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Summer Camp – Are Your Kids Going?

By bethanysanders |

My kids, ages 5 and 7, aren’t going to camp this summer.  They didn’t go last summer either.  This fact caused me to hyperventilate for exactly 1.2 seconds — when my older daughter turned down what looks to be a fantastic five day camp at the planetarium where she’d even get a chance to learn to sail.

“SAILING!” I told my husband in my capital letters voice.  “We live on a Great Lake, she should learn to sail!”

“We’ve lived here our whole lives,” he countered, bringing me back to Earth. “Do either of us know how to sail?”

Of course she doesn’t need to learn to sail, especially not at 7 when she’d rather be building sandcastles anyway.  They turned down every camp that came their way — even the one at the rec center that costs just $80 for the whole summer, including lunch and breakfast.  That one hurt more than sailing.

Like me, Michelle Sinclair Coleman isn’t sending her kids to camp this summer, either.  But unlike Michelle, I didn’t feel any peer pressure when making my decision. She writes:

Do you want to know the easiest way bring your next conversation to a screeching halt?

Tell whomever you are talking to that your six year old is not going to camp this summer. What? Huh? Silence. You’d think I just announced I was going to pull my kid from Lewisboro Elementary and homeschool him forever.

Coleman says that her son, who is six, is a homebody. My own kids are, too, but I also think that they’ve already learned what it takes some adults a lifetime to figure out: Long, lazy summer days are precious and few, and they want to enjoy them while they can. Someday they may decide they want to learn to sail or try their hand at art or soccer or grossology camp, but for now they’re content to spend their summer days swimming, park-hopping, and goofing off.

Are your kids going to camp this summer? And do you think that kids who don’t go to camp miss out?

Photo: gracefamily, Flickr

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0 thoughts on “Summer Camp – Are Your Kids Going?

  1. Jenny says:

    My kids aren’t going to a camp, and so long as I do not work full time during the day they probably never will.

  2. ChiLaura says:

    ha. I have three kids, the oldest of whom is almost 4. I stay home with them. I plan to homeschool as long as where we live means god-awful public schools. My eldest is quite out-going, and he’s going to “play camp,” 4 hrs/day, 3 days/wk at our city park. Is he super-excited about going? Yes. Even if he weren’t, would I make him go. Yes, probably. This mama needs her summers off!

  3. Rosetta says:

    I think kids are missing out when they don’t get to go to camp. There was a time when camp was only for the privileged. We can now offer so much too our children, why deny them that? if your child has a neighborhood of children to play with OUTDOORS all Summer then by all means have them enjoy their Summer Vacation “a la residence”, but if they are going to be inside most days making popsicle stick art, burning up the playstation and watching Spongebob that’s just a waste of their potential. So many great skills are learned at camp, the most important: self assurance and team building.

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