What’s your pleasure? Church or cheer camp, 4-H or scout camp, art or drama camp—does it really matter? It’s time away for the kids and a time of respite during the summer for us parents.
These little lovelies are currently at Camp Ne-O-Tez, which is a church camp that many young people from our home church attend. It is a full six days of playing in the creek, singing, Bible study, crafts, games and more. And, it’s six tween-free days in both my house and my sister’s.
Recently, I saw an episode of “Modern Family,” during which parents Phil and Claire Dunphy are desperate to find destinations for each of their children, so they can carve out a kid-free week over summer vacation. I don’t think that happens only in TV land.
The opportunities for American kids are awesome. As a child, I often found summers long and boring. When we were young, we spent days with teen babysitters. Some took time to entertain my sister and me, and others just tanned all day. When we were old enough to stay alone, but too young to drive, we watched TV and did a few chores; we lived out of town so there weren’t friends around to play with. Aside from the county fair, there wasn’t much going on.
Today’s kids have a plethora of activities and entertainments to choose from. Little guys can enjoy multiple VBS programs in the community, and older ones can do school-sponsored sports camps at minimal expense. There are themed camps available at community colleges, library and arts programs, babysitting courses, swim lessons, and even summer school is fun.
While such activities can become expensive, it is wonderful when kids can participate in at least a couple of these during their time off from school. And, it’s not a bad thing for parents either.
In fact, a little “camp” may be just what a busy dad or mom needs from time-to-time. While dads have fishing trips, we moms enjoy girls’ shopping weekends. The guys may crave a “City Slickers” style trip, and we women some beach time with the book club.
Carving out some quality time with friends is good for the soul. Whether we are experiencing or learning something new, or just developing deeper connections during our down time, it is good to rejuvenate and recharge. That’s good for our kids, too.
The time away, and the opportunity to gain some independence and an identity separate from one another are good. I find myself mid-week wondering how my daughter and niece are doing at camp, and, by the end of the week, I will be excited to see them both. They will be glad to be home with stories of new friends and fun they had.
My sister was able to “farm out” her blond rascal with her in-laws for a few days this week so she could get some projects done at home. I asked if they would like to take my boy, but I ended up stuck with my 16-year-old.
I kid. I kid, because… well, you know.
His summers look a bit different now. They are more about making and saving money than fun, but he, too, got some camp in when he was a 4-H camp counselor earlier in the summer.
Have you had your camp lately?