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The Official Start of Camp Season

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

Last week marked the end of the school year here in the cornfields, which means that this week brings the start of camp season. With the exception of a long weekend, there was barely a hiccup; even pick-up and drop-off times are almost identical.

It took a bit longer than usual to nail down the exact summer plan. Unlike suburban Washington, where advice on camps are traded like stock tips on the Upper East Side, the what-to-do-this-summer question seemed to be less pressing for most of the parents around here. Most of the moms and dads I talked to were completely nonchalant: plenty had pool memberships, a few had extensive travel plans, but almost none had a week-by-week strategy for getting from here to Aug. 24, when school opens again.

For the record, I was a camp kid growing up. I was at sleep-away camp by the time I was 8 years old, and by the time I was 12, the whole summer was pretty much booked: a couple of weeks at the YMCA camp, a couple more at Boy Scout camp, maybe a week of tennis camp, a week of basketball camp. And the remainder of the summer was spent jumping off the high dive at the local pool and riding my bike all over western Massachusetts. But I wasn't a camp kid out of necessity: I had a stay-at-home parent every summer, so I never saw camp as just a care alternative.

Things are a bit different as an adult. I have a finite number of vacation days, and I'll end up blowing every last one of them between now and Labor day: there is annual week at the beach, plus a family reunion, plus a long weekend, plus whatever else might emerge. Camp isn't just a chance for personal growth. It's a work-related necessity. And the choice of camps is dictated, in part, by finances: trying out a week of my childhood sleep-away camp runs almost 10 times more than the perfectly-serviceable city-run camp around here.

Looking at the calendar, we have what seems like a nice mix: some city camps, some family time, a couple weeks of specialty camps, a weekend getaway or two and a few stolen afternoons at the local water slide. It's not ideal, but it ought to work. But I'm curious about the rest of you: How are you handling the summer crunch? I'm especially interested to hear from at-home parents: Is a full summer of camps and other activities less preferable than waking up each morning with a blank calendar?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  June 11, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Child Care , Entertainment , Summer Programs
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Comments


We can't afford 10 weeks of camps so the kids will spend the summer at the pool and perhaps taking a month of tennis lessons. Vacations are planned as well.

Can anyone afford the camp schedule Brian grew up with?

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 11, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I put my son in "camp" at my daughter's daycare (where he used to attend). It lets me have just one drop-off/pick-up, is reasonably priced, includes lunch, and has some fun activities (including field trips) for him each week. He'll do that for most of the summer, then do a week at the beach with nana, then a week vacation with us.

I would love for him to do some other fun stuff, but most of the camps don't offer extended hours. I was actually at our gymnastics place and they had a big sign announcing new extended hours--you could pick up your kid as late as 4. Now, I work in a pretty family-friendly place, but I still can't get out of here before 4:30. And it's a good 20-30 min to get just about anywhere (again, I'm lucky to be out in NoVA for work, not downtown).

There's another week-long camp my son is dying to do--it's 9am-3pm. Too bad. I just can't flex that much.

Posted by: jljardon2 | June 11, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Give some thought to using your neighborhood teenagers for a portion of your summer. With the economy the way it is, a lot of the jobs that a teen would normally get for the summer are now being filled by adults. I know my 15 year old has been looking for a job with no luck. She would love to spend 6 weeks or so taking a neighborhood child to the pool, doing crafts at home, etc.

Posted by: hockeymom3 | June 11, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse


Can I offer a different perspective? Have you made sure those camps are designed to be used as a child-care alternative? I was a camp counselor for two summers back in the 1990s, and a huge problem at the camp were the kids whose parents signed them up for eight straight weeks of our daycamp. By the third or fourth week, the kids who signed up for the whole summer were bored with the program, and often that boredom translated into acting up. The camp wasn't really designed to hold a kid's interest all summer. And, in all honesty, the college-aged counselors, myself included, didn't have the necessary experience to know how to manage those issues. Each week had some different activities, but there were things we did every week so everyone enrolled would get those experiences. We also had problems with parents who didn't understand 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. meant 4 p.m., not after you got off work. The second year I worked there they instituted a rule that you couldn't sign up for more than 4 weeks, and I think they're down to a max of 2 weeks now, with weeks that are all preschool breaking up the summer and taking away the temptation to use it as full-time child care. I think that's also why most of the pools around where we live don't open until at least noon--parents can't be tempted to think the neighborhood lifegaurd will watch their kids all day at the pool.

