It started back in March as I was compiling the summer camp guide for the April issue of OV Parent ... As I gathered info, I began considering which ones might be a good fit for my 5-year-old, Emma. There were so many! I hate to admit, it became an all-consuming, dizzying, hair-pulling occupation.
At dance class that week, I exclaimed in exaggerated exasperation to the other parents: "I need a spreadsheet for all the summer camps!" To that, my friend Lea responded that she, in fact, had made a spreadsheet to keep her two girls' summer schedules straight. Seriously!
It sounds crazy, but there is actually an up side to this madness - we in the Ohio Valley are spoiled for choice when it comes to summer camps. Skeptical? Take a look at our camp guide beginning on page 19. And I know there are probably many about which we are unaware.
Emma with Sgt. Shaun Flanegin at 2010 Safety Town graduation. She'll go again this year to hammer home those safety rules under the tutelage of Shaun, Miss Beth and the Safety Town volunteers.
One that is not on the list (because it's not really a camp), but that Emma will definitely be attending, is Safety Town at Wheeling Hospital, a 25-year tradition that has become a summertime staple for 4- and 5-year-olds. Safety Town is offered in morning and afternoon sessions for two weeks in June and again in July. It's fun, exciting and empowering for the kids, and helps keep parents up to date on safety practices, too.
In the end, I had to scale back Emma's camp enrollments upon discovering some were above her age level. Budget also became an issue. At the rate we were going, we'd be vacationing in the back yard.
Then again, a back yard vacation wouldn't be so bad - Check out the "Toys of Summer" article, page 5, which focuses on both classic and new play products perfect for back yard entertainment, as recommended by local toy expert, Mike Yeso. And if you're looking for free entertainment just beyond the back yard, check out the article on free stuff to do in the Ohio Valley on page 8.
And don't forget to head to downtown Wheeling Friday evening, May 27, for the Ogden Tiny Tot Trot, a non-competitive, 100-yard race for kids 5 and under. Yet another free, family-friendly event!
I hope this guide gives you some good ideas to make the most of your summer. I'm sure we'll see you around!