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