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Camp Rocks

November 13, 2008

summer-camp-logoNo, not the movie, the actual experience.

Little IT wants to go to sleepaway camp this summer.  Apparently, most parents are prepared for this request, and spend the summer before the kid wants to go visiting prospective camps. 

Not us.  We’re using web sites, personal visits from camp directors, and the Camp Lady in our town to find and research camps.  We also talk the ears off of all our friends on the topic.  We’ve found a couple of prospects and are now deciding among them.

Of course, it wasn’t a given in our eyes that she would want to do this.  It was Girl herself who began pushing for this.  When one director asked her why she wanted to go to camp, her response was that she wanted time to try all the stuff she can’t during the year because of school and soccer commitments.  She also said she wanted some time away from her family. 

SHE’S 9!  How overbearing and style-cramping are we? 

She later emphasized that she would indeed miss us, but was very excited to have some time on her own with kids her age.  Then her brother bit her mid sentence, and she retracted the “missing us” part.  Oh well.

One camp director I spoke with repeatedly mentioned that her camp has a soccer team that travels around to play other camps, and wouldn’t that be fun, and wouldn’t Girl want to do that.  That pretty much wiped that camp off her list.  She does so much soccer during the year.  She wants the summer off.  And that’s ok by me. 

How do you decide what to do with your kids for the summer?  What do they like, what don’t they like, and how do you use your judgement to help find the right fit for them?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Perry Hewitt permalink
    November 13, 2008 12:33 pm

    My son loved it at that age — 9 and overnight camp are a great combination. The previsit feels like overkill to me, but I’m likely overreacting to these parents profiled in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/26/nyregion/26camp.html?em

  2. November 13, 2008 12:59 pm

    Oh my, Perry, I’m so not like that. I’m afraid I’ll be the one who forgets to be home on one of the 2 prearranged phonecalls! I have enough stress in my life, no need to pass it off on a camp director. Thanks for sharing the article, that was a hoot!

  3. November 13, 2008 1:26 pm

    I felt like I missed something by never going to camp. When I went to college, almost everyone from the north east spent at least a month in camp and had such fond memories of it while all I had were memories of sweltering Louisiana summers spent riding my bike to Cajun Snow. I think she’s at the perfect age for this and I hope you find one where she’ll have a blast. If it’s anything like what my friends experienced, she’ll keep the friends she makes for life.

  4. November 13, 2008 9:16 pm

    This is the one my niece liked – she did not want to rough it – nor did she want all sports or all non sports:
    http://www.explo.org/
    I think both girls will attend next summer (11 and 9).

  5. November 14, 2008 11:18 am

    I think finding a happy medium is key and listening closely to those we love.
    Part of growing up is the ability to identify what needs and wants fit for the child as well as the family. It would be so easy if each child came with a manual. Seriously, wonder if we would bother with reading it! If it is any consolation, we face similar challenges to the camp question.

  6. Jeanenne permalink
    November 14, 2008 1:59 pm

    You may not find this helpful, but I’ve never been keen on idea of sleep-away camp for my daughter… and now she’s 18! Of course, this may be why she just decided to move back home after one semester in the dorms. That being said, I think fit is the most important thing… if she doesn’t feel comfortable, it doesn’t matter what the camp offers, she’ll be miserable there.

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