maura @ 10:05 pm
It’s early January, so it’s time for my annual summer camp freakout. I meant to write a big long post about our trip to Disneyworld over the holidays, but I’m sick again (thanks a lot, adorable but lethal nephew!) and have been periodically deep-ending on camp research for the past few days so this is easier. Sorry — I promise at least one meaty Disney post is coming soon.
Once again Gus has declared all camps *except* science camp to be boring and (loudly) proclaims that he will not attend any of them, thank you very much. We are so nice that we will stand in line for science camp again this summer (fingers crossed it’s above freezing that day!), but science camp doesn’t offer as much camp as we need for the summer. So I’ve spent the past week surfing around for other options.
I have to admit that the day camp scene is pretty uninspiring to me these days, too. Maybe it’s just that this will be Gus’s 5th summer of day camps, but the options seem pretty lame: straight-up camps (he’s done so many of these), sports camps (no), drama camps (double no). Cooler camps exist at places like the Bronx Zoo, Aquarium, and Museum of Natural History, but they are too far away to be practical.
He loves nature, animals, swimming…all of these things point to sleepaway camp. There’s just no other way to get a hefty daily dose of nature when you live in the city, as far as I can tell. There are a couple of day camps in the northern suburbs that are naturey, but they’re a bus trip from Manhattan much less Brooklyn, and I can’t see asking my kid to commute like a Wall Streeter just to go to camp.
Gus’s reaction to the idea of sleepaway camp has been mixed. We have friends that go (an older + younger brother), and after talking with them last fall Gus was into it, esp. after hearing about archery. Then he changed his mind, because he would miss us so terribly. We would miss him too, and I’m not sure that we’re ready for it either. I went to a 1-week session of sleepaway soccer camp as a kid for 2 summers, but I can’t remember if that started as early as the summer between 4th and 5th grade. I don’t remember being particularly homesick, but a week is not really that long. And we have friends who have been sending their kids to sleepaway camp since they were 7.
But some of these camps look fabulous. Nature, swimming, animals, woodworking, archery, zip lines, climbing walls: what’s not to like? Maybe we just need to talk it up while waving around the brochures. One of the camps has a Family Camp over Memorial Day weekend that we are seriously considering — could be a good way to ease into it.
On second thought, maybe we should go to camp and Gus can get a job for the summer!