Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February is upon us, and it means it's time for summer plans :) Yes, that's right - camps fill up quickly and many camps have applications due in January. Smarty rejected any sort of overnight experience which would be longer than a week - that excluded all academic camps that usually require 3 week commitment. However, we would really like her to have this experience of an overnight camp, and we feel that she is ready for it, so we are applying for a one week Yunasa camp in Colorado. This is a camp for gifted children, and Smarty has a "free ride" to it, since she was a Caroline D Bradley finalist last year. The only problem is that the dates for this camp might clash with the dates for her black belt testing, and we are waiting to establish exactly what those dates are and whether they are in any way flexible before we commit to Yunasa camp. Luckily, we still have time for that, since Yunasa only finalizes their applications in March.
Smarty is also happy to pair up with her best friend for a non-academic camp at a farm where kids will be taking care of the animals, help with the produce, swim, do archery, and cook with locally produced food. Initially, we wanted this to be an overnight camp as well, but the dates did not align between us and the other family, so we are going with one week day camp option for that camp. We had to hang out online and apply for this camp as soon as their site opened for registration because, apparently, totally offline camp experiences fill up in a blink of an eye in Silicon Valley.
As usual, Smarty will also be traveling to see her grandparents. We will be visiting New Jersey in mid June, and she is going with her Dad to Germany for two weeks in early July. So, overall, she will spend about 4 weeks away from home including family trips and an overnight camp.
This year, Smarty specifically asked for some time on her own - without camps or other structured "9 to 5" activities, so there are several "free" weeks in her schedule. She is old enough to stay home on her own and to go to our community pool without supervision. I am a little skeptical on how well this is going to play out as Smarty tends to spend too much of her free time browsing the web, playing games or re-reading her favorite books, so we are talking with her about setting up her own "self-camp" with specific goals and activities for the weeks when she is at home. Still, we feel that it's fair to give her some unstructured time this summer to spend as she sees fit rather than shuttle her from once camp to another.
We might still fit one more camp in August for Smarty, but so far we haven't quite decided what it will be. She is equally interested in a local and relatively inexpensive art camp or in a much more expensive machine learning camp in Stanford University. Again, we are more inclined to a non-academic summer for this summer, so it's likely to be an art camp. Still, I am grateful for such a variety of choices available and for our ability to afford them. The trick is to decide what makes sense for each individual child, and in our case we opt for less load and more freedom next summer.

Your Turn

Have you already given thought to your summer plans? What are your kiddos going to do?


MaryAnne said...

My three younger kids are doing one week of Stanford's ninja camp (run by the men's gymnastics team). That and a week long family reunion in the middle of the Idaho mountains are our only commitments so far.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Camp schedules have already put a major snafu or two into our summer plans - it gets tricky. Smarty's summer sounds busy - so many great options - although I think MaryAnne might have you beat with ninja camp :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I want to go to ninja camp!

Ticia said...

We're looking at going back to the Navajo for a mission trip again this year. The boys decided on their own they did not want to go back to the camp they've been going to each year, they've changed management and I think that's been an influence in their thought process.