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Start a revolution this summer

So, you're a middle school student with the long summer months stretching out ahead of you.

You're not old enough to get a job; you can't drive, and your parents aren't too happy about leaving you home alone all day every day.

What's the solution?

The answer, say Andrea Rankin and Sue McKeown, is Summer Revolution 08.

Summer Revolution 08 is a nine-week program offered by South Washington County Community Education to kids in grades six through nine over the summer vacation.

Students can sign up for as many of the nine, one-week courses as they want, getting to participate in activities ranging from cooking and canoeing to leadership training and laser tag.

"Because I teach seventh grade, I just love working with middle school-aged students," explained Rankin, the Revolution program supervisor.

"I just love the age group and really can understand their feeling of 'What is there to do?'

"You can't quite work yet, but your parents don't want to leave you alone all day, and you can't drive yet."

The Summer Revolution program, now in its fourth year, sees three new additions for 2008; the wet 'n' wild week; survival week, and leadership training week.

"Even kids who wouldn't necessarily think of themselves as leaders have the chance to do a lot of things," said McKeown, the youth programs coordinator for South Washington County Community Education, talking about the leadership training week.

"They will get to go to Feed My Starving Children in Eagan -- they really enjoy going there and learn a lot about the problems of the starving children and the overabundance in this country."

Animal Planet is a hot favorite among the courses available, and this year's offering will see participants meeting a zookeeper at Como Zoo, going behind the scenes at Underwater Adventures in the Mall of America, and go horseback riding on trails along the Kinnickinnic River.

For more information and to book, log on to