Rebeldad sounds on the right track, enrolling his kids for several camps over the course of the summer so they don't get bored with one. I'm not really sure what a better, more affordable solution is. I feel for parents trying to figure out what to do. I plan to go back to work when my kids are in school, and I know we'll struggle with the same thing. From what I see as a stay-at-home parent with small kids, I think a lot of the camp programs we encounter around our Midwestern town really lack appropriate supervision and structure. I often see camp kids with their color-coded T-shirts unsupervised at a park or pool for entire afternoons while the counselors sit and gossip in a group by themselves, leaving it to lifeguards and other parents to keep the kids in line.

Posted by: sjneal | June 11, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I run a preschool day camp so my kids don't get much choice in summer activity. My older 2 volunteer with me and the little ones are active participants. The weeks are themed and enough kids rotate in and out that boredum is not an is an issue. This year they were each allowed to choose one new class to take in the afternoon, but camp is out of the question b/c of my schedule.

Previous summers when I wasn't working, I really enjoyed just hanging out. We would explore new parks, play with friends, take impromptu camping trips in the middle of the week. I loved it! My girls would sign up for one or two weeks worth of specialty camps but we really committed to very little.

Posted by: thosewilsongirls | June 11, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

We're doing the same as jljardon2 - our kids are going to the camp program at their old daycare. We're not totally thrilled with it, but a bunch of their old friends are there, they have a pool so they have swim lessons twice a week and free swim every day, and do field trips three times a week. Plus they have extended hours that we need in the morning and it's a convenient location. It's a bit pricey, over $200 a week for each of them, but I doubt there are any good alternatives that would be much cheaper.

I'd like something more of a "camp exprience", but like sjneal, I was a counselor at daycamp when I was in college and there's no way I would have sent my kids there. It was basically a bunch of college and high school kids who were more interesting in hitting on each other than taking care of the kids, and most of us didn't really know how to handle the kids.

Posted by: dennis5 | June 11, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My girls are little, so their week day activities won't change. They have daycare M/W/F and whatever their Dad comes up with T/Th. When they go to school, I'll look to my coworker's fabulous wife, who has 2 kids and a spreadsheet of summer camps, including pick-up and drop-off schedules. It sounds anal, but it's so easy to forget a pick-up when you're off schedule.

The DC camp chaos is something else. It starts at the beginning of the year...

Posted by: atb2 | June 11, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse


Give some thought to using your neighborhood teenagers for a portion of your summer.

Posted by: hockeymom3 | June 11, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

maybe some of the more seasoned parents here think this is obvious, but we would be thrilled to have a responsible teen take care of our little one in the summers. Thanks for the suggestion hockeymom3 -

living downtown makes it harder since we don't have a lot of older children living around us, but do the local high schools assist with this type of placement? how would we find someone?

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | June 11, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

One thing we did when my daughter was elementary school age and wanted to go to one of the camps that didn't have extended care was to hire a college student for the few hours in the afternoon. These camps where usually county/school run so were relatively inexpensive so the total cost was about the same as some of the more expensive camps that provided full days. The reason we went with college students is that they had cars and could drive (and hadn't just gotten their license). As we were a little over a mile from the community pool this was helpful.

About the speciality camps (tennis, skating, etc.) please make sure it is your child's desire to do this activity. My daughter is a counselor at this type of camp and she comes home and complains about little ones who don't want to do the activity but whose parents thought it would be good for them to learn.

Posted by: mom_of_1 | June 11, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

We need full-time care in the summer; I already have to use my vacation to cover the extra week at the beginning of the year (which they just announced a few weeks ago thanks to lack of snow days), and the two weeks between when camp ends and school starts again. So the 8 weeks in the middle of that, we need camp.

