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March 01, 2009

Summer Camp Blues

Mail.google.com A few weeks ago my first grader came running at me, waving a blue flier for an area summer camp like she'd won the lottery.

"Mommy I have to go to this camp!!! Please sign me up!" She had already attempted to fill in part of the enrollment form herself. There was a sense of urgency in her voice. Clearly this camp was a critical social event.

I looked at the flier and it indeed sounded like a blast: horseback riding, crafts, fishing, swimming. What kid wouldn’t want to go to summer camp? Then I looked at the weekly cost…$200. While $200 is probably reasonable as far as summer camps go, I also know we can’t afford to enroll her in every activity she longs to participate in. She’s already playing soccer and taking weekly dance lessons this spring. So I’m thinking we can possibly get away with one more carefree summer that is relatively unscheduled. She is, after all, only 6.

I work from home on Fridays and was able to arrange my schedule last summer so that I worked from home an additional day. I enrolled my daughter in Camp Grandma two days a week. There was also Daddy day and a weekly ballet lesson thrown in for a little variety. She also attended one week of Vacation Bible School in July. While Camp Grandma may not have included horseback riding or swimming, Camp Grandma had an elusive appeal. You see Camp Grandma? Was free.

I know we are very lucky in that our parents live close by and we don’t have to pay for childcare in the summer. But I have a feeling that the call of summer camp is only going to get louder and that sooner, rather than later, I’ll be writing a check and then standing and waving at my daughter as she heads off in the camp bus with all her friends. 

This is an original post to Deep South Moms Blog. A native Tennessean, Jamie is a 39-year-old  mom to two little girls who has been blogging about the messier moments of parenthood since October 2005 at BlondeMomBlog.

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