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Alternatives to Summer Camp

Last post Thu, Jan 31 2013 1:40 PM by Grannie_Sue. 11 replies.
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  • Wed, Mar 16 2011 2:22 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Alternatives to Summer Camp

    Sarah's sons are rebelling against the usual summer activities. What can she do so they are occupied?

     


    My boys 9 & 11 declared themselves "too old" for the town camps and kids sports programs of previous summers. The problem is that just "hanging out" becomes bickering and/or them wanting to spend money on every activity they can think up. Does anyone have ideas for me to keep the entertained & occupied for 10 weeks?
    Thanks!
    Sarah G.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Mar 16 2011 3:38 PM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

     The parent still has final say so if the parent believes the town camps and sports are the way to go then they are the way to go.  I would bet their teachers could come up with a few activities to keep them occupied for the weeks also.  

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Wed, Mar 16 2011 3:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    Send them to Grandma and Grandpa for a couple of weeks, then camp for a few weeks then home.  it will break up the monotony and also let the grandparents see them on their own.  Sally

  • Wed, Mar 16 2011 10:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

     Brandy, how about telling them they can find themselves some work, helping with gardening, doing odd jobs for people - paper route? They might also volunteer somewhere. Is there a community garden?

    Maybe they could take a sumer course or two online (I'm sure they won't like that, but if they're too old for camp, then they're perhaps old enough to take on some more responsibility). Town clean-ups, an animal shelter? If she makes it clear that they have to come up with alternatives to just hanging around, see what they find.

    There are always seniors in need of some help aroun the house/garden/grounds/company. They could contact the Senior Center, assist in the kitchen if there is one, clearing tables, bussing. The library here uses kids as volunteers to shelve books. Might the camp director have some jobs for them around the camp, helping younger kids, doing kitchen stuff?

  • Sun, Mar 20 2011 7:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    The 11 year old I *almost* understand, but not the 9 year old who I think is just trying to be like big brother.  At the summer camp I know of, at age 11 kids start in on a leadership program.  They do some activities with the younger kids (mostly as guidance), but they do a lot of career & college exploration.  The 8th graders even get their paperwork done for the 21st century learning thing (basically, you outline what you're going to do in high school so that when you finish HS and you've stayed out legal problems, a chunk of your college is paid for by this program).

    If mom chooses to let them stay home (and it is mom's choice -- she's the parent!!!), she needs to work with them to come up with a schedule of activities for them to do.  Mondays -- volunteer at the nursing home; Tuesdays -- swimming and park; Wednesdays -- work in the yard, house chores; etc.  Additionally, since many summer camps are now using activities to build on skills learned at school, what is mom going to do to keep summer learning from lapsing?  Can she get them involved in a type of abbreviated homeschooling with some workbooks?  Or can they be required to read 1 book a week?  Can they use this time to focus in more on a subject area they truly enjoy but don't really get to study at school?  I mean, if one of the kids loves bugs, but they only spend 1 week on bugs at school, he can now spend the whole summer getting really in depth on learning about bugs and visiting places that have different types on display, etc.

    Mom also needs to needs to weigh the cost.  At the summer camp I spoke of above, the kids pay a flat rate that includes lunch, snacks and field trips.  Can mom save money by keeping them at home with a structured routine?  Or does Mom feel like she doesn't have time, resources, whatever the case might be to give them the structure they need and therefore summer camp is an investment?  There's a lot of factors to weigh -- not just what the kids want.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Mon, Mar 21 2011 11:47 AM In reply to

    • MizMary
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Mar 21 2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    When my kids out grew summer camps they had to start volunteering. My son signed up at the local hopital delivering mail to the patients and my daughter volunteered at a local animal rescue. Their jobs were simple but it taught them responsibility and how to behave professionally around adults. They both were 11 years old when they began volunteering (they are 20 and 16 now) and have always been asked to return the following summer.

  • Tue, Mar 29 2011 8:11 AM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    Well, my suggestion would be since they're "too old" for camps etc, then tell them they are old enough to help you around the house/yard.  Assign each of them specific chores to do each day BEFORE they can "hang out".  Allow them to earn some money (if available for their work) then they can each choose one thing per week they (each one) would like to do with their money - movies, miniature golf, etc.

     I found its sometimes better to "structure" their day to day or weekly activites, have them do chores for awhile each day, then allow them some hang out time together or with some friends (supervised of course) and to spend a part doing "family things", and some time alone with themselves (video game, tv, reading, games, etc).

     If they are kept busy, summer wont be boring.  Go to the park, play outdoor games, go to the beach, figure out things to do that dont cost a lot of money and gas; and above all make them help you around the house - gives them a sense of being needed and being helpful.  Make them earn some money by doing so.

  • Sun, Jan 22 2012 4:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    What about some family getaway instead. Sometimes, teenagers or aspiring to be such tend to really be absorbed of what media dictates them to. Maybe some parental touches will make them tone a bit. Family outings might as well do. Make them believe that it's better to stay at home than waste some money outside without nothing to get from.
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  • Sun, Jan 22 2012 7:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    Church activities, volunteer work and overall healthy compromise between parent and child as to what works well for ALL

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~Chinese Proverb~
  • Fri, Jan 25 2013 3:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Alternatives to Summer Camp

    Now a days parents can be able to give very little time to their kids, that's why the issue begins. More and more quality time should be spent with them...
    http://www.shohola.com/
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