We also need full-day camp. There are so many interesting day camps around here, but they're 9-1, or 9-3 max, and we just can't do that. So until last year, we just used preschool "camps."

But then last year we found (thanks to SIL) a great day camp for my eldest -- kids get to run around outside all day, swim, play sports, etc., plus it's Jewish to boot. It's a little tight on the schedule (buses run @ 8:30 and 4:30), but we just juggle our workdays a bit to cover (they do offer before- and after-care, but the traffic is horrendous in that part of town, so we'd be trading another hour+ on the road for @ 30 more mins at work -- not).

I do feel a little bad that my girl can't do all the different stuff she is interested in. But then again, what she gets to do is WAY more than what I got to do as a kid. And the babysitter option isn't that appealing, either; we don't have a neighborhood pool or anything fun to hang out in, and I wouldn't want a 16-yr-old driving my kids around to museums and the like. We'll have plenty of just hanging out and going to the beach for those three in-between weeks -- at least, enough time for her to get bored and hot and begin looking forward to going back to a nice, air conditioned school. :-)

Posted by: laura33 | June 11, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

interestingidea1234 - for college students there is a web site called student sitters that I used (I don't know if it still exists). The site works with local colleges, you place an 'ad' for how much you are willing to pay, and when you need a sitter. Sitters who respond have to list references. There is a small fee.

Posted by: mom_of_1 | June 11, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Funding for camp is out of the question this year too. When SS gets out of school, he will be heading to his sister's babysitter. This is the same thing that was done last year.

Because their mother works weekends, the kids are only in daycare for 3 days a week max. I have no idea what they do with her on her days off.

On the weekends, they have swimming lessons. Now that the pool is open, I expect some time spent at the pool and we often head to the library for an hour or so. Visits to the local playground are usually on the agenda too. If I see anything reasonably priced (like inexpensive or free) then I might try to do that with the kids... like maybe concerts in the park or something like that. Nothing concrete is planned.

Posted by: Billie_R | June 11, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, we have the summer covered. Except for one small detail -- DD and DN on swim team. So we're working out a plan to have someone take them to swim team practice, then on to their summer program afterwards. Makes me wonder if swim team is only for kids with SAHP's. But then I also wonder why most specialty programs around here only run from 9:00 to 3:00 PM. Are there jobs out there that go to summer hours?

Posted by: StrollerMomma | June 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with a summer of unstructured play under the supervision of their parents? Are you so inconvenienced by your children's existence that you are willing to spend thousands of dollars every summer so you don't have to be with them?

Posted by: kenman57 | June 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

One thing that really drives me crazy is that so many summer day camps in our area (nova) seem to think that every kid has an at-home parent who can pick them up at 12 or 3 or whatever silly time that the camp ends. What family without 2 working parents has the money for day camp anyway? There are also not a lot of options for the end of the summer- this year with school not starting until the latest possible day in September, there are a lot of weeks to fill but a lot of camps have no sessions after early August.

Hey entrepreneurs- start a day camp that runs from 8-6 and lasts until Labor Day- you'll make a fortune!

Posted by: bubba777 | June 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Good Lord, I can't believe you have your kids busy all summer! We would have a couple weeks of day camp, and the requisite beach and lake vacations, but the rest of the summer was spent at the pool, riding bikes, exploring the neighborhood, & just making our own fun. Plus a few trips to the Smithsonian or galleries.
I just can't imaging a whole summer of structured activities. Yes, in many (most?) cases these days both parents have to work to make ends meet, but I can't help but be saddened by the idea that my kids will have to spend summer in daycare/camp combos, missing out on the care free, lazy summer days I had.

Posted by: falltillfly | June 11, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

No, Kendude, more like my husband feels so guilty about working full-time that he tries to buy their love with camps and ponies. When we can find time between spa trips, fancy vacations, and shopping for that new Mercedes, of course.

