Did you grow up attending summer camp each summer? I did. Where I grew up the kids attended day camps, not sleep away camps. Of course it was also ONE camp per summer, which doesn’t seem to be the case these days. One year it was the Girls Club another year, The Boys and Girls Club and another year it was a state park where we all got chiggers from crawling around the woods and learned to put nail polish on them each night. Good times!
It seems that summer camp has become a rite of passage. Although we homeschool year round I have always worked in a variety of summer camps into our homeschool program each summer. One of the things I like about the summer camp offerings, is that it is a great way to try out a sport or activity without a huge commitment.
Whatever your child’s interest, there is a camp for it.
This year we are enrolled in:
Art camp, Fairy Princess Dance Camp, Nature Camp, Soccer Camp, Piano Camp, Golf Camp, and Surf camp.
I justify it in my mind that these camps serve as our extra curricular activities or PE program, which they do. Or that they also allow my children an opportunity to spend time with other children on a semi-regular basis, which is also true.
My children certainly aren’t exhausted or over scheduled. The camps they are enrolled in are half day camps, which seems about the right amount of time for their age. They enjoy them and look forward to them. They also don’t attend them every week. Some weeks their sibling has camp and they stay home. That’s what happens when you are part of a semi-large family and your father is a Road Warrior CEO and your mother won’t let anyone else drive you anywhere.
But am I spoiling them? Should they just spend time in our home enjoying the “lazy days of summer” with no camps at all? Or, does this not really apply to them because they are homeschooled and each day already allows them time to explore their own interests at their own pace, and enjoy downtime?
Sometimes I wonder if it’s just too much. Or if the doctor will prescribe enough Valium to get me through surf camp. My boys can swim, but what about the sharks? I plan on hanging on the beach with a lifeguard who doubles as a babysitter that I’ve hired for the week. True story. I think between the two of us we can bust a move out into the surf and rescue my children. Or she can perform CPR on me if I have a heart attack watching the lessons. The boys meanwhile cannot wait. And they have friends who will be attending this camp for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row, so obviously they survived. I’m hoping I do too.
What is your take on summer camp?
first, great new blog!
I did the summer camp this but my first experience scared me b/c some older kids told ghost stories. But the next time I went it was better. I would like my kids to go to camp someday.
This year they have done only two camps– one Jr Bible Camp and the bereavement one at Camp Agape.
They had the amazing opportunity to go on a 9 day adventure camp in Colorado where thy would learn horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking and a bunch of other EXCITING things… and all this for the super amazing low cost of food ($200… normally it would've been almost $2K per kid!). Plus, no more than 10 kids in the entire camp.
But did they want to go? NO.
Why? Because that is too long to be away from home.
Oh well. Too bad they don't have a grown up camp like that b/c David and I would be all over it!
Anyhow, I think they have enough lazy at-home days as it is simply b/c we do homeschool. However, I also feel that *I* don't have enough lazy at-home days simply b/c I'm a homeschool teacher. 🙂
I always wanted to go to summer camp…the more the better 🙂
My idea of too scheduled is when the kids are doing homework in the car on the way to after school activities and bedtime routines are interrupted because activities go too long. Summer camps, especially ones that go for half a day spread throughout the summer are fun and a healthy way for kids to enjoy activities they like.
Personally I HATED day camp and when my mom signed me up I never wanted to go, but I was so shy and that was part of it.
I think you have a good mix of activities for the kiddos!
skinner studio says
Just discovered your blog – love it!
My boys are too little for camp yet (2 & 4), so I don't speak from experience…but it sure sounds great to me!
I worry about kids whose parents force too many activities on them that they don't want, but if they really want to go to camp and you are able to send them, then go for it – the more the better if your kids like it!
I think its great that you can give them such a variety of experiences – sounds super fun too!
I'll say it again, LOVE the new blog design. Now, onto summer camps.
I know exactly what you mean! I have been telling myself that camps are the best way for Little Buddy to get out and spend time with his friends that he would be seeing at “school.” Also, he gets to spend time doing various activities with folks that know a whole lot more about them than I do!
I will say, I have probably been the one a bit rushed trying to make it to all of the activities. My question is, am I making Little Buddy to where he thinks he always has to be doing something like a camp or going somewhere? Hopefully not.
I do hope surf camp goes well. Sounds like you are prepared for everything and anything!
Darcy @ m3b says
I'm in the “no camp” camp.
I am OK with day camps… but from my own memories of overnight camps, it's a lot of unsupervised time where alpha kids are running the roost. Those parents would probably faint if they knew what was going on.