Summer seemed to fly by this year and we’re sad to see the nice weather starting to turn. Looking back at Ella’s summer camps this year I’m happy to report it wasn’t babysitting at all – it was definitely worth it! The cost for the camps was quite reasonable and about the same as I would have paid for a week’s worth of babysitting. I feel she got so much more from having tried them.
Highlights of what she took away from each of the camps:
- Cheer Camp – she learned how to do a cartwheel and the splits! Putting on a show after a one week camp was pretty impressive as well (video below). She looked up to the older kids and learned how to work and coordinate an end result within a team. Being an only child, I always worry about her need to be the only focus and she seemed to do just fine sharing the spotlight and working cooperatively without conflict. It’s funny how something so simple can help build this skill set. She’s not into sports so I will have to find more ways for her to participate in team activities for sure.
- Reptile Camp – she got to touch and handle real reptiles! She learned about what they eat, the environment in which they live in and best of all she got to be hands on with so many of them – an opportunity that couldn’t be replicated even at the zoo. Ella hasn’t been one who is afraid of trying new things and I’m glad that she hasn’t developed any fears of bugs, reptiles etc. Normally a typical “girly girl” in every other sense but it’s great to see her jump right in. In addition they got to go on a field trip to go on a nature walk to see how many things they could spot in their natural environment. This was truly a unique camp experience for her.
- Movies and Music Camp – Ella loves music and singing so of course she had a blast at this camp. Most of the songs were from popular movies she was aware of but she also got to sing a song from Annie as well. It addition to the show at the end of the week, she enjoyed the arts and crafts as well.
- Swim Camp – although Ella has been very comfortable in the pool from when she was a baby, we haven’t been able to teach her to swim without floats. In four days of the swim camp, she learned to swim the width of our pool under water which we were so impressed by. As they get two swimming lessons a day and also free time in the pool, I feel like the full exposure allowed for faster development than the traditional weekly lessons which we never got around to putting her into. So next summer she wants to go again and we’ll be looking at putting her into a couple of weeks of this camp.
- Tennis camp – let’s say this was a great camp for her to have tried but we all know how this turned out from my previous post on this. Maybe in a couple of years, I might encourage her to try it again. For now, I think we’ll pass on this camp for next year.
Conclusion on our first experience with summer camps has been a success! My question before the summer about whether it’s just glorified babysitting or whether it’s worthwhile has been answered. Ella is definitely looking forward to camps for next summer. For me, I know summer has just passed but I am already looking forward to the nice weather to come back!
Share your experiences with summer camps below. I’d love to get more ideas of other camps that we should look into having Ella try for next year.
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