Posted by: laura33 | June 11, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Kenman57 and others like him/her- can we not make this discussion into a "well you should be home with your kids anyway you selfish working parent who obviously has a McMansion and a Lexus" discussion? That is so old...

Posted by: bubba777 | June 11, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

StrollerMama - I used to hire a teenager to take my kids to swim team, stay with them and then bring them home. It worked out great because it was a 2nd summer job for the teen. Maybe it's too late for this year, but you can always call your local high school career center and tell them what you're looking for. High school career centers keep listings of summer jobs for kids.

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | June 11, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with a summer of unstructured play under the supervision of their parents? Are you so inconvenienced by your children's existence that you are willing to spend thousands of dollars every summer so you don't have to be with them?

Posted by: kenman57 | June 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse


That is a great idea!!! thanks for the input. can you give my boss a call? you can ask him if i can take the summer off!! i'm sure he'd be up for it.

mom_of_1 - thanks for the heads-up on the website - i just registered and will wait to see what i hear! i think their fee of $25 for three months of job listings is totally reasonable.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | June 11, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Are you so inconvenienced by your children's existence that you are willing to spend thousands of dollars every summer so you don't have to be with them?

Posted by: kenman57 | June 11, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes.

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 11, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

ken man?

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

My child is going to three different camps this summer - an acting camp in Washington DC, an arts and craft camp at the local community college, and a skateboard camp in Fairfax County, VA. All of these camps have before and after care so that my husband and I can get to and from work on time with our one-hour, one-way commute. While we are taking a few days off to go to the beach in July, we do not have alot of vacation time because we have to take off work many days during the school year for winter break, spring break, teacher workshops days, parent-teacher conferences, school shows and plays, doctor's appointments, home repairs, and the week in September before school starts but all of the summer camps are over. We have a modest house and two ten-year old cars. I resent the implication that I don't love my child because I work a full-time job.

Posted by: somdmom1 | June 11, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Kenman, I share your idea that summer should be a lot of fun hanging out, but the reality is that there are so few other kids around that my kids end up lonley often.Its not the neighborhood I grew up in with tons of kids running around all day building forts eating popsicles. While I love them dearly, I am not here to be their playmate for 14 hours a day and frankly they don't want to play with me 14 hours a day. They play nicely together, but again they need friends. I'm fun, but I'm not an 8 year old boy or 6 year old girl.

My kids will go to 2 weeks of camp, one in July and one in August and potentially a third - we'll see. Other than that we will go to the pool 3 days a week, bowling and some short trips and yes, plenty of "unstructured play".

Posted by: moxiemom1 | June 11, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Our 4-year old will be attending a day camp that goes from 8:30-11:30 for most of the summer. I am at home full-time, but she has 12-month old twin siblings who take their nap in the mid-morrning and she doesn't want to be stuck at home all morning. She wants to go outside and run around with her friends! This is a pretty good deal for us- she gets to have fun, the babies get a quiet house at naptime, and I get a break to do housework (and waste time on the internet). When she gets home, everyone has lunch and then we get to do fun things together as a family, like head to the zoo or the park.

Posted by: floof | June 11, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Another issue is that there just aren't kids running around the neighborhood like there were when we were kids. I live in a townhouse development, and you'd think there would be kids everywhere, but there aren't. And the kids that do live here mostly have working parents and aren't around during the day.

Posted by: floof | June 11, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sjneal,

Thanks for your perspective. I have been wondering why pools usually open at noon and your reason makes sense.

Posted by: sunflower571 | June 11, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

My 3.5yo is in an almost-year-round preschool. They're only closed for the month of July. So she'll be in school two mornings a week for most of the summer, and we'll spend the rest of the time at the park, the pool, the zoo, the library, etc. I may sign her up for one or two days of camp at our gym, but mostly because her friends are going and I think she'd get a kick out of it.

As a SAHM with only very young kids, I don't see a real need for camps. I know that as the girls get older, they're likely to start asking for more structured activities, but right now, DD1 is just happy to be out and about, and DD2 is too little to care where we are. I feel guilty enough every time I write a preschool tuition check, so I think I'll avoid compounding the guilt with spendy camps.

