My soon-to-be 12-year-old is adamant that, this summer, he’s not going to a camp.
from our recollection, he’s very much enjoyed most of his camp experiences. (Talk about someone indulging in revisionist history!)
He also mostly very much enjoyed the Sports Camps offered through the City of Walnut Creek
. Over the past few summers, he played soccer and basketball, then hung out at the Clarke Swim Center at Heather Farm Park. He was also introduced to lacrosse and golf. He was intrigued by lacrosse, but golf very much struck a chord with him, and golf is the sport that–for now at least–has captured his interest.
He has tried to make a very impassioned case about how he just wants to relax this summer, to chill… And not go to camp!!! He talks about wanting to spend time with his friends and “hang out.”
The “hanging out” part gives us pause. Especially when we’re talking about a young male of a certain age.
Then again, I grew up mostly never going to a day-, half-day or sleep-away camp. I did a lot of “hanging out” over the summers. Back when I was growing up, that meant, for me, watching lots of old movies on TV, and other “bad TV.” It’s true that the selection of bad TV available to me when I was growing up is nowhere near the scope and potential badness of “bad TV” now available to kids. Cable was barely a concept back in the Stone Age of my youth.
To give myself some non-media-engrossed cred, I did spend a fair bit of my aimless summers just relaxing, wandering the neighborhood, reading books, and doing other things that parents of a certain bent now view with nostalgia and as useful to developing a balanced happy life.
But it’s 2010, and we’re all so neurotic about making sure our kids don’t miss any opportunity for potential growth and accomplishment. Also, I’m a working parent. … But, the older my son gets, the more I wish I was not a full-time working parent; the more I wish I could just be around, so he could kick back over the summer, be kinda lazy, watch some bad TV (including with his mother) and meander around with friends.
Back to the summer camp question: I wouldn’t mind giving my son a break. After all, he’s been doing this summer camp routine, as a substitute for part-time or full-time day care since he was five. Then again, I know he’s at the age when he actually needs more supervision–not less than he was five years old. So, we’re debating whether he’ll go to camp, or if we can find a camp that would really appeal to him.
So, what are your kids’ summer plans? Camp? Maybe you’ve heard of some really cool and unusual programs? If so, please, please, share that information with other readers–and maybe even me!
Again, the City of Walnut Creek’s Recreation Division has a good record of running summer programs, and we’ve had a very good experience with it, their counselors, and their supervisors. Also, as kids get older they become eligible to earning summer jobs as “recreation leaders”–err, camp counselors. My son has this summer employment future interests him.
Recently, I learned about a new grass-roots website, Sign Up For Camp
. “It is a consolidated listing of camps in the Bay Area, and it’s fully searchable,” says a representative who contacted me. This site, founded by a San Francisco mother of two, “also allows parents to review camps and share their camper’s schedules with one another. It promises to save busy parents hours of time.”
So, check out Sign Up for Camp, and see if it’s useful. Or, if you have other recommendations for resources for me and other readers, please let us know!