What can you fit in the summer 2017?

by Karen Meister

Every summer, we get about 10 1/2 weeks to plan for the kids and the family.  I for one, was never in the “mommy camp” mindset.  Keeping three boys home for an entire summer would crush me.  Sorry!  Not only would I have grayed prematurely, but the cost of entertaining three kids (and often times, friends) would have been overwhelming.  I was always creative with things to do at lower prices, but 10 1/2 weeks is a lot of planning.

For years, I did spend 8 full weeks running a camp… so I guess it was a mommy camp.  Tons of fun, loved it, and got to be the mommy that provided camp to about 1,000 kids and quite a few families.  But I wanted my kids to have the experience of being independent and away from me.  It was time to go to sleep away camp.  There are many decisions to make when selecting just the right camp for your children and family, but the first big decision is FULL SUMMER OR PARTIAL SUMMER.

Which is best for the kids, the family, the finances….  not necessarily in that order!   I have always been a planner.  I usually ask first, selfish or not, what I want out of the summer in between hours at work:

  • a trip, 
  • some alone time (I’m sure everyone wants some of that), 
  • closet cleaning,
  • exploring a new hobby….
You get the idea.  Then of course, how much time do I need for these wonderful things.  Adults only trip?  Maybe 10 days?  Family trip?  5-7 days?  Then build the rest of my “wants” around those major choices.
For me, full summer camping for the kids was always the right choice.  From a calendar standpoint, I had it all figured out.  So here are the dates for 2016/17 for South Florida:
  • SCHOOL ENDS around June 8th.
  • Week 1 and 2:  
  • The beginning of June was always a great time to get the bags ready to leave for camp, let the kids hang out for a while and get bored.
  • Off to the family vaca for a few days… chill out, away from the phone, computer, distractions  
  • Weeks 3 – 5:  
  • A few days at home for last minute details and preparation for camp
  • Kids leave for camp
  • Time to clean the closets, start the fitness program, relax and enjoy.
  • Weeks 7 – 9:  
  • Visiting day and then exploration vacation for adults only.  Everyone deserves that adult time and can be in the area of camp, off to that special place saved up for, or stay-cation.  Either way, 10 days of no work, no closets, just time for doing what you want.  
  • Time to reflect on a great vacation, back to work, finish the closets and voila!  
  • The kids come home from camp.  
  • Week 10 – 11:
  • Typically, there is time to do laundry, the last book report before the start of school, and just enough time to enjoy the kids but really be ready to return to the structure of daily routine.
  • Start of the new school year!!
Now you can always count on a little tropical storm threat to make the summer last longer.  But that is a really nice and full summer.  At least for me. But as you can see, there is some down time, some play time and some special time.  Everyone deserves it.  Right!!
Now we can always discuss other little details like benefits of a long summer of sleep away camp, homesickness, readiness and that one pesky detail like finances…
But I hope this proposed schedule can give you an idea of how you can organize your summer to have it all.

Karen Meisterin partnership with Joanne Paltrowitz, works with the international consulting firm, Camp Experts and Teen Summers.  Feel free to contact Karen for complimentary assistance at Karen@CampExperts.com or 305.931.KiDS or 305.931.5437.  Thousands of families have received confidential and complimentary guidance to select the best camp and teen programs from around the world.  Karen is also the Founder of the LifeMeisters.

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