Posted by: newsahm | June 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

My son will be doing musical day camp offered by Montgomery County. I think that is slated for 6 weeks. Then we will have 2 weeks at the beach and he will also spend a week or so with his grandparents. That will leave hm with 2 weeks of unstructured time at home, with his dad and baby sister, going to the pool, playing with neighborhood friends, and probably watching more tv than we usually allow. But it's summer so it should be fine.

Posted by: emily8 | June 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

From June-July, my kids will attend their normal day care. Daughter is age 5 and will attend 6 weeks of half day special education preschool and infant son will just do day care.

We have a long holiday week for fourth of July to visit family and the first week of September we will take a family vacation.

In August our babys itter starts, so my kids will be at her house playing with her two kids.

Since my daughter already attends 6 weeks of summer school, I don't see a need to add any other structured activity. Next year when she might not qualify for summer school, we will try to add a camp or two. But that might be difficult because she does have special needs and I am not sure the standard day camp is equipped to deal with her needs. We tried dance lessons in the fall and she really just did not have the attention span for a 45 minute lesson.

When I was a kid from age 8-14, I went to sleep away camp for 8 weeks of the summer. The rest was unscheduled and we had a back yard pool and a stay at home mom. Again, it was a day care thing but it was get out of Mom's hair thing. We also did the family vacation in either the summer or spring break. Personally, I loved it. But it is very expensive to do 8 weeks of sleep away camp. We had college aged counselors and we thought it rocked. Like Dennis, we had some moments that I would rather not expose my own kids too. But there are some awesome life lessons learned when parents are not around. Some of our best childhood memories were during camp. Kind of sad that are best memories were parent free but it is the truth.

I can't see a sleep away camp taking my daughter for 8 weeks and we probably could not afford it. But since we have our own sitter, I do see a week or two of day camp and eventually two weeks of church (sleep away) doable. Plus our sitter can drop off and pick up any time.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 11, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

We signed up for 3 weeks at a "Music and Drama" summer day camp for our 5 year old-- we signed up for the before care and may also end up needing to get the after care, too. It's inconvenient for those 3 weeks because it's 1/2 hour drive out and then back again, but I think it'll be a great experience. The 5 year old is not thrilled with the idea of the camp-- he would rather stay home and watch TV and play videos! But I am pretty certain that once he is there he will actually love it! Besides, it'll only be three weeks.

after that, he'll spend most of the rest of the summer at the summer day camp hosted by his old daycare where his little sister attends. That will be soooo convenient to have both my little chicks under the same roof with me! (The daycare is at my work.) A family week at the beach and another camping in the mountains will round out the summer.

Posted by: captiolhillmom | June 11, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

In terms of cost, by the way, the DC operated ones - which offer just standard camp as well as sports/specialty options are only something like $150 for a two week session, are 8:30-6:00 and give the kids breakfast, lunch, and a snack all included.

This year, the problem is he is 13 and too old for camp. Yet, he's also too young to go wandering around by himself. So I feel bad for his summer to be spent at home alone while we are at work, but I don't really know any other options...

Posted by: EAR0614 | June 11, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Camp is a necessity in our house. We are taking a small vacation in June and a couple days in Cape May in August (paid by the grandparents) who miss my 7 year DD. I would see them more often but there schedule is busier than mine.

Her camp is a long day 7 am to 6 pm. They provide a hot breakfast and we bring lunch. They try to balance it with organized activities swimming and soccer, some free choice, and some field trips. She will know some of the kids from her after school day care. She asked to spend all summer (10 weeks) with her day care friends. It will turn out to be 6 weeks which are consecutive. She will also do 10 days of care including next Friday at my work based day care. The camp wanted her to attend 5 days and pay for 10 days which I said no.

On the weekends we try to chill out, do a little summer reading, go to the condo pool, and probably attend a birthday party or two. A lot of her first grade class (11 out of 26 kids) are born in June or July.

