I remember my first time going to summer camp. It was in the 4th grade, I think? I usually went to my grandma’s house when my parents were busy at work during the summer. But somehow that summer, I convinced my parents to send me to the local YMCA day camp. I think I had some friends from school who were also attending it. I loved the idea of camp because I made new friends who I didn’t go to school with and we went on field trips. It was my first time going to theme parks like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Magic Mountain without my parents.
Even though I attended a day camp for a couple of years, I always longed for that “summer camp experience” that I saw on TV and movies. You know what I’m talking about? An overnight summer camp, in the woods, with bunk beds, college-aged counselors, sports, skits, and lots of campfires at night. These are the things that kids dream about.
During the summer before first grade, we made the choice to not schedule my son for summer camp. I was trying to be spontaneous. I didn’t want him to be over scheduled, and wanted more time to just swim, hang out, and have no real structure. It was a huge mistake that I will never make again. My son loves adventures, and a schedule. He needs things to look forward to. I had the chance to take him to a friend’s summer camp one day that summer, and he loved it. I knew that he was hooked on camp. He was able to swim, make a tie-dye t-shirt, play sports, and even climb a rock wall in just one day. I’m totally sad that the camp is all the way in Los Angeles because I would have him attend that camp every summer. Two years later, my son still talks about the one day he spent at that awesome camp with all of the “cool” activities. Special thanks to Tiffany for that special day.
Last summer, my son attended two weeks of day camp at our local university. He went to a “soccer” themed camp. He played soccer in the morning, swam in the afternoon in the university pool, and then played some more soccer later in the day. He loved meeting and making new friends, plus the experience at the university. We loved that it was a great program, and that they had extended morning and afternoon hours which was perfect for working parents. Plus, he was super tired at the end of the day from all of the soccer and swimming.
Last summer, we spent a week camping in Yosemite. It was my son’s and my first real camping trip. My husband has always been a camper. My son had a blast being in the outdoors, and especially the hiking. He loved doing hikes for several miles, and is talking about going further this year.
Seeing my son’s enthusiasm for being in the outdoors, and camping…I knew that he would love some kind of overnight summer camp. I remember my friend, Ciaran, posting pictures of her kid’s at summer camp on Catalina Island last year. Ciaran talked about taking away her teens’ iphones and technology pre-camp, the adventures her kid’s had, and also the independence that her kid’s gained.
Is it bad that I was somewhat jealous of kids? Seriously, going to camp in Catalina Island sounded awesome! I want to go to camp. It is everything that I ever dreamed of when I was a kid. And really, it is everything that I dream of for my son. I want him to have experiences like this, and I believe that he is old enough now, at age 8, going into third grade in the fall.
Seriously, wouldn’t you want to attend a camp like this? I showed my son this video above and he was hooked. And really, the biggest win is no technology. Two weeks out with nature, camping, sports, activities, sounds awesome to me! Now to figure out our summer camp budget….
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post via Catalina Island Summer Camps. I was not compensated financially for this post. All photos are mine. All opinions are mine. This post has been written for a chance to win a 2-week camp for my son.