Are your kids enjoying their summer?

Avatar for keke0116
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Are your kids enjoying their summer?
8
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 6:35am
Are they going to camp (regular camp, specialized camp, sleep away) or are they home with you?

Kevin spent the past 3 weeks at a regular day camp (at a local church) that he's gone to before, and always enjoys. (His sis goes there, too.) For the next 2 weeks, he'll be at a baseball camp at our local university (with the head coach and some asst coaches as the directors.) After that, he goes back to the church camp, then he goes for 1 week of sleep-away. 2 weeks then before school starts, not sure what he'll do ... although 1 of those weeks we'll be on vacation. (Just haven't finalized plans yet.)

Was thinking that next year or two, the choices will be fewer. Most camp programs stop after age 12 ... but I work, so he has to be doing 'something.' I know of several people who have their 11, 12, 13 y.o. kids at home ... and, if I remember correctly, I stayed home while my mom worked. I just can't imagine doing that with my kids ... at least not Kevin who really needs to be kept busy, needs some structure in his life. Guess I'll worry about that when the time comes.

So far, my kids are enjoying their summer ... of course, it's going by too fast. With middle school around the corner, I'm starting to get nervous.

Nancy

Nancy 

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Avatar for cl_janetlh
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 9:50am
Get your coffee... This got long ;-)

Sam and Rachel started their 3rd week of day camp today. It's a generalized, all activity day camp, where they do sports, arts & crafts, etc. They have swim lessons and free swim every day. This is their 6th year there! To your point, the oldest group of campers is 13, and that group also participates in the counselor-in-training program. I believe they could actually be a Jr. Counselor of some kind at 14! The younger children at this camp have school teachers as counselors, so perhaps they assign the younger JCs to help in those groups. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam and Rachel want to keep going through the program at this camp. They are definitely bored with some of the activities at this point, although the senior campers do things the other campers don't do. It's a healthy, active environment, so a little boredom with a couple of activities won't kill them, I figure.

Rachel will attend the full 8 weeks of day camp, but Sam is only going for 6 weeks. He will go to sleep away camp for the first time for 2 weeks in August. I hope he *loves* it. If I had my way, next year S&R would go to 4 weeks of day camp, and 4 weeks of overnight camp. It's a great experience. (Many overnight camps are through 9th grade, sometimes older with counselor training programs and work opportunities.)

We actually have 3 1/2 weeks between the end of camp and school this year!!! So, if I have to be out of work, this was good timing I guess. One of those weeks we'll take family vacation. We're going to San Francisco and Monterey. My dh always has frequent flyer tickets to use, so we benefit from his business travel by taking vacations further away than we'd otherwise be able to afford. We use his hotel points, too!

As far as kids getting too old for camp, but needing to be busy, I would suggest looking around. Is there a YMCA near you? They often have tween and teen summer programs. I did a really cool day camp when I was 14 and 15 through a Y. We did day trips every day; there was no actual camp! Buses picked us up and we all redezvous'd at a park, where we switched buses to sit with our group. 3 times a week we visited different county and state parks that had pools or were on the beach or a lake. Twice a week we did a field trip - museums, zoos, points of interest in the area. It was great. My point is (excuse my reminiscing ;-) is that there are programs for teens in many areas, but I understand it varies by region. Camp programs are *very* popular in NY, where I grew up.

Also, at 13 or 14, can your ds volunteer or work at the church camp? If he's involved in boy scouts, there are definitely camp opportunities. Keep your eyes open for "camp fairs" in your area, where camps come and tell you about there programs all in one spot. I was surprised at how many choices there are in our area! Many of the local, smaller colleges offer camp programs for all ages. Yes, a 13 or 14-year-old can stay home alone while parents work, and IMHO that may be OK for part of the summer, but being involved and busy with some activities with a peer group is more of an enrichment and growth opportunity, not to mention a happier experience.

Thanks for starting us off this week, Nancy! Have a great week, everyone!

Janet

co-cl

Janet


Jewish Family Life

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 10:25am
Sean is staying home this summer. I'm lucky in that Robert works nights so we don't have to worry about child care no matter what time of year. Sean is enjoying his summer, but he's bored - no surprise there, he was bored at day camp last year too LOL. We decided that since he'd be bored no matter what, it was better to save the money from camp and generally we here fewer complaints when he's home because he gets to do "what he wants to" for the most part.

