Well it’s hard to believe that the summer is nearly two-thirds through. The end of July has come much quicker than it seems like it has in years past. Every summer in recent memory I’ve led a panicked life of worrying my kids were missing out on some of the best things in life because we couldn’t afford to take them to Disney World. Like everyone else on earth seems to be able to comfortably do. Multiple times over.
This year I sent my kids to “Camp Horse Fly.” Well, that’s what I call it – but I think it works. It is a simple day camp in an out-of-the-way rural area. The focus is on a limited assortment of non-computer game or TV related activities. This focus has enabled my kids to see what they’d heard about for years – “the outdoors.” That sounds like a good start to me.
My husband chaperoned my kids on this great outdoor adventure, which has been going on this whole week. It is wonderful to have my kids and husband outside all day, because in today’s age “outside” seems like “outer space” to a generation that needs special “gaming” chairs to sit in front of their televisions and play their Wii. Sigh.
When I was growing up we spent the entire summer outside. Not because we were a hardy lot, but because there was nothing to do indoors. TV was black and white, which was unusual for the time – but we were poor. That was ok with us. We had the entire summer planned at the public pool: swim lessons, swim team, diving, synchronized swimming. Then we’d have our friends over for lunch and played outdoor games for hours. When the pool opened up in the early afternoon we went back and stayed until dinner time. Every day. All summer. We were tanned beyond belief and fit as could be. I wish I could do that today. But being a responsible adult allows no time for enjoying the outdoors on an all-day basis.
So my kids are now like aliens new to the world of “outside”. I don’t think prior to “Camp Horse Fly” they spent more than 20 minute stretches outdoors. And even that was broken up by popsicle breaks, bathroom breaks, random indoor searches for miscellaneous items, and of course searching for mom to referee occasional skirmishes.
I love that my kids are coming home looking healthy, glowing, tan, and smelling like a sweaty mix of bug spray, suntan lotion and chlorine. I wish “Camp Horse Fly” went on for three months. They seem to really love the many daily activities: archery, crafts, swimming, nature walks. The only down side is that one of my sons has since developed a severe phobia of bugs. Apparently something called a “caterpillar” was crawling on him the other day. Hard to imagine their own mother used to collect potato bugs! Hopefully this phobia will pass and not intrude on next years session at “Camp Horse Fly.” Perhaps their own mother should go as well.