Near the end of the school year, moms are presented with a new source of stress. Just a few months prior, we celebrated making it through the holidays and the start of the second half of school. Then suddenly out of nowhere, they come the emails and advertisements to choose summer camps.
“Is it that time already? I’m still wearing sweaters,” you think to yourself.
If you want to secure your child a place at the most cost-effective price, you have no choice. You find yourself all but forced to begin planning out your child’s activities for the entire summer. The options can be overwhelming. Do you choose a full summer at the same location for consistency or do you offer your child a variety of options to further your goal of raising a well-rounded child? Do you put your son in sports camps because that’s what he likes, or do you take this opportunity to expose him to theater and arts? Do you keep your daughter in dance, or do you shift your focus to soccer or gymnastics? Do you forget all of the above and go with VBS options only?
Can I make a plea to summer camp coordinators? The entire school year is focused on the individual child. Their study habits, their AR level, their standardized test scores, their flexibility score in PE-it’s all about THEM. While that’s certainly understandable in the academic setting, I would love to see a revolution in the summer. What if…summer camps turned the focus AWAY from the child and TOWARDS others? What if…summer camps focused on community service and giving rather than receiving? What if…an entire week was used to prepare a music ensemble of campers and it culminated in a recital that was performed at local nursing homes? What if..four days were spent planning and preparing a dinner that was served for those in need on the fifth and final day of camp? What if…individual campers were paired up with children who were never exposed to soccer, football, or dance and their task was to teach those children all they knew?
After recently having my son play guitar at an Alzheimer’s daycare facility and seeing how significant the impact was on the attentive listeners, I am convinced that our children need to do more of this. Who’s with me?