August 12, 2013 03:46 PM
Summer and Kids... camp/activites...
Well... I work full time, and my kids go to camp... I don't get to do many of the late evening things with my kids during the week since we get up early for work and camp, so usually weekends are packed with a little extra. At least the summer doesn't include homework (I detest homework as it is a struggle in our house) which is a nice relief!
Since we are a camp family.... and it's a LOT of money (about $7+K) for my two boys, I'm trying to think of alternatives. (This is a CHEAP but decent camp in my area, through our local YMCA).
For next year... I've figured a couple weeks of camp (2), then a week at the beginning of the summer and another week at the end of the summer with my parents who are building a shore house here in NJ (2), and maybe a week with my MIL - whether here in NJ or down in Florida (1). If I can shave off another 3 weeks, I'm golden, and will pry save over $5K... which could be a vacation in a glorious location... or not... plus add some other fun stuff in!
I'm actually thinking of asking a close friend (college friend/and now neighbor) to watch them for 1 week... but offer the amount of money that I would have paid the camp as another option too. She will say no to money, as I would if she asked... but I'll still find a way to pay her... (she is a teacher and off in the summer, and I know they don't have the year round pay).
I could send them for a week or so with my SIL in Virginia... but... well... I don't think I could. We had to send them there for a week after Hurricane Sandy (no power for 10 days, cold) and it was tough, and I've always felt guilty. I will always feel like I owe her a week of watching her kids... if that makes sense... and if there is a need, I would repay that help!
We are actually considering taking a vacation too... so that might be a week...
Man... if I could get rid of camp altogether... that would be fantastic!!!! What do you all do? Anyone in a similar situation? What do people do with their kids in your area? It's just so expensive....
The downside of not going to camp is the constant interaction with other kids, swim lessons daily, different activities - cooking, zip-lining, canoeing, archery, etc...
WOW... I didn't realize that I wrote a book... sorry, and thanks for reading!
Last edited by jk703; August 12, 2013 at 03:47 PM.
August 12, 2013 03:55 PM
I didn't realize camp was so expensive. I was lucky that I didn't work full time when I had kids, and I didn't have to go in until my husband came home. They still did all the summer stuff, GIrl Scout camps, swim teams, VBS.
Sorry, that really wasn't good advice. Good luck in figuring it all out. Soon enough they will be old enough to stay home alone. It will be like getting a pay raise.
August 12, 2013 03:56 PM
For sure have them stay with grandparents as much as possible! Soon enough going to a grandparent's house won't be as much fun (my 10 year old "didn't have as much fun" as usual because no video games there this year) so let your parents soak up the time spent with them before the tweens hit!
Have you looked into getting a high school/college age babysitter? Most of the high schoolers in my small town are full time babysitters during the summer. They take them to the pool, movies and all that. It is still an expense but has to be less than a camp.
I keep my nephew two days a week (and also had my niece full time for most of July) and only asked for the cost of any activities.
August 12, 2013 03:58 PM
Am I reading this right? 7,000 dollars? Oh, heck no, girlfriend! When Nat was smaller there was a camp she attended thru Kiwanis. It was free if I recall (or very cheap). They have them all over the country. There is also the point where some kids no longer care for summer camp as much...try to find out how they feel about it. You work hard, so you should get the vacation you deserve in there as well. Florida's great...see...
August 12, 2013 04:29 PM
Thanks ladies... :)
Donna... I wish! lol! I wish I could take the summers off... but it is actually my busy time at work! More so than winter... as more home building/renovations occur in warmer weather.
Amanda... Good Idea! I should see if any of our cousins want to do something like this... even for a week or two would be awesome! Yeah... at least where my parents are building, the beach is 5 houses away, along with the boardwalk! When they are older, I should ship them there for the summer to work on the boardwalk! (we only live about 40 minutes with no traffic from where my parents are building, but summer could mean an hour's drive). Ha Ha... my MOM will LOVE this idea, especially when they get older! Ha!
