Summer Camp Really Isn’t for the Kids

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Ah, summer camp….a time to try new things, hang with friends, and have a break from the “normal” life.  Oh and I think the kids enjoy it too—not just the parents! 

My girls just got back on Friday from two weeks at “Camp Freedom” — Freedom from Mom and Dad, freedom for Mom and Dad from the kids, and Grandparents free to spoil the grandkids rotten—a true win-win for all involved! 

Rainforest Cafe with Mimi and Pop

Yes, Camp Freedom is in one of the oldest towns in Texas—Liberty!  It is the hometown to both my handsome fella and myself.  Our parents still live there in the small town of 7,500.  Since Em was three she has ventured to Texas for some time with the grandparents.  So at age three, Heather also met the age requirement for camp and took her first venture.  So this year was a return for both of them to a loved camp.  They are getting to be seasoned campers! 

Grandad and Nana took the girls to the Bluebell Ice Cream Factory

This year we drove them to camp 

Snoozing to Texas

It was a long drive but fun!  Our girls were great travelers.  We had two 14 hour days in the car broken up by one day of site-seeing in Chattanooga, TN.   We were so glad to see the Texas state line.  After a week in Texas ourselves, Brad and I said our goodbyes and drove back to PA in a very quiet mini-van.  My mother-in-law said that Emily was outside for a long time after we left and had begun to walk towards the main road.  She was worried that Em was sad that we were gone so she was preparing in her head how to comfort this 8-year-old that would not see her parents for two more weeks when Emily turned around and said “Yes, they are gone….let the games begin!”  So clearly, they were just as excited about Camp Freedom as were we. 

My “Mommy guilt” sometimes tries to take over and say- hey what about theatre, science, art or soccer camp?  Will my girls be left at the end of the line later in life because they didn’t get a jump start in summer camps? 

But ya know what?  I think this time they spend with family is priceless.  They get to experience who we are—what makes up our family.  It is a learning experience like none other and hopefully gives them a firm foundation to step out into the challenges of life.  We live so far from them that this time is precious. 

Now, I won’t lie….Brad and I enjoy Camp Freedom too. 

  • Freedom to try a new restaurant…Bobby’s Burgers and El Rey
  • Freedom to go to lunch with a friend at the drop of a hat….Burlap and Bean
  • Freedom to come and go…bookstore at 9 PM…just because we could!
  • The beauty of the coffee table staying straight for longer than 30 seconds.
  • The wonder of a clean family room for days on end.

Wow- how precious the days are! 

So summer camp—time away—is good for the soul…the kids’ souls and the parents’….kids have fun and the parents refresh.  

Disclaimer- There is absolutely nothing wrong with theatre, science, art, and soccer camp.  I would love to be able to send my girls to these along with time with family but there isn’t enough money or time to do it all!  You have to decide what is best for your child and family.  For now, for us–Camp Freedom–is the best choice for the Smith girls. 

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2 responses »

  1. The same question is always- can I send my kids to your “Camp Freedom”? I am sure somewhere in my family history there is a Smith! Not so sure about Giese but who knows!!! Missed you yesterday.

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