Spring is almost here and, though hard to believe, school will be out in just a couple of months. Have you started making plans for summer break? Sure, we all enjoy some downtime in the summer, including lazy afternoons by the pool, letting our teens sleep late and allowing for days with absolutely nothing on the schedule.
However, we also want our kids to thrive during summer by keeping active, making new friends, growing in independence or maybe even learning a brand new skill or sport. Our goal each March is to share with your family the many wonderful opportunities that await you in our Annual Summer Camp Issue!
Over the years, our three children have participated in a variety of summer camps from sports to computer to overnight camps, and more. Last year was a big milestone for our youngest, Grace, as she attended a two-week residential camp in north Alabama. We knew it was a big step for her, but also felt sure she would have a blast making new friends and participating in activities and social events all day, every day. We were right! The camp she attended posted pictures daily of campers riding horses, climbing ropes courses, participating in skits, swimming in the lake and so much more. Grace’s face was lit up with a bright smile in every single one.
My 10-year-old who had asked that we write her every day, and told us how much she would miss us, actually never wrote a single letter back. Thank goodness for the pictures or we might have been worried! When we picked her up and asked why she never wrote us she simply said, “I didn’t have time.” What more could parents ask for than for their child to have technology-free days filled with outdoor fun and new friends, while making memories that will last a lifetime. Grace is headed back to the same camp this year, and though she is a little nervous all over again, she can’t wait!
Jason and I are pretty excited about it ourselves, and not just for Grace, but for us. While she is away we plan to do a little traveling and reconnecting as a couple, savoring the time away from the responsibilities and distractions children bring to each day. If that sounds good to you, check out Tanni Haas’ article, Why Camp is Great For…PARENTS.
If your child isn’t quite ready for overnight camp, there are many other types of camps to choose from right here in our area and in nearby communities. A good first step is to sit down with your child and discover what he or she would most enjoy. Cheryl Maguire’s article, What Type of Camp Will Your Child Like, breaks down the different types of camps most often available, including sports, art/music, traditional day camps and more.
Next, flip to our Summer Camp Guide for details on hundreds of camps, including session dates, activities included, costs and contact information. You and your children may want to peruse the guide with highlighter in hand, marking their favorite options, then start narrowing down from there. Whatever your schedule or budget, you’ll find a camp to fit your family’s needs and desires.
Let’s start planning a summer to remember for our kids, keeping in mind the added benefit of some extra time to ourselves, with friends or with the one we love. Happy Camping!