summer camp

Hell Yes, My Kids Are Going To Summer Camp

It’s been quite the year and a couple of months.

That’s actually putting it way too mildly. It’s been a hell of a year and change. With fire and brimstone and hot, hot heat.

Well, I’m jumping out of the pits of hell this summer and sending my kids to summer camp. And summer school. And that other, really cool summer camp.

I believe in vaccinations. I believe in science. I believe in masks. And yet, it’s time to send my kids to summer camp.

When schools abruptly closed last March, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking the closure would last a few weeks, tops. Pandemic life wasn’t so bad at first for many of us. We printed out some worksheets for our kids to do, looked up a couple of baking soda and vinegar science experiments and called it a school day. There were lots of walks. So much cookie baking. Easter egg hunts but for toilet paper and sanitizing wipes.

Many work places were shocked into flexibility by the unexpected pandemic.

It was all downhill from there. Insane distance learning schedules combined with working from home or doing essential work outside the home.

Restaurants and other businesses were forced to shut down. So much stress.

Even as stressful as keeping ourselves and our loved ones home was, the idea of going back into the world during the pandemic was scary to many of us.

Eventually, schools sent home surveys to gauge our interest in distance learning vs in-person school a couple of hours a day and a few days a week.

Let me preface by saying that my kids are A LOT. They don’t stop talking. They are loud. My 5-year-old daughter is a stage-five clinger, and my 9-year-old son has a meltdown when he gets stumped on a math problem.

So, when the option of sending them back to in-person school came up, my husband and I were all in. This was even before we received our COVID vaccines, or we were sure when we’d get them.

But my husband was working from home with the kids and their staggered distance-learning schedules, and I was working outside of the home in my city government job. Although we are fortunate to have a babysitter help out a few hours a day, things were far from running smoothly. We were willing to take the risk of sending our kids back to school in-person.

They went back to school, and absolutely loved it. Masks and all. We’ve always insisted the kids wear a mask when the situation requires it, so they’re used to it. And my husband and I do the same. The kids have enjoyed the heck out of playing with their friends again at school, even with some physical distance between them.

As the school year winds to a close, we were looking for something for our kids to do this summer. Nothing good happens when they’re bored.

That’s when the email about summer school came through as though delivered by an angel from the heavens. A quick Google search uncovered openings at the local YMCA summer day camp. And another email announced sign-ups were available for a week-long youth theater camp. Yes, yes, yes to all.

Sure, the kids will be in close quarters with other kids. Masks may not always be worn. And my kids are not vaccinated due to their ages.

Choosing to send them to summer camp comes with risks. But my husband and I are now vaccinated, so our kids likely won’t pass a serious case of COVID onto us. Their grandparents and other relatives are fully vaccinated, too.

I believe in science. I believe in masks. And I also believe vaccines are doing their job.

I can’t wait for my kids to interact with other children again, and not just from the confines of their carefully-spaced desks.

I want them to run and swim and play games.

I want my kids to make new friendships and friendship bracelets to go along with those friendships.

Sending my kids to summer camp is a risk I’m willing to take at this stage in the pandemic.

Here’s to a summer full of fun, with the hopes that the only bugs my kids catch are the four-legged, creepy crawly kind.

Hell yes. My kids are going to summer camp.

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