Saturday, August 18, 2012

Camp Dad: A Summer of adventures

Camp Dad-- where the world is our oyster.
This has been the summer of camp dad.  The past two summers, my 3.5 year old son has gone to camp (He's actually gone to the same place that he goes to pre-k) But this summer, partially because of our travel schedule and partially because of money, we decided that we would enroll in camp dad.  That's basically me as the sole caregiver from 7 am- 7 pm, 5-6 days a week, plus additional time.

I'm not going to say it wasn't hard, because it was, and I'm not going to say it wasn't worth it, because it was.  What I will say is that it wasn't what I expected, and it didn't go 100% as I thought it would.

Although all that was true, we had a great time.

7:30-9 am:  Breakfast, shower, get dressed/a little tv
9-10 artwork/studying
10-2 adventure/lunch
2-4 nap
4-7 playground/play/swimming
7pm dinner
8pm sleeping

The adventure could be going to the market, going to a museum, going to a play, etc.

We had approximately 7 weeks for all of this (with time off for travel, and other stuff)

Good plan, right?  Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men... (Yadda, Yadda, yadda)

We stuck to the plan a little bit, but we didn't do the 1 hour of studying/artwork nearly enough. (Often eschewed because we needed to leave to get on with our adventure.)

As well, the naps often turned into wrestling matches, with me trying desperately to get him to go to sleep (and the adventures would often run later than expected)

We had some great adventures, including museums and plays, visits with cousins and friends, and lots of fun swimming time.  The weather didn't 100% cooperate, but overall it was pretty nice.

Ultimately, even though the summer didn't go according to plan, and book learning wise we  didn't accomplish our goals, I can say with confidence that we had a very good summer.  I'm considering doing it again next year,

I think ultimately this year where I failed was weighting the adventure too heavily (ie, letting it take over the other parts of the schedule, and not making up the other parts.

I also didn't have enough structure/planned out events.  Our adventures were catch as catch can, and not planned out thoroughly even the week before.

We're on vacation right now in Chicago,  and when we get back next week, he's going to have 2 one week sports camps to end the summer (they appeared at the last minute, and I need the time to prepare for an upcoming project.)

Do you have any tips on how to be a better parent/camp counselor?  Please post them in the comments!

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