School’s out and summer is almost here. Trying to find the summer camp to fit your kids can be difficult. Especially if two of the camps they want to attend run the same week! My girls are doing some sporadic summer camp and other daily activities. Next week starts our first planned activity of the summer.
Monday, all three girls will be attending Vacation Bible School (VBS). Ironically, this was their choice, not mine. A friend runs the program and invited the girls last year. They attended and have been asking all year when they can go again. You’d think with going to Catholic school, they’d be sick of religion. But they love it. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, you’re more then welcome to attend. A bonus – there is barely any cost. Many just ask for a donation. Check your local churches for some fun activities this summer!
Monday also starts soccer camp. While the girls will not be attending due to them wanting to go to VBS, I will be there. One of my responsibilities as soccer VP was acting as a liaison between our soccer league and Challenger Sports. If your kids are into sports, I highly recommend checking out their website to see if they offer any soccer camps near you. Our soccer league has used this British soccer company for the past few seasons. The trainers are highly enthusiastic about the sport and engage the children by introducing the sport in a variety of child friendly ways. Seriously, check them out!
Monday, I’ll also be hitting the library to sign the girls up for the summer reading program and some craft days. Einey went once a week for four weeks last year to the library for 1 ½ - 2 hours to make crafts. She loved it! This year, I’m signing the girls up for a few craft days, as well as Einey up for some craft days lead by the local girl scouts. The best part, it’s free!
Next weekend, Einey is going to one day of Girl Scout camp, or Camporee. Her troop is not doing an overnight, which is fine by me. I could send her to a weeklong program at any one of the Girl Scout camps, but there really are not any that are close by. Plus I’m trying not to do week long programs. Just enough to give them something to do to break up the monotony of being at home.
The following week, the girls will attend summer camp at their school. They encourage you to leave their bikes and have a HUGE water slide set up. Plus there are games and activities and they get to see their friends. And they are putting in a new playground this week. They’ve never had one before. Unlike many parents though, I didn’t sign them up for full week sessions, just a few days spread out through out the summer. There are field trip days as well, but I didn’t send the girls to those.
If your school doesn’t offer summer camp, check your local Rec. department. They usually offer full day summer programs as well as field trips. The downside is, at least around here, they are fairly expensive!
Another thing I need to sign them up for is swimming lessons. We’ve done swimming lessons through the Re. Dept. for the past two years. The girls have fun and I like that they are learning a life skill. For us, I feel it’s important that they learn how to swim! We’ve got our beach passes already and cannot wait for the lake to open for many lazy summer afternoons of swimming.
One program we haven’t checked out, although I know the girls would love, are the week long summer sessions offered by Mad Science. We’ve been to birthday parties at Mad Science and the girls LOVED them. Maybe next year!
Another place to look would be your local community college. The one near our house offers a kid’s academy. Each week has a theme such as animals, science, cooking, etc. I’ve heard from friends who have sent their kids that they had a lot of fun.
If being outside is more your style, check out your local Audubon Society. They offer a variety of activities from guided hikes to summer camps. Last year, Einey went to their afterschool program once a week. She really enjoyed learning about nature and taking hikes. They looked for frogs, found mice in the bird houses they were cleaning out for the end of winter and looked for salamanders in a stream.
If you can’t find anything through your local Rec. Department, check out your local zoos, aquariums or science centers. They usually offer a wide variety of summer programs as well, from one day programs to week long summer camps.
So let’s recap, for us, it’s VBS, swim lessons, craft days and school summer camp. While it may seem like we’re doing a lot, most of these are either only an hour or two a day, once or twice a week or at the end of June and beginning of July. For most of the summer, it will be widely unscheduled. The girls want to invade the Cape again this summer and Husband wants to travel to New York – something about exploring caves. Right now, I don’t know where we’ll end up, except of course, at the playground* and lake.
Now, if I could just convince the local coffee shop to install a playground, we’d be all set!
*The new playground in town is super cool. Today, we met some school friends (planned and unplanned) for three hours of fun. This is, apparently, the popular place to be. This particular playground opened Memorial Day weekend. It’s a Boundless Playground for kids with and without handicaps. It’s been four years in the making and was well worth the wait! We’ve been a few times and at first, it seemed overwhelming. There are so many more people there than we are used to. Add into the fact that the play structure tripled in size blocks the line of sight you once had. But it’s new. And fun. And there’s shade to rest in.