The glue to this whole plan is the “Summertime Nanny”. We were able to find a rising High School Senior to help get the boys to their various camp destinations, hang out with them before and after camps and even provide some guidance on the days when camp runs short. Without someone to help out, the Summer of Camp plan would not work. And so far, the Summertime Nanny is working out wonderfully.
The first week the boys went to different camps. Luckily my oldest had a friend attending Art camp with him so it was not a completely solo adventure. But my youngest was off on his own, taking a week of camp at the YMCA, and he did just fine. Both boys seemed to have a great time and came home with a lot of stories about what they did, other kids, friends made, etc. And of course we got the stories of the kids who were acting up, being a problem or any instance of potty humour (yes, dinner time conversation is sometimes that shallow).
For the art camp, my oldest worked with clay for one session and paper mache for the other (one was a morning session and the other an afternoon). He enjoys art and seemed to have a great time making a paper mache penguin (that sits almost 3 feet tall) and a clay leg (not sure where this inspiration came from). For the YMCA camp, my youngest did various activities each day and seemed to enjoy archery the most. They also did other outdoor activities, sports and crafts for a level of variety that seemed to keep them engaged.
The second week of camp was at the local county camp. These camps are run at one of the local schools and go in two week sessions, running Monday through Thursday each week. Although the boys’ school was on the list and the closest, we decided to sign them up at a different school so at least they wouldn’t feel like they were in their school for part of the Summer. And regardless of the location, they still found kids they knew attending so they were able to gain some instant comfort with known friends.
The camp consists of various activities including sports in the gym or outside, games and arts and crafts. It seemed to me that this would get a little boring after a while since the diversity of the activities seemed limited and I think my oldest agrees with me but my youngest says he loves it. He went so far as to claim it was better than the YMCA camp. He also mentioned that his group at camp is doing well in points competitions, which was not the case at the Y per his report, so that seems to have a lot to do with his approval of the county camp.
So the first two weeks of the Summer have gone by and so far so good. This will be an active Summer that I hope the boys will remember fondly (and maybe even appreciate). The next two weeks include another week at the county camp then a week at the beach for our annual extended family vacation. That will be followed by a week of soccer camp. It is going to be active and busy but that is the idea. It is our Summer Experiment and I’ll let you know how it goes in our next Summer of Camp report.