Sandy... yep... we knew it would be a lot... even with one in there, it was tight... so two makes it even tighter, lol! I have to find some care for them... they are still too young to be on their own (8.5 and 5)... I heart me some Florida... you know my favorite place in the Keys... Islamoralda! :)
I'm liking the college age/cousin watching for a week... and definitely the vacation week... inching closer!
August 12, 2013 05:49 PM
We take my son to our local YMCA day camp which is actually pretty good. They do swimming, outdoor play, craft time, game time, basketball plus field trips to the movies (every week) and other locations. We mixed in two other week long camp sessions (fishing and tennis) plus he played on the Y's flag football season. I think we only paid $76/week for day camp.
I did check other camps and I'm not surprised to hear of the high expense! It seems to be the private camps that are charging so much. I'm fortunate that our local Y has a good day camp. The school district also has a day camp program and they are about the same price.
Hope you find a solution to shave off on cost. Also, as for your sister, you might ask what she thinks. I know my sister was anxious to have my kids and she actually had my son for about 4 days this summer. She had 3 of her own and she didn't mind. Honestly, I think with nieces/nephews, most relatives do not mind at all. At least that's the way my family are. :)
August 12, 2013 08:58 PM
Holy cow Jenn that is a huge amount. You can send them to me for the summer. I'll only charge you $4000 plus food expenses. lol
Since I run a licensed day care my kids (and many others) have spent the summer home. We try to do activities during the week but nothing like the big camps do. We go to the lake and do crafts and go on bike rides and play a lot of games. Some years they have all taken swimming lessons, go to movies and just hang out and make our own fun.
I have looked into camps for my own son but it always comes down to being out of our budget so except for Cub Scout day camp he hangs out at home with me and the day care kids.
I definitely agree with the idea of hiring a high school student for some of the weeks. My daughter did that a lot during the summer before she started life guarding. It may just be that there is a week or two here or there that your boys just want to veg at home and not have to be going and doing and by veg I don't mean sitting in front of a screen but hanging out in their own neighborhood playing with friends.
August 12, 2013 09:09 PM
Ophelia... :) I wish it was $76!!! - It is a YMCA camp... so it's pry similar to what you have in your area... and that is the going rate for where we are - more if you send them to the camps with all the bells and whistles (traveling, go carts, etc) It's crazy. I'm hoping to get my parents to take them for a middle week in the summer too. It's my husband's sister that is in VA... and I'm leery of the guilty feeling... and I honestly don't know that we parent our kids the same or that I could handle her 3 kids to return the favor, lol!
Shari! I wish. Man... What you do sounds like what they do already, give or take a couple things! I'm going to look into the high school/college age or ask my cousins if any of their friends want a summer job...... or at least for a couple weeks, lol !
August 12, 2013 09:17 PM
We have a dayhome and luckily she doesn't take much time off! She isn't open this week and K is spending the week with my parents, but otherwise it's just usual dayhome fees (about $700 a month)
August 13, 2013 11:38 AM
Jenn - We are in California so probably have similar fees as you have there and things are expensive but there are cheaper alternatives. Vacation Bible School (some have closer to all day programs) but they are like $50 for the week for 1/2 day the full day is like $80 for the week.
I would start looking for someone now and I bet you could get them to watch them for $2-300 a week (I would have as a teenager done it for that!).
Good luck. I work in the afternoon/evening so I spend the morning with them and hubby spends from 2pm to bedtime with them (the 3 days a week that I work).
August 13, 2013 05:37 PM
Jenn, if your friend won't take money, then purchase something for her that she needs, even if it's something she doesn't think she needs (like a spa day!). Don't let her do it for free, because it may backfire in the long run.
Camp ain't cheap, that's for sure. The camp we send DD to in Vermont is now $4000+ for 3-1/2 weeks, but we only pay half of that since my inlaws pay the rest. We sent DS to a local university for computer day camp, but I can't remember how much that was. DD is going to skate camp (1/2 day) next week and it's $300; the full day camp was $500. Thankfully I get a discount there, but it's still a lot of money!
