Friday, June 24, 2011

Family Time: summer camp!

After our exciting eleven-day trip to Southwest Colorado and beyond, we returned home to three weeks of summer camp for all three (all three!!!) kids. Similar to Mae starting Kindergarten last Fall, this is the first summer all three kids can attend the same camp. Life is good.

This camp runs from 9-3 at our synagogue. It is old school, simple, and filled with ruach (spirit). Mondays and Wednesdays they stay on campus and play games, create crafts and do water play. Tuesday and Thursdays are Field Trip days (taking the bus is very exciting!). Fridays they prepare challah in the morning, have an hour with the rabbi, then take their challah to the nearby senior center and sing for "the oldsters."

This is very similar to their pre-school experience (the camp directors were all three kids' Pre-K teachers) and it is just so very wholesome and healthy. We all love it so much. I've missed the kitschy crafts, sweet challah and songs in Hebrew. I love seeing them at the end of the day, dirty, with homemade "gak-slime" under their fingernails, and, usually, soaking wet from a game of Drip Drip Splash.

When did we (I) move away from camps like this? Most of Ted's friends attend very focused camps that aim to teach the kids a skill while still having fun. (Indeed, he'll be attending a Parkour camp in a few weeks! Parkour! For kids!)

Later in July, Ted will attend Shwayder for two weeks of overnight camp. The little ones are only doing the three weeks at our temple's camp. The rest of the summer will be spent at the pool, at the library, and at home.

We will definitely write out our yearly Summer To-Do List. I know a few trips to Water World will be on the list, as well as some time at the Boulder Rez and the Denver museums.  It will be fun to see what else they want to do. Wednesday are going to be our Field Trip Days!

I hope to create a more mellow summer this year, with less rushing to a camp destination and more sleeping in, grazing on healthy snacks, and fun days with each other. Sometimes, in my desire to create "fun" for my kids, I create too much stress. I hope this summer will be different.

What plans does your family have for the summer? Do you send your kids to camp, keep them home, or a mixture of both?

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