Mommy cries at the camp bus

When my daughter was 6 years old, I sent her to a terrific day camp on Staten Island. A bus came to pick her up and bring her back every evening. I was an emotional wreck every day for the first few weeks, but she was excited and adored her bus counselor. She was so happy, and it was the closest thing to the country that a city kid could get while still coming home at the end of the day. She LOVED that camp! She loved it so much that each summer experience developed a camp “family,” and as the years passed she graduated from camper to junior counselor and then on to full counselor. She ended up being a fantastic mentor to the very little kids, the newcomers, who she had a special gift of working with and relating to. She still does, and nothing pleases me more than seeing her interacting with small children in that special way she has that endears both her and them to each other.

She also went to local mini-camps when there were school breaks, and thank goodness for those because working parents need to fill in the gaps that these breaks pose. So many wonderful programs are out there and the terrific people who run and staff them do us a service that is priceless.

It’s that time of year when we present in earnest the programs that are offered both in our communities, throughout the city and in the surrounding countryside that many of us will select as the summer home/activity for our kids. There is so much diversity, with all kinds of camps and programs that will enhance every child’s possibilities. There are full-time and part-time schedules to accommodate every economic reality, and happily, there is literally something for everyone’s kid.

You have to do the homework, inquire, and ultimately select the right program for your family’s needs, your pocketbook, and your child. This month we present some of the many possibilities, and there will be more in the months ahead.

I know this has been a long, cold and snowy winter, but spring will come and so will summer, and before we know it, the kids will be getting on the bus, or we will be dropping them off at camp and another summer of fun will be ongoing. Don’t wait too long to start your search and make sure to read the camp articles each month that will help you ask the right questions, and look for the most fitting program for your youngsters.

Have a great month! Thanks for reading!