Tree Talk

How Summer Feels When You Run a Summer Camp


I've run a small summer camp (less than 20 kids) and am now part of a large summer camp (more than 70 kids) and they don't feel any different. However, they feel drastically different from the summers I worked and my son and daughter attended camp or daycare without me.

The main difference is the counting. 

You count the children. Not just for safety's sake, but to determine how many counselors you'll need, how many snacks, which activities you'll be able to do. I could go on and on. 

You count the weeks. I can tell you without thinking twice that week 8 begins tomorrow and the theme is Trains, Planes & More. Can I tell you what today's date is? Nope.

You count the days. It's 25 days until the first day of school. I know with certainty because I sent an email earlier today with parents like me in mind. The first day of school always crept up on me with my frantically scouring emails for important deadlines that already passed. 

You count the kids again. You wonder how you could have possibly received so many hugs, drawings, smiles, and thank yous. 

Then you count your lucky stars. Having the experience of being with and without my children throughout the long summer days, I can easily say that both work well for our family.

I've learned that kids don't count the way parents do. Your kids love you the same regardless of whether you spent half an hour with them talking about your day on the long commute home or giggling all day at the beach. In the end, just make the minutes that you do have with them count. 


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What is in a dream?

His dream was to own a boat and fish all day long. I sat through the first few minutes of Fishing with Bob many, many times and decided that fishing wasn't for me. This decision was cemented the one and only time that I went fishing with him. 
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Poppies, puppies, and poopy

I don't really think I understood the significance of Memorial Day as a kid. It was just a long weekend we didn't go to school. I knew that it had something to do with the Army (back then all branches were the "Army") and that my father served (that's how he met my mother) and separated before my first solid memories formed. 

Now that I've served in the Air Force, there is a different association with Memorial Day. Still a day of family, but now with my extended family from generations past.

In remembrance we've made Memorial Day poppies every year since we opened Wishing Tree. This year was no different with the exception of poopy and puppy being sung in rounds. It's one of those moments where you decide should I focus on the "true" meaning or the current joy.

What to do? I decided to focus on the current joy hoping that they'll eventually grasp the significance and connect the two. They'll drag out those memories of poopy puppy flowers from long ago and think, "I didn't know it at the time, but I was doing something for those who sacrificed for me and it was good." If not, we shared some 

Happy Memorial Day in honor of those who served and sacrificed. 

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What's a mom to do?

So, I call my other baby over and hug both a little longer. Then, we started cleaning! That’s my mother’s day gift to me.
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Show the mom in your life some love for Mother's Day

Bring your littles on Saturday, May 11th from 2pm - 4pm. We'll make cards for a special mom in their life, enjoy a snack, play games, and explore new activities while you take some time for you.
Event is free for members, but spots are limited! Reserve your spot through the app. We've created a Mother's Day Card Event tab for your convenience. You can also call us at 703-858-3800.
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Visits now roll over!

We have exciting news to share! Based on your feedback, your monthly visits now roll over through the end of the calendar year.

If you have additional ideas and input that could help us improve the quality of our services, please reach out to us. Your continued partnership with us is vital to our success.

We appreciate your loyalty and support!


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Thankful for Game Night!

Tuesday nights are always fun because it's Game Night. In case you didn't know Game Night is free for members and only $10 for non-members.

It's a nice break during the week for parents to catch a movie or have adult conversation over dinner. For us, it's great to have several kids regularly break bread (pizza) together and build friendships.

The last few weeks have been especially fun because game night is gradually morphing into theater night. The kids love acting out their own versions of their favorite stories or movies. Tonight was a remake of Smurfs and Stars Wars. 

I'm thankful for not-so-quiet moments when a child has his or her idea heard and their friends agree that it's the best idea ever. I'm also thankful for the reminders that the world is an awesome place where Smurfette and Darth Vader effortlessly interact with each other.  

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Gotta Catch'em All!

This week flew by! Here we are at the final day of spring break camp which happens to be Pokemon Day.

My favorite part of the day by far was seeing the kids present their very own pokemon creations.

I'm thankful for the creativity the children bring! A kind of creativity that is magical, familiar and strange at the same time. The kind that sparks your own forgotten imagination. I hope their creativity never fades and that I can provide a space for it to shine and grow. 


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Lego My Picture Frame

Today was another amazing day, but with Legos sprinkled throughout!

This lesson has been repeated throughout all eight years of my parenting experience and still hasn't taken hold. Kids want so much less than what we think! 

Wishing Tree has varying types of building bricks. We have duplos, giant bricks, small bricks, and even magnatiles (if you want to include that). We even have a board game that involves legos! It's called Brick Party and I personally love it.

For today's craft we gave each child about 50 small bricks to make a small picture frame with a mini-polaroid to fit inside. 

Let's just say that the frames didn't go home in their original arrangement. The children found so much joy in rearranging the bricks and playing with them as toys. 

I'm thankful for the reminder that all of our best laid plans are just that...plans, thoughts, ideas from our imagination of how the world might work. I'm also thankful for the reminder that children aren't here to carry out our plans, but to honor their unique path. 

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The Joy of Watching Superheroes Fly

It's day three of spring break camp and all of the campers are familiar with the daily schedule. This knowledge brings a level of comfort that allows random stories to flow, heartier laughs, and that sparkle that all of their eyes hold.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to hold doors open as children run inside from the rain, to hold small hands when the movie gets just a little too scary,  to see the capes catching the wind.    


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