Some of you ones of loyal, intrepid readers may recall my lauding the virtues of last year’s Mom Camp session. And for those new to the game, Mom Camp is my broke-assed attempt to scratch together recession-era entertainment for myself and my offspring once the hallowed halls of school have harrumphed their last bacteria-filled outburst and I’m on my own with the brood for a while.
Many folks in San Francisco pay out the wazoo for cool and exotic day camps. But I have no money and no excuse (since I work at home) to not keep my kids. So I re-enrolled in this year’s session of Mom Camp.
So far so good.
We’ve been taking it cheap, with trips to the library, free shows by The Bubble Lady, and coordinated playdates at other Mom Camp counselors’ homes. I’m also taking advantage of all the places where we have memberships, like the San Francisco Zoo and the California Academy of Sciences.
One highlight = Science day. In which a fastidious mama let down her tidy guard for an afternoon of homemade playdoh, straight-from-scratch slime, and a funky sort of cornstarch activity that even weirded me out. Then the kids were forced into the yard for snacks, soccer, and screeching.
Another gift from above: A school-wide campout. About 30 families from my big girl’s elementary school converged on a KOA place nestled in the heart of Sonoma wine country. The kids brought bikes and tore around like a pack of wolves. The parents (many who actually stayed sober long enough to keep their kids from getting lost in the woods) enjoyed adult company with a vacation on the cheap. We had potlucks, marshmallow roasts, and an outdoor 3-D movie. Fabulous! Fabulous! Fabulous! I highly recommend that everyone make something like this happen!
If this sounds like a good time to those of you already caught up in the whining of unstructured summer days, Mom (or Dad) Camp can be yours too. Just band together with another couple of families, grab your whistle and go.
--Robin Dutton-Cookston is senior editor of Mamazina and lots of other good stuff too. Learn about her book and more at The Foggiest Idea.