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.