Thursday, April 28, 2011

How many camps did YOU sign up for?

It's summer camp time again. Feels like we were just dusting the snow off the car, but I'm already behind the curve. I wrote this a few years ago but am running into it again this year. Last summer the boys did one week of camp - all together - all at the same place, and loved it. The rest of the summer they goofed off, ran amuk, swam, and goofed off. A kids' dream summer if you ask me. Yet here we go again looking at brochures, wondering if we shouldn't fill a few weeks for them. But is filling a few weeks right?

May 23, 2008

How many camps did YOU sign up for?

SuzieI have been asked that question more times than I care to remember - and it's just that - it's ME signing up for camps, not how many camps are the kids attending this summer. Why on earth is there this big push to fill their days anyway? I have no idea what is at the root of this drive to fill the kids' summer with activities around here, but it is a constant pressure to do so, at least in my circles.

We never had that big push in Texas to fill our summers, and there surely wasn't as much cool stuff to do there as there is here in the nation's capitol. We're all of 20 minutes from DC proper, and the museums, the Mall, the galleries, zoos, and the historical places (that aren't so fun for kids but involve a Metro ride so they really are fun in the end) are all free or very low cost.

The gymnastics place offers a camp, but so does the soccer, the school district, the gym, the county rec centers, the preschool, other local private schools, and then the list branches out. I can't imagine how much money we'd spend if we filled our summer with camps, especially for three kids, but that's just what some folks are doing. When did it become OK to take all those precious summer days away from kids? How else are they going to learn how to deal with the "boredom" and head off on grand adventures in the basement, the back yard, or at a friend's house? Where are they going to get that much needed kiddo downtime that lets them unspool from the school year? If all of their days are filled with camps and classes and they have back to back weeks of those camps and classes, when do they have time to goof off? What are we teaching our kids by filling their every summer day with camps and classes?

I understand the need to provide care for your child over the summer, but at what point does one decide that filling an entire summer with different camps is good for little folks? And what's with asking me what camps I signed up for? I'm not going least not to camp this summer. Although, that could be fun - mommy camp...hmmm....

An original post to DC Metro Moms Blog.

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