Summer Camp Crisis.
by Amy Smith
It's Summer. Do You Know Where Your Kid Is? I stuck a large post-it on the fridge this week. It shows the last day of school in May and the first day in August. In between is a list of various start and end dates and which camp our son will be attending during each block of time. And each camp's drop off and pick up times. And the bus schedule, if there is a bus. If he's lucky, his parent's will actually keep track of where he is and remember who is supposed to pick him up each day. And where.
We're still rookies with regards to the whole summer camp thing. Last year was the first time we stood on the verge of June staring into the Great Void of Summer. Pre-school was over. Daycare was a thing of the past. What to do with him now?
The options are endless. And they come with complicated schedules, traffic patterns to analyze, considerable fees, and early registration deadlines because everything fills up REALLY FAST.
Last year, we enrolled him in a day camp at our local children's science museum which advertised themes he would enjoy like construction, archeology, candy-making, and space. It worked out just fine. But we learned to read schedules more carefully, realizing too late that the themes repeat during the summer so there were several sessions he had to go through twice. And toward the end of summer it occurred to me that I was not clear how much he was outside. And two different weeks we had overlap with a vacation and were paying for camp days he did not attend.
This summer, we are attempting to provide for more physical activity, particularly outdoors, and more variety. Hence the nutty schedule. He'll do two weeks at a day camp that has everything from art to swimming to horseback riding. He'll go to our city's zoo for one week. And he'll do four weeks at a different camp that is almost completely outdoors and heavy on water-based activates like swimming and canoeing. There are two vacations in there and two weeks where we simply do not have a plan. Enter the grandparents.
I don't honestly know of a better way yet. And we only have one child to schedule! What if there were more!
This year the goal is simple, if the schedule is not: we don't want him to get bored and we want him to get to participate in a lot of very fun things.
And we hope to remember where he is.