goal was to make the process simpler and more efficient. We designed surveys for the camps to fill out and submit online. It actually went quite smoothly (I had visions of healthcare.gov before it launched, but thankfully those fears were unfounded).

And arguably our efforts went a little too well. For last year's Summer Camp Guide issue, we had a total of 177 listings. This year, as you read in the first paragraph, we've got 304. Yay for us?

But honestly I am thrilled that we managed to gather so much information. I know it sounds trite but we do really do it all for you, our readers. There is no doubt that this issue ranks as one of the most useful and important to Columbus parents every year, and the fact that we can give you everything you need in one place makes us feel very good about the job we're doing.

As always, the guide also appears online. And quite a few of the camps also chose to upgrade their online listings to provide even more information. We know you'll be searching this online guide from now through June (based on the traffic data we saw last year).

We'll also print another mini-guide in the April issue because I know we'll have more camps to add to the listings. And we'll freshen the online guide as often as possible.

So it's with a big sigh of relief that I shovel this one out the door to you (and then I'll start planning how we'll tweak things and improve them for next year). Enjoy and use our listings well, Columbus parents!