It seems outrageous to me that I’m somehow supposed to have Selam’s summer all locked up by now. The cost of the summer programs is staggering.  Selam’s classmates are enrolling in a dizzying array of “programs” most of which run 9-3.  A few are hiring a nanny for “wraparound care.” Others have stay at home parents.  One classmate is doing a French Immersion program. Several are going on this schooner program, or to archeology camp, or inventor camp, or music camp.

Have I mentioned that these children are in kindergarten?

It looks like we are doing

3 days of camp mommy between the last day of school and the start of summer season

5 days of Girl Scout Day Camp-

6 weeks of JCC camp– Possibly, I could switch to 2 weeks of GS camp and 5 of JCC, since GS camp is cheaper, but GS camp is riskier–she’s never been before, only one friend is going, and it’s out of town.)

This gets us to August 13, where we’re stuck.

I think I’ll take vacation from August 13-17.  There is the option of the JCC but that camp costs more for that week, and they’d be back inside, not at the outside camp with the swimming and whatnot.  I think it’s pretty much childcare. So a week of Camp Mommy (most likely at the beach every day unless it rains) might be best. All of the other camps are closed at this time, except for the inventor camp, which is a possibility but it only goes until 2:30.

August 20-24–I have no idea what I will do. Again, JCC will offer a possibility, IF 10 kids sign up–and again at the pricier rate. Fancy private school offers camp that week at high prices that week  (are they dipping the children in gold leaf?), but this is the only thing I’ve found so far. This is the killer week, as it’s orientation at the grad school where I work, so missing another week of work isn’t such a good plan.  Last year, at the last moment, a group of local churches advertised vacation bible school, which would have been perfect, but last year, I went to a conference, and Selam stayed with my mom.

August 27 & 28–Probably Camp Mommy.

So, we’re committed to 1800 dollars , and still don’t have coverage for 2 weeks (3 if you count the two half weeks) , one of which can be vacation, but 2 weeks of vacation would be killer at that time of year, both in terms of what I need to be doing at work, and also in terms of zapping out most of my annual vacation at once.  I think I’m going to try to see if there are a few other families that want to go in together on a babysitter….

What’s driving me the most crazy about all of this is that what I want to do is send her to a week of day camp with the girl scouts and spend the rest of the summer running through sprinklers and riding bikes!  On the other hand, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the JCC day camp.  Kids are absolutely bonkers for it. She is going to have tons of friends in the program–kids from her pre-school, her after school and her elementary school program will all be there. So cool. There are lots of college kids working there, which she’s going to just love.

What are your kids doing?  Anyone have a super awesome practically free summer program that is so great I should move to your town?

Please tell me that my child is going to be fine taking the bus to and from all these programs???Right? 5 is old enough, right?


7 thoughts on “Summer

  1. Last year i had mine at YMCA day camp….kind of expensive. They did really like it, but I felt the supervision was often lacking. This summer they will be with a home day care provider who they have been with throughout the year. There will be a lot of sprinklers and riding bikes and scooters; summers I remember as a kid.

  2. p.s. She will be fine riding the bus as long as there is plenty of adult supervision. My kids LOVE riding the bus…they think it’s a great treat..

  3. My daughter did camp and rode the bus for the first time last year at age 5. Her most favorite activity was riding the bus and was the number one requirement for her camp experience this summer. She will be going back to the same YMCA camp, with before and after care, coming to almost $2000 for 8 weeks. Why no one offers camp for the last week of the summer I just don’t understand. Good luck to Selam. I’ve heard wonderful things about the JCC camps.

  4. She will be fine. Probably she will LOVE the bus. Thank god we are teachers! We do send them to Audubon Camp for a week, Camp Grammie and Grampie, and swim lessons, and this year-robot camp for El. We try and keep them busy so that we won’t try and kill each other. This is one of the HUGE BONUSES of being public school teachers. We would totally take Salem if we were in the area. I’m serious. She sounds like a blast!

  5. I was a Girl Scout as a child and LOVED going to camp. I loved the activities, the songs, the camaraderie. While I had good friends at home and at school, camp gave me a sense of exploration that I still cherish. The first time I held my adopted daughter, I sang her a Girl Scout camp song, the first thing that came to my mind!

  6. I could never understand the gap weeks in child care; really, do they think all parents can have that much flexibility? And it really leaves single parents dangling (been there, done that).

    The Kid pretty much did YMCA day camps (and after school care) his whole elementary school career, with a few stints at the day camp run by his (former) daycare at my college–never any specialty camps, which we couldn’t afford–and he always loved it. Staying home with mom was not so much the preferred option after a point–afraid he’d miss something.

    Since you live in a college town is hiring a college student for some of the gap times ought to be a possibility. I like your idea of sharing someone with other families.

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