Posted by: shdd | June 11, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

We've got the 2 middle kids signed up for a few weeks of field hockey and band camp. The oldest drives, so we'll use her as a chauffeuring service. Also, we have a family membership to a fitness center that has an outdoor pool and complimentery child care services, so as soon as school gets out, the kids will graduate from their rugrat status and turn into gym rats.

My oldest graduates from HS next week, and unless she can land a summer job, she'll be doing volunteer work at the hospital. Come fall, she'll be going to college to study nursing, so she has a good opportunity to get a little experience in her career of choice.

As for the upcoming 2nd grader, we'll pawn him off for a few hours a day at some of the many Vacation Bible Schools offered in our area. Different programs have varying degrees of organization and mandatory parent participation requirements, but for the most part they offer what we really want, - free babysitting!

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

As for the upcoming 2nd grader, we'll pawn him off for a few hours a day at some of the many Vacation Bible Schools offered in our area.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 11, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Good ole Vacation Bible School. The Baptists had the best treats - full-sized candy bars - yum. The Methodists had the cutest teenage girl "teachers". The Presbyterians had the most fun stuff to do. And the RCs were RCs.......

Posted by: jezebel3 | June 11, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

EAR0614 - Can your son work or volunteer as a counselor in training at a camp? This might be better than staying home alone all day.

Posted by: emily8 | June 11, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

No camps this summer. My wife is home with the kids and we have a neighborhood pool and we'll be doing pretty much every day possible. There will a road trip to stay with some friends and family, too. One benefit to living in the DC area is having a gazillion free or cheap things to do when the mood strikes but for now we have the luxury of not having to plan.

Posted by: KS100H | June 11, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I had my eyes open to this new world this year, with an 11 year old stepson (our first year as a family unit). He goes to year round school, which I highly endorse. Not because it is easier on the parents, its actually not, but because it seems to be a great way for kids to better retain their learning (our SOL scores are through the roof - I know brag brag). Anyhow, that leaves us with about 6 weeks to schedule up.

Through our 'county' Falls Church, we signed him up for some reasonable week long camps with pre and post care. The cool thing is we are actually going to bike too and from the after-care location because it is only about 2 miles from the house.

Both his dad and I bike commute to work, so this actually feels like a bit of a family adventure of sorts, to get him in to it too. We've managed to slip in one vacation in the mix but are saving up for the arrival of # 2.

It's worlds different from when I grew up in FFX County, neighborhood full of kids, walking to the pool every day. But just like others, there are no kids in our neighborhood so he'd be lonely and bored and the waitlist for the local pool is years long. He's such a responsible and good kid, but the last thing we need is a summer of video game and WWE Smackdown 'stupification'.

So yeah, you find a way to afford it because it is the best option for a family with two working parents. And yes Kenman, some of us wish we could have one parent stay at home but despite modest living, can't afford it, so can the judgement and focus on the questions at hand.

Posted by: LTL1 | June 11, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I second the CIT suggestion for the 13 year old. That's what CIT is *for*. Also specialty camps do well for older kids.

Posted by: inBoston | June 11, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Whacky - Congrats on your high school graduate! My oldest is graduating, too. Some days I'm really happy about it and some days my heart hurts.....

Posted by: GroovisMaximus61 | June 11, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Re: Camp hours not fitting the business day--They'd have to double their staff. If the camp runs from, say 9-4 like my old camp did, the counselors eat with the kids and spend their lunch working, so that's a 7-hour day right there. We had to get there a half-hour early to prepare and stayed a half-hour late to clean-up, so there's your 8-hour day. If they stay until even 5:30, that's an hour of overtime for the whole staff. Not saying that's the case with all the camps, but I'm betting the desire to only have one set of counselors and not pay overtime is what drives the weird hours.

Daycares typically have staff with overlapping schedules so the staff work 8-hour days but someone is there for 10-12 hours.

Posted by: sjneal | June 11, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Groovis, and I know what you mean - not too long ago I was giving horsey-back rides and pushing her in the swing...

Congrats to you too.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | June 11, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

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