February 16, 2010

The Summer Camp Dilemma

My FWOCs (friends without children) think that I am crazy, but I am really concerned about where my kids are going to go to camp this summer. We haven't signed these guys up for anything yet. And while you may think that there is plenty of time to do so, the truth is that we are already well behind.

Camps started accepting reservations (deposits) in December. Some of them are already booked and waiting lists have been formed. This is no surprise to me as I have been a part of this aspect of the childrens' rat race for about seven years now.

I have grudgingly dragged my heels for one simple reason. Cash. Yep, the cash flow here at The Shack hasn't been what I would like it to be. That bad economy we keep reading and or speaking about has wreaked havoc on many. Some clients have been very slow to pay and others have held off scheduling new projects. Consequently we have scaled back and been hesitant to put out cash for things that aren't necessity.

Fiscal responsibility is a good lesson to teach the kids and they'll learn from this. This will serve them well in life. However it is making me crazy for a variety of reasons. I feel badly that there is a chance that they won't get to go to camp. Many of their friends have already asked them to ask their parents to sign them up so that they can be in the same group. I'd rather not disappoint them, but I have to look at the big picture.

Life is about balance and compromise. This may be one of those compromises that no one likes to make but have to be done. If it doesn't happen it won't be the end of the world and it will be one more lesson that they can learn from.

However it does come with other costs. They can't stay home all day. I have a home office and having them here constantly puts a severe crimp in my productivity. So plans have to be made to keep them active and stimulated. The question is how to do it.

Well, no final decisions are going to be made today and this could end up being nothing but a momentary hiccup. I guess we'll have to wait and see.


tysdaddy said...

Most of the camps my kids have attended over the years were related to some year round group they were involved in. Like Boy Scouts and such. And each year, all that popcorn and cookie selling earned them their spot at camp, so the financial end wasn't so heavy to bear.

My oldest daughter went to a fine arts camp last year with a full ride scholarship she earned from a letter of recommendation her art teacher wrote for her.

There are ways of doing camp without breaking the bank . . .

Jack said...

There are ways of doing camp without breaking the bank . . .

We're working on it. With a little sweat I think we'll find something.

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

Our city has an incredible parks & rec system. Last summer I had both of my kids booked for almost an entire summer of activities--and it cost about $1,000 (excl. my son's Boy Scout Camp). My daughter took tennis lesson for three weeks, and did a number of one week day camps: nature camp, a "survivor" camp (canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, etc.), an art camp. My son did Scout Camp, survivor camp, nature camp, and fencing camp. Most were not full day programs, but enough planned activities to keep them active and having fun and enough free time to do what they'd like with neighborhood kids.

Jack said...

That sounds like a really nice program. The survivor camp sounds very cool. I'd like to do that now. Can big kids do it. ;)

I don't have to have a perfect solution, just a workable one.