Good God, It's Already Time To Worry About Summer Camp

by Holly Garcia
Summer camp ideas: a group of five children in a swimming pool together

There is nothing like the longest month of the year (aka January) to inspire parents to start looking into summer camp. Can you picture it now? School is out for the year, and the weather is consistent enough to throw the kiddos outside and let them run wild. While it all sounds good in theory, it’s still a long way off–or is it?

Even though it’s only late January, some summer camp registrations have already started. And while we are all ready to have the kids out of our hair so we can get a little peace, are we really ready to face the music when it comes to how much energy and effort it takes to get the kids all signed up? Maybe I’m just speaking for myself. It’s my own fault: I have this terrible habit of letting my kids choose their activities. And yes, they have been varied, and they have been many.

We’ve tried soccer, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, ballet, and viola (just to name a few). And, well, nothing has really stuck. I know what you’re thinking: but why don’t you just make them stick it out? Well, I remember being made to “stick out” activities, and no, it didn’t make me any better for it. So here we go again, we’re preparing for yet another summer and another round of activities that they may or may not fall in love with. Ugh. Who else is tired of trying to be three steps ahead all the damn time?

Planning for Summer Camp Is Just Too Much

First, you chat with your kiddos to see what they’re into, and then pray to God it doesn’t change before summer camp actually starts. Then comes all the research. Where are these summer camps? How much do they cost, and how long do they run? Will they be outdoors? And if they aren’t, what safety measures will be put in place? It all feels kind of stressful.

I mean, the whole point of getting the kids into summer camp is to have fun, make new friends, and discover new passions. But from a parent standpoint, it’s just one more thing to add to the never-ending laundry list. But let’s be really honest: I’ll be damned if I don’t get them in on time because spots fill up in February. Looking back, I wonder, was it always like this? Or has the general chaos of the world prompted everyone to plan so far ahead because it feels hopeful to look forward?

So here’s to the parents who plan ahead, months in advance. May spots be available at the summer camp of your choice. May you receive an early bird discount. And may the rest of us who wait until June remember your struggle so next year we hop on the early enrollment train.