Summer Vacation will be here before we know it. Parents are happy that we can sleep an additional 30 minutes and don’t have to worry about uniforms or school traffic. And we get a break from being the homework police.
But there is a downside for most parents. Our kids are home with nothing to do.
When we were young, our summers used to be full and we never missed a beat. We were outside playing hopscotch, jump rope, riding bikes and playing street football. When we got bored anything and everything became our imaginary kitchens where we’d make mud pies and and serve them on boxes that we’d cut into plates using sticks. We dug for worms and put them glass bottles with holes in the top so they could breathe. We were learning all the time.
STEM was all around us, we just did not know it.
But oh how times have changed.
In my neighborhood there are barely any kids outside during the summer and if they they are , their heads are usually looking down at their smartphones while their fingers scroll past the latest post.
In a concerted effort to get my daughter off the couch each summer and keep her learning and active, I’ve decided to try and plan her summers ahead of time.
I saw a coworker doing this one day and we began sharing information about available camps. Coworkers and friends really are full of important and helpful information when it comes to our kids and it takes a village, right?
“…the key here is to make sure that our children are learning and productive over the summer.”
I schedule day camps back to back and usually add in one on campus program so that she can experience a taste of college life. Yep, she is in the 8th grade and has been on college tours since 3rd grade. Enjoying the sun and reading books are important as well.
Below is a list of some of the camps that have kept my daughter most engaged the past three summers. I figured I’d share them with all of you as well as a few tips on searching for what will best fit your kids this summer.
Detroit Parks and Rec Department 313.224.1100
Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church 313.822.3456
Community Music School http://www.cms.msu.edu/detroit
Downtown Boxing Gym Downtownyouthboxing.org
U of M summer camps http://ceo.umich.edu/summer
Chinese Camp (Wayne State) email@example.com
Girls Rock Detroit firstname.lastname@example.org
Detroit Parent Network College Tours email@example.com
SAY Detroit Play sayplay.org
I Am Song firstname.lastname@example.org
The Detroit Zoo http://www.detroitzoo.org/education/safari-day-camps
Detroit Windsor Dance 313.872.7200
Search local college websites for summer youth camps
Ask at your local YMCA
Youth employment Opportunities
Child Care Center
Ask at your own job. They may have volunteer hours for youth.
Find opportunities in the fields they hope to pursue (Examples: Sports team volunteer, Hospital Candy Striper, Local Tech Company, Local Newspaper.)
Students may not get paid but they get noticed and experience.
I could go on and on but the key here is to make sure that our children are learning and productive over the summer. And it’s important to note that some of the fees may be waived at programs that offer income based payments.
If you have other ideas for summer programs in Detroit and the surrounding areas, I’d love for you to share them. Add them to the comments and include the city and a contact email so that parents like us can get to planning.
We can do this summer thing. Together.
(Doing the work)