Monday, July 14, 2008

And now camp starts ...

Each of my kids has chosen their summer "agenda".

For years they attended the free or close-to-free programs at the local library, YMCA and town recreation programs as well as "mama camp" (a bunch of us rotated - so much fun!). Last year and this, I've let them put together their own 'agenda' for the week, each week of the summer. This is done in an effort to never hear the word "bored" ever again. That and the added bonus that they are not vidiots for the entire 9-10 weeks of holiday!

For this week, Claire and Cole have elected to attend:

Chloe has elected to attend:

Caden has elected to attend:

Each camp has an element of:

And, as a special treat for me, I don't have to make lunch as it is "provided" (aka, I paid for it in the fee!).

They are out of their minds with excitement. Camp starts at 9AM and pick up is at 3:30PM each day this week. Chloe mentioned (with excitement - gasp!) that it was just like a school day. Claire corrected her since her regular school day starts at 7AM and goes to 5PM!

They are so anxious for something new to do and for someone new to meet. Poor Cole was complaining today that even though it's kinda fun to go to the "hut" and "skip rocks" and "play with my friends", he's kinda bored and needs to "learn something" - like the six books he's read aren't enough! He followed that with an emphatic: "When does camp start, mama?"

After all the verbal (written and spoken) abuse following my "Bee In My Bonnet" aka, the Wretched Mother post, I was terrified I had misjudged my kids. Maybe those mums were right and I was oh so wrong! Could it be? Absolutely!

I put the theory to the test: they've been to Cape Cod, relaxing, lounging, having playdates, swimming, biking, road hockey, MSNing, movies, Wii-ing, running around, essentially enjoying the same experience those who bitched the loudest enjoy.

They are bored.
They are starting to pick on each other.
They are not having fun.

By 6PM on Sunday they packed their own bags with all equipment required (lifejackets, swim suits, snacks, gatorade and sunscreen) and in bed by 8PM in anticipation of the fun that starts today. I only had to ask once.

They all know that we're attending Caden's baseball game tonight at 6PM (and Claire's on Tuesday, and Cole's on hockey on Wednesday, and Chloe's hockey on Thursday, and Cole's baseball on Thursday and nothing on Friday) and are thrilled to have a routine, a schedule, something to look forward to ... after all, what is life without anticipation?

So, instead of me anticipating a wretched summer (the POINT of my original post), I anticipated bored kids (not an unhappy me) and dealt with it. I'm not bored with them. They are bored with nothing organized to keep them busy.

They're happy, They're busy. I'm happy. They're busy. And hey, for years "Mama Camp" cost nothing. It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with busy ... and looking forward to something.


:: gingerkitty :: said...

Okay that's it. I am packing my bags and going to camp Amazing. They didn't have camp like that when I was a kid.

Heather said...

When I was a kid I did not like camp. I didn't like being away from home. NOW I would love to go to camp! I agree with Melinda! I'm going too. My motto with my students when they told me they were bored was that "only boring people get bored" but you can only create so much fun with the same kids in the same house with the same mama so many days in a row! Glad to hear you will all be busy and happy!

Midnite Scrapper said...

Lee - I loved the way you added the pictures into the post. You know your children and what they need. You are giving them experiences that every parent would love to give to their kids. I think it's a great balance that you're teaching them. You inspire me!

Cyn M said...

I LOVED asking Cole if he felt stressed out the other day! I asked him if he was "over-scheduled" (as he was scheduling a skateboarding lesson with a friend)....He told me that he loved camp. He was totally okay with going and he was looking forward to canoeing!
So, Lee, I think that knowing YOUR children, planning for their summer is what is best for you! Good job MAMA! ;) That is the job you have - KNOWING YOUR KIDS and SCHEDULING what FITS for them!!!! :)
I think that makes for a happy family life! Bored kids....not so much!!!

Love ya!