Last year Camp Mama saved our family from a summer of fighting over screen time and the contention that inevitably comes when they get their way and play too long. It saved us from the autumnal regret of a summer squandered. But best of all Camp Mama last year saved me from myself. I was really struggling by the time summer rolled around and the focus and forced fun pulled me out of my funk.
I’ve been able to draw on some of those lessons this past year, to do the extra work to make things special and meaningful. After another year of middle school, elementary school, babyland, teaching piano, being a cub scout den leader, and all the other things that fall under the category of “life,” I am ready for another Camp Mama miracle. I’m not hoping that lightning will strike the same place twice, however, I’m working hard to make it happen. I phoned in the final two weeks of school, including stocking the fridge with lunchables and turning over our productive afternoons to the Lord of the Flies.
I have many friends who thrive in the laid back ease of an unstructured summer. I love that, and I wish I could be more like that. The unfortunate reality is that I can’t deal. My family does so much better with a loose focus for the activities and a couple hours of structure. We still get plenty of downtime but even our downtime is more creative and cooperative than when we approach the day mindlessly. Added bonus: no Mumzilla. That lady’s crazy.
This year’s Camp Mama will have some similarities and some differences from last year. My older boys vociferously decry anything potentially education or juvenile, but they still tolerate field trips so we are doing more of those and fewer crafts and overtly learning-centered activities. We are sticking with weekly themes and beefing them up with scout merit badges and the like. We’ve also added three weekly goals: cooking, moving, service.
Camp Mama starts in the morning, ready or not. June will be a patchwork start but we’ve got some really fun things in the works. Just the planning helped bring me to a better headspace.
Until next week …