The Start of My Summer Camp Research

This time last year I was freaking out about how we’d send DS1 to school, which ends much earlier than daycare (4pm vs. 6pm).  In the end it all worked out and we found our wonderful afternoon babysitter to pick him up, but now I’m freaking out about what to do with him for the summer! 

If you thought school hours were short, summer camp hours are much shorter!  When it came to school I worried about who would pick DS1 up in the afternoon and now with camp I’m worried about who will be able to drop him off.  So far all the camps in our area that I researched have “early” drop-off at 9am!  I have to be at work at 9am, so I am just wondering what in the world other working parents do with their kids in the summer.  How does everyone make this work?

So far the only viable option I see is to find someone who is willing to take him to camp, which would include me dropping him off somewhere at 8am.  I think I would feel weird just asking someone to do this without paying, but on the other hand the last thing I want to do is spend even more money on childcare.  Camp is much more expensive than I had anticipated.  I’m not really sure how much I thought it would cost, but I sure was surprised to see how much some of them charge! 

I’m still researching all my options, and they all seem to be similarly priced (with similar amenities and activities).  The question I’m now asking myself is whether or not I should take into account where the other kids in DS1’s class are going.  Do I spend a little more money to keep him with kids he already knows?  Or should I just choose the camp that’s most convenient for me?  DS1 is not very good with change, so I’m leaning towards keeping him with the kids he knows.

I’m still waiting for pricing info on one more camp (should come next week) and then we’ll have to make a decision.  I just hope that decision is made before the early bird deadlines, but in all honesty, I’d rather not rush into this decision without really being comfortable with it.

The last part of this puzzle I have to deal with is the added mommy guilt that comes along with not being the one to take DS1 to camp or pick him up.  With his school schedule I am able to at least drop him off in the morning (8am), but I don’t see how I’d be able to leave for work at 9am in the summer.  I really wish I could be there more for my children or work out a better arrangement. 

I really don’t want my kids to grow up thinking I wasn’t there for them because my job was more important (which is definitely NOT the case).  I hope that when they grow up they see how hard I worked for their benefit and that they see it was a struggle for me and that I really wished I could be the one doing everything for them.  Until then, all I can do is find the best arrangements out there for them.

How do you deal with the change in summer schedules while working all-year-around?

Until next time,

  • Check out camps with buses. Is he too young for that? We use a camp associated with our current daycare. It goes up to the summer before kindergarten.

    • I am reluctant to look at camps with buses because he’s only 3 and I think a 45 minute bus ride each way would be too much for him. Also, I’ve noticed that the cost of those camps are much higher than the local ones, so it would be more cost effective to hire someone to drive him in the morning than to pay for bussing.

  • camps with hours for working moms are really expensive. plus I think many start at age 4. a daycare that operates year round might be a good option, although would likely not be jewish, if you are looking for that. are there any backyard camps in your area?

    • I did consider daycare, but opted out because he’d be the only Jewish one there and I felt kinda funny about that. The backyard camps have even shorter hours.

      Interestingly, as I am doing more research I’m noticing that the camps in town are relatively less expensive, so I think I was a little naive when it came to camp prices. Stay tuned!

  • Zahava

    Its so difficult! The camp that worked the best for my son who was 4 had early drop off at 8 but then charged $4 extra for 1/2 hr! Adding $8 a day just for the morning – which was crazy! So I ended up paying extra 2x week, dropping him off at 8:30 and coming in late the other days and tried to make up for it by answering emails from home.

    • Wow, keeping track of a different schedule everyday sounds hectic! I’m trying to avoid going into work late, since my commute is so long as it is… guess that could be an option though.