Over the weekend, I visited Hudson Valley Community College’s Summer Camp Fair. I walked around telling people to add their camps to KidsOutAndAbout.com, and I heard about tons and tons of programs for the summer. Debra’s been sharing a “Camp of the Day” on the KidsOutAndAbout Facebook page, which somehow makes it seem just fun and not as utterly and completely overwhelming as it feels when I just look at lists of everything. The trouble is that there’s just so much, and a lot of it costs serious money, and schedules are all so different, and our various family schedules often conflict with what we want, and next thing you know, the whole process of choosing our summer camp plans starts to give me a bit of a headache. Especially when the one camp M insisted was her absolute must-do (Camp Wa Wa, Session 7) now conflicts with our family vacation (vacation wins, and it’s not even close), and her new, revised must-do is a small soccer camp (West) that has yet to announce its dates or, incidentally, return my emails. And beyond just figuring out our own plans and scheduling, there’s trying to negotiate and coordinate with the girls’ friends. Sigh.
But enough whining! Beyond the frustrations, there are Camps in Whose Existence I Revel. Because I am a feminist mother of daughters, I was super-excited to hear about some awesome-looking area Girl Power Camps. Here are a few:
Rosie’s Girls is a summer program teaching carpentry, automotive repair, masonry, and other non-traditional trades to girls going into 7th, 8th, or 9th grades. It’s being offered in New York for the first time ever at Emma Willard School. Beyond the trades-oriented stuff, they’ll have arts and games and other camps with an emphasis on helping each girl find “her own strength, power, and confidence.” Um, hello, when are they going to offer this for 30- to 40-something women, please? Emma has other girl programs including day camp for ages 6 to 14 and academic enrichment for the high school set.
Camp Little Notch is a girls’ overnight camp in the Adirondacks with a mission to promote girls living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves. It’s for girls ages 7 to 17, and they strive for plenty of diversity and positive mentoring. There’s group activity and free time to explore new things, which range from ropes courses and primitive camping to batiking to sailing to yoga and journaling. Again, I think that I would like to attend this as a little retreat for myself. Would that be awkward, if I bunked with the tweens? I’ve oh-so-casually put this on the table while the girls are doing homework. We’ll see if it takes.
And of course, who can forget the Girl Scouts? Actually, I knew about their summer camps–they’ve got day camps with a bus service and overnight camps–already. J attended a week at Camp Woodhaven last year, and we get their summertime brochures because M is currently a troop member. But it’s worth spreading the word, because I think that people have the sense that if you’re not a regular member of a local troop, you can’t be a Girl Scout. Au contraire. There are different “pathways” like signing up for trips, a series or class on a specific topic, or special events. So, for example, later in April you could sign up for a Camp-in at the Boston Museum of Science, and over Memorial Day Weekend, there’s a Family Camp at Hidden Lake Camp that I just almost had to cut-and-paste into an email to Cute W. That’s because if I’m understanding it correctly, it’s $25/person for 3 nights of camping at Hidden Lake Camp near Lake George. Which my children would completely love. And I almost began to hyperventilate because on Saturday there’s a special ropes course ($25/person), but then I read that participants have to be 10 and up. Bummer. Because that sounds super-fun to me. Although, seriously? If they feed us, then that would still be a 3-night rustic vacation for a hundred bucks, so I’m still tempted. All of those spring programs that I mentioned are in this brochure.