The one thing I've suggested to a bunch of DD's friends parents is to have a week of Dr. Who camp next summer: each family could take a day, feed them, let them watch Dr. Who all they want, and go outside and play (they all love to do that). Of course, someone would have to be a at-home parent for that day. But it would be well worth it.
The problem is out here (NoVA area) is the popular summer camps fill up FAST, like in February. It's insane. The Girl Scout camps sell out within an hour of registration opening, and they're not cheap.
One thing that may be an option is the schools. Our district has performance/art/science camps that include transportation to/from a meeting point (our district is HUGE). Maybe your district would have that?
August 13, 2013 09:37 PM
Oh...if she won't take money, I'll find a way! Trust me! :) I'll take her for a weekend away and get to go too! LOL!
Thanks everyone! I'm going to work on these ideas for next summer!
August 13, 2013 10:54 PM
Lord have mercy . . . that's a lot of money. I spent most of my summers at home with my mom (she was a teacher) and then when I got to be a teenager, I either stayed at home alone when I lived at my dad's or went over to my mom's. We went to the beach and the river. We cooked. We visited family. We did projects. We read a lot. We watched tv. I did go to community school when I was in 4th grade . . . we went skating and did other activities (none of which I remember, only the skating LOL). I remember wishing the entire time that I was just at home. I know I'm in the minority of other SAHM's about not having my children in a ton of activities during the school year, and that certainly applies during the summer. We are lazy. Short and simple.
Olivia really only has one summer left . . . and then she'll be a senior and graduating and facing college. So I wanted her to really enjoy this summer and next summer. She is doing a photography course online (an online course is required for graduation), so she has been working on that this summer, too. We had lots of plans, but it rained a lot . . . we did get to do some things that we had on our summer bucket list, though!
Even though that's a lot of money, I still think if I was working, and that was in my budget, I'd do it to have peace of mind about where my children are and what they are doing when I'm trying to work. Like you talked about being unsure about one of your relatives . . . I say totally put that one out of your head . . . because if you are worried just thinking about it, wait until they are there and you can't work because you are worried about it. LOL I love the idea of the grandparents spending time with the grandchildren. I think it's something that used to happen a lot more than it does nowadays. It's a good benefit that it would help you monetarily, but in the long run, a great thing for your parents and your children to build a great relationship.
So who wrote a book now? Pfffft. PS You are a great mom . . . juggling work and home and everything in between. I don't know how you do it all (and by that I mean all y'all who work outside the home).
August 15, 2013 11:07 AM
Cheryl we are "lazy" here too. I agree though, sometimes that is how the kids like it. Example: I just had my 10 year old's birthday party (we ALWAYS do our parties at home, can't afford party places) and we planned a great outdoor skills party. The boys roasted hot dogs, made survival bracelets, learned fire safety and each of them got to build, light and extinguish their own fires. We also played a relay game where they all learned about the Boy Scout 10 Essentials for having with you on hikes and camping. It was a lot of fun and the boys had a great time but even with all that one kid just wanted to play Freeze Tag. He asked me twice if they could play Freeze Tag. hahahaha My daughter always just wanted to play Hot Potato at her parties. So yeah, sometimes they just want the simple things.
August 15, 2013 07:30 PM
You are so right, Shari. It's the simple times that I remember . . . and I hope my children remember and cherish those times, too. Last night we had a last hoorah . . . went to a diner about 30 minutes away that we wanted to show Daniel (it's called the Derailed Diner ~ looks like a train crashed into it and on the inside there are tons of vintage cars/planes/trains/toys and other collectibles ~ the seats are from trains, planes, cars, motorcyles and some two seat places are in the bed of a truck). Anyway, after that, we rode to the beach and watched the sunset, then went to a huge surf shop looking for flip flops. We ended the night with a Wendy's frosty ~ almost went to Krispy Kreme, but we were all stuffed from dinner LOL. We can't do that kind of stuff every day, but it was a nice way to wrap up our summer. And for the next four days, my children don't want to do anything but be at home. Works for me! LOL
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