When we were kids, summer camp meant something different to us than it does to our children. For us, camp meant camp: cabins or tents, canoeing, hiking, singing songs around a campfire and general camaraderie. Children today are much more active, much more schedule-oriented and generally just busier. Consequently, the very dynamics of summer camp have changed. Camps offered now are much more focused and detail-oriented. There’s soccer camp, art camp, violin camp, space camp, leadership camp, palaeontology camp, etc. But there are some things about camp that truly haven’t changed: The general apprehension your son or daughter might feel the first time they attend camp. Here’s what seasoned camp veterans had to say to children that are going off to camp for the first time.
School’s out, the kids are already bored or attached to their electronic devices 24/7, and you’re suddenly regretting that decision not to enroll the kids in multiple weeks at day camp (at some point, you thought one week in August would be enough!). Here are my top suggestions for things to do with the kids this summer, your own DIY camp, as you seek to entertain the troops until school starts back up again. The best part? You won’t have to spend a lot on most of these activities or outings beyond basic transportation and the occasional ice cream cone or treat.
It was a beautiful summer day. My daughter Chelsea was 10 and after a week of hectic activity, we were finally ready for summer camp. I read out the items from the camp list: “Shorts? Check. T-shirts? Check. Rain gear? Check.” Everything she needed was stacked on her bed. Each piece of clothing now bore a label with her name. All of her clothing for camp was clean and folded. All Chelsea had to do now was put it in her duffel bag laid out exactly for that purpose.
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