Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Summer Camp Shuffle

Tennis. Ballet. Art. Swimming. Photography. Horseback riding. We’ve tried them all.
Since it will soon be time to pick a summer camp for the kids, I thought I’d share - or commiserate, depending on how you look at it - my experiences with summer camp for MiniMe.

I was thrilled to discover that MiniMe was great at tennis. But her enthusiasm for the sport was in opposition to her ability. She made a precious ballerina but outgrew the tutus after age 6. While she’s very creative, art classes just didn’t seem to resonate. She’s been swimming like a fish since she was 2 (big shout out to the YMCA’s swim instructors), but only enjoyed "playing" in the pool and couldn’t stay in her lane. Photography was a successful endeavor, if you consider finding 42 pictures of the dog on your digital camera a triumph. Horseback riding? I won’t even go there.

All of these were excellent summer camp programs; it’s just that no matter how hard I’ve tried, I’ve been unsuccessful in finding an activity that MiniMe will stick with. Until this year.

Turns out I have a "Drama Queen" (as if I didn’t already know that). MiniMe participated in the Children’s Musical Theatre summer camp last summer and finally found her passion. She’s continued to take part in this outstanding program and I’ve been proud of her effort and dedication. It’s rewarding to see her experience the enjoyment that comes from working hard to perform on stage.

It’s always difficult if not frustrating to find just the right activity for your child. Or maybe that’s just me. How about all of you?  What was your kid’s favorite summer camp?


Sayre said...

I've only put my son in with a couple of outfits. The Natural History Museum here has outdoor camps with all kinds of themes. We did that for two years. There's also a science-themed camp (also associated with a museum) that he went to one year. He enjoyed both those experiences, but they've kind of played out in his head. Last year, we didn't have any money to send him to camp (and won't this year) so he just stayed home while I worked from home. It was not stimulating and it began the little paunch he's got going. Though we can't do camps this year, I'm determined that he will not sit around on his butt all summer, getting fatter and not experiencing anything other than a new video game.

Island Rider said...

Oh, summer camp. One of the things I do not miss now that my children are grown. it was always so stressful picking the right one, getting the application in before the deadline. And then, the cost balanced against whether they enjoyed it. And youngest son got asked to leave an expensive day camp at a musuem once because of his behavior! Funny, now his favorite summers have been spent at summer camp, but working as a counselor. Good for you to find something Mini Me enjoys. It is important for them to be part of a gang, but a good gang and the "drama kids" always stick up for each other.