They're here! The summer day camp packing list has arrived. And an endless series of medical forms for our pediatrician and special dates that require parental attendance. I can already see that our first year of summer camp isn't going to be as working parent-friendly as all-day daycare.
First of all, there's the ridiculous amount of time I've spent confirming the exact weeks of camp and coordinating our schedule with other parents and the camp office. The camp was kind enough to send a list of all the children in the first grade boys group, I assume to help with carpooling. Unfortunately, I have a first grade girl -- and even though she's a bit of a tomboy, I guarantee she'd balk at being labeled a boy at camp. So I had to straighten that out.
Next, that carpool. I deliberately chose a summer day camp that friends of my first grader would be attending so that she would know people and to help with drop-off and pick-up at the camp bus stop. The result: seven families are sending 10 children for various combinations of weeks, and each parent can fit a different number of car seats -- and has a different need for morning or afternoon coverage. I could use an advanced degree in permutations to figure this out!
Finally, there is the parent day at camp. I suppose I will discover exactly what this means at the orientation on Saturday, but the whole concept struck me as ridiculous. I'm sending my daughter to camp to have somewhere safe and fun for her to play while I'm working. The last thing I need is to take a day off work AND pay for a day of camp! I'm truly perplexed.
In short, I could use some good advice from experienced parents about the protocol and shortcuts for making summer camp logistically easy. (At least I have that packing list for summer day camp, courtesy of contributing writer Sue Kay.) Please share your suggestions in the comments.
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