Best Always,

Sherrie

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 12:04pm
I work too, and it's always a major chore to come up with something to fill those 11-12 weeks (I only get off 2 weeks/year, which is a pain due to spring break and them now getting 2 weeks at Christmas, not to mention various holidays here and there that work doesn't have). This summer I filled him with 10 of the 11 weeks; there's never anything that last week in August (we start back the day after Labor Day; about the only district in the area like that). He went to a week of fishing camp that he loved; they went to different lakes every day. The 2nd week off, he and I went to Wisconsin to Boy Scout camp, 600 miles from here - it was exhausting but a major accomplishment (I definitely don't miss latrines and those huge mosquitoes). This next 4 weeks (this is week 2), he's at Summerquest here (9-3, a pain for us working folks who don't want to pay $75 per 2 week session for early care, or $125 for late care, on top of camp fees!) where he's chosen to be in archery, baseball, bowling and free swim. The next session will be baseball, archery, bowling and woodworking, which may switch to bowling, woodworking, rock climbing (climbing wall) and golf, since they can switch some stuff around. Then for four weeks, he goes to a craft place (read that $$$) where the first week he'll do pottery throwing (wheel) and glass bead making (he's done it in the past and loves it), and the next two are other glasswork and metalwork. Whew - then I have to take unpaid time to be off that last week...sigh.

Sue

Avatar for keke0116
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 6:16am
Sounds like a fun summer at your house! The camp the kids go to (at the church) uses their youth group as counselors ... and some as CITs. Few non-members of the church get selected for the CIT program, although perhaps since Kevin has gone there for 4 of the 6 years they've operated, he might get to do that if he wants. Volunteers at various organizations need to be at least 14 (I checked on some of that this summer.) I think I have at least 1 more year before the age-thing becomes an issue, so I'm not going to sweat it (yet.) The YMCA probably will have some options. I just can't see keeping him home alone for weeks at a time. I know that I did that as a kid, but I also spent time babysitting, so I was earning money throughout the summer, and not getting into trouble. I just see a kid with too much time on his hands as prone to get in trouble ... or spend the summer in front of the TV eating his way through the day. (Kevin doesn't have a large circle of friends, and although he's active, he'd be very lazy if given the opportunity.)

~N

Nancy 

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Registered: 07-12-2003
Sat, 07-12-2003 - 11:12am
Katelyn is impossible! She refused to go to Bible Camp again this year. I "forced" her to go last year and she had fun. But she doesn't like having decisions made for her. So instead she is home and bored. We have a swimming pool and that is okay when the weather is good but the weather has been so up and down. Katelyn has spent so much time just lying around watching tv, it's driving me nuts. Melanie will be going to Bible Camp next week without her big sister. Fortunately it's only half days.

Pat - Katelyn (10), Melanie (almost 7)

Avatar for partytimemom
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Registered: 04-05-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 4:12pm
Hello, my son is 9 and my daughter is 6. My son will be going to basketball camp at our high school the last week of July, and soccer camp in August. Other than that, he also has been doing alot of tv watching, which he does not do that much of in the nicer weather. We also have a pool, but he gets tired of always swimming and having kids over to swim and not play anything else! He is in all-star baseball which has been taking up our nights right now, but it seems like all the kids that he is friends with have been going away or to some other type activity. I wish now I had signed him up for a 6wk speed, strength and conditioning camp at our high school. It is every morning for an hour and 1/2. Next year, we are doing that. I know they are supposed to enjoy the summer and I don't want to schedule them for so much, but it is dead around our neighborhood, and I think so many kids are in camps, swimming, etc. that they are never home. We do have kids over to swim, I have taken them min golfing, etc., but I get tired of hearing "I'm bored". I want to have some time to myself too without always entertaining everyone'else's kids here. Anyway, I can't always be the one to come up with ideas, and I have things to get done around here also, so they have to occupy themselves some other way than tv!. All the toys, books etc around here, and they can't find anything to do. My dd always wants to call someone to come over first thing in the morning, and it drives me crazy!. Sorry this is so long!.
Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 4:29pm
Welcome! Glad you found our board and jumped in. It is hard to constantly entertain kids, yours and others. I hope your kids find something new to keep them busy at home, and at least you all have those camp weeks to look forward to!

Hope to see you often!

Janet

co-cl

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 10:57am
Glad to meet you!! Keeping kids occupied is tough, since they have their own ideas of what is entertaining (which usually vary from ours). Hope to "see" more of you!!

Best Always,

Sherrie

co-cl

Sherrie Rainbow