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Camp Competition Is Fierce!

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Liz Fenton: The pressure. The waiting lists. The judgment.

girl with bow and arrow

You'd think I was talking about getting my child into an Ivy League school instead of SUMMER CAMP. But I recently found out that competitiveness and pressure aren't just for the school year anymore.

Type A moms everywhere were filling out their summer camp Excel spreadsheets while I was still deciding how I was going to take off those ten holiday pounds. (Damn you, eggnog!) And I tried to ignore the camp buzz, I really did. But before long, I too was caught up in the nuances of the summer camp decision. I found myself debating the merits of each proposed field trip with my mom friends. (Museum? OK. Chuck E. Cheese? Hell to the NO!) Did we want our kids to have a "fun" summer, or did we want to secretly shove learning down their throats at a "super fun science camp"? (An oxymoron, if you ask me!) Did we want them to run off all their cool ice cream treats at sports camp, or let them lollygag at the glorified after-school daycare on campus?

One thing was for sure: Choosing the right summer camp was more painful than bikini shopping after eating pasta.

And the worst part? After I'd decided on a camp (duh -- sports, of course!), I then had to convince all the other mommies why it was the best. Because, you know, my 5-year-old would JUST DIE if she didn't have her bestie sweating alongside her all summer at the archery field. (BTW, is it really a good idea to be giving kindergartners bows and arrows?!)

So sports camp it is. And while I may regret not sending her to science camp when she's struggling with biochemistry ten years from now, I'm sure her archery experience will come in handy one day. Right?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
MartiniMama July 8, 2010, 1:13 PM

I try to make sure that my son is in something fun for the summer, that he will enjoy. And kids can learn a lot from sports - teamwork, perseverance, and a sense of accomplishment. It also teaches them enjoyment of getting out there and moving their bodies - so they don’t turn into couch potatoes! With the epidemic of obesity in this country, I see nothing wrong with opting for a sports camp over an “academic camp”.

I generally try NOT to schedule my son’s camps with his current friends. I want him to learn how to interact with kids he doesn’t know and get some practice making friends and expanding his social skills and circle.

Heather July 8, 2010, 5:39 PM

Just wait until you have to choose an “away” camp!

Lisa July 9, 2010, 4:44 PM

This is hilarious! I think you chose wisely with the sports camp!

Latina Younglove March 29, 2011, 7:23 PM

Wow! Thank you! I permanently wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I include a part of your post to my website?

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