Category Archives: Summer Camp

It’s possible that I’ve gone a little overboard

LogoForCampNellieBlyWell! This has been a veritable whirlwind of a week. It was the official first week of summer, but since Minneapolis schools didn’t get out until Wednesday, we (I) decided to use this week for prep and start summer camp on the 10th. This would have been a great plan, full of fun times and relaxed summer days, except that I forgot I had jury duty, so Monday and Tuesday were full of scrambling around trying to set up childcare (thank god for good friends who are willing to take my kids last minute), and then serving on a jury (interesting, but not interesting enough to make up for the hassle) and I’m *still* technically on jury duty, but now I just have to call in twice a day and maybe I won’t have to go back in at all. And then Wednesday my kids decided to celebrate the first day of summer holidays by displaying every bad habit or quality they possess, all at the same time, loudly, in my face. So by the time I was done with all that, I felt like I was scrambling to get everything ready in time. Which is a stupid way to feel, given that the only person who is holding me accountable for having everything done “on time” is ME, and I could theoretically let myself off the hook, except that I don’t really have that ability so much at all.

Here are the things I am thankful for this week: Pinterest, Color Inkjet Printers, and Gluesticks. The past few days have been an orgy of downloading, printing and assembling various items to set up for our summer experience. Y’all, I am obsessed with free internet printables. Which, yes, I realize that was not even a word until, like, last week. But I have always been one of those people for whom shopping for school supplies was the highlight of the academic year, and there is so much great stuff out there! Sure, you have to spend hours sifting through crap to find it, but Forms! Calendars! Worksheets! Coloring pages! Charts! It’s all out there and it looks pretty and the time I spend finding and choosing it is almost made up for by the time I save in not having to create it myself! Continue reading

DIY Summer Camp, or: How I Will Probably Lose My Marbles This Summer

Game of Round the World with Nellie Bly It’s June, somehow. We kind of missed April and May in this neck of the woods, so now it’s June even though it FEELS like it should only be April and I am thus mentally unprepared for summer – or, to be specific, for NO SCHOOL.

It’s curious, really, because it wasn’t so long ago that I had both kids around all the time, and that was just … the way things were. Before preschool and elementary school started, there wasn’t a huge demarcation between summer and the other seasons, except that we could go outside more often and the pools were open. But after only a year of having one in school all day and one in preschool some days, I am loathe to become the sole source of activities and structure for the next three months. And before I come off too helicopter-parenty, OF COURSE I realize that my kids need to take charge of their own entertainment and learn to be self-sufficient and blah blah blah. Yes. Agreed. But let us also take into account that this is a seven-year-old and a four-year-old we’re talking about here, so while they’re actually better than most kids at entertaining themselves for long periods of time, that skill is only going to get us so far. Plus also, we have apparently hit the phase I have long been dreading, where playing together – which up to now they have been delightful at doing – means actually playing 30% of the time and bickering 70%. Which is making me 100% crazy.

I’m not gonna lie, I have had some panicked moments, thinking about the long days and weeks looming ahead of us. Previous summers I have coped by signing Ellie up for various week-long “camps” through the Parks and Rec system, and putting both girls in swimming lessons, and stuff like that. I wasn’t *totally* happy with that system – our schedule was never the same two weeks running, and I felt more like a chauffeur than a parent – but at least it gave some structure to our days and gave us something to look forward to. This summer, however, camps and swimming lessons are not an option; my teaching hours have been cut by 1/3 and that means we can pick either summer activities or preschool for Sylvia next year, and frankly, that’s a no-contest choice right there. (But thank you so bleeding much, shit economy and beyond-stupid adjunct teaching system.) So in planning for the upcoming summer, I basically have two options: go-with-the-flow and just let shit happen as it will, or plan something myself. Continue reading