Growing up, I have great memories of summer: the beach, friends over for swim parties, my mom cutting up peaches for us, sleep overs, art classes, Yosemite, and BBQ’s. I know I attended a few camps, but nothing as specialized like the options of today….I remember the camps were local, outdoors, had lots of running and great popsicles.
Each and every summer I make a pledge that my boys also have some of those open ended days I had growing up….I really felt a distinct difference between the school year and summer. Flip flops every day, watching TV after breakfast before going to the beach, a friend’s house, art class or roller skating. It was just so effortless, easy and so much fun!
I do laugh at myself each year as those open ended days by week two of summer do require some structure for my boys, now 10 and 13 years old. Yes, the balance of summer is what I am after each year. We are all consumed by the idea of camp – I too as I create specialized art camps for many local camps here in Los Angeles in addition to offering our own art camp…. But although I am personally involved in camps as a business and as a parent, I have to stay aware of how much is too much.
Taking the time to write this article is really a personal reminder for me to not underestimate how important those “open ended days” are for our kids. The pressure of school, homework, after school activities, tutors and more for close to ten months can really take a tole on our children. If your kids are attending lots of camps this summer, just remember to get ice cream cones in between, go to the beach, play outside and keep those effortless memories of summer with you…. Summer is a time for our children to truly take a break and replenish….
Hope to see you eating popsicles and riding bikes!