Saturday, July 24, 2010

Random Thoughts about Day Camps

The kids just finished week one of two at Simon Fraser University day camps.  They have about 30 camps going each week. To facilitate easy drop offs and pick ups, all the kids, hundred of them congregate in the gym. It's very easy for parents.

Jackson is in mini-university, bachelor of science where he is attending classes in chemistry, engineering, biology and kinesiology.  Sydney is in music camp and studying Mozart.

Here are some random thoughts:

1. Jackson is really growing up. Last year, he required me to escort him right to his camp meeting spot. I gave his name for him. Showed him where to sit down and pointed out who is leader was.  This year, he wandered over the sign-in area while I got Sydney settled.  He had given his name, sat down appropriately and was waiting for further instruction by the time I had made my way over there.

2. I wonder why Sydney's music instructor remembered Sydney and I from last year.  Does this instructor have a photographic memory? Was it because of Sydney's extreme adorableness? Her stellar classroom behaviour? Or the fact that I made a big deal last year about the unadvertised swim portion of the music camp, which required Husband or I to be there mid day because of some unresolved bathroom issues

3. Relying on 8 year old to tell their parents that they need to bring some material to camp the next day, is at best optimistic and at worst fruitless.  If we are lucky enough to hear  "I need to bring some candy" or "I need to bring some milk" it doesn't tell us the purpose, the quantity or the type.  Sending home a note with all the requirements for the week would be appreciated. Better yet, take the cost of milk and candy out of the high priced fee we paid.

4. Seven hours is too long for camps for my kids. And starting at 8:30 requires a 8:00 am departure is too early in the summer. For everyone.

5.  Ignoring the alarm and being roused up at 7:55 by a Girlie Goo saying "I think I have a bug bite on my shoulder" does not allow adequate time to get to camp on time.  Rushing two children out of the house and convincing them to have a no preparation (i.e. different) breakfast without a cup of coffee on board is also not recommended.

6.  Jackson shared his lunch with a kid that forgot it. Who is this boy?

7.  Every day I heard how well behaved Sydney was from her instructor.  When I went for the camp ending show, I saw why. About half the kids of the 14 were fidgety, off task, not listening, wandering, talking and distracting.  Sydney must have been an oasis of calm.

8.  I can be proud of my kids for soldiering through and enjoying camp despite it being a long week. Even if Sydney did doze in the van for the 20 minute ride home.  She earned it.

9.  Dozing in the van after a week of camp can also mean a certain 6 year old picked up a stomach virus which will mean a lot of consolation, laundry, cleaning and air freshening for the next 12 hours.  Now I realize that having hundreds of kids in one place will often lead to virus spreading. Last summer's stomach virus came right after this same camp.

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