Summer vacation is almost here in the Northeast and it is around this time that I start thinking about what we will do for the summer. A few years back I started planning a camp mom summer schedule. I like to plan our summer activities to keep us active and busy. “Camp Mom” is the way we pack it all in for the summer. We do everything we can and break out of our routine. Setting up my camp mom summer schedule helps us enjoy time together and be a local tourist.
I started “Camp Mom” because as I looked through the community books of programs I realized two things. One-being a stay-at-home mom I couldn’t afford to send all three of my kids to camp for weeks at a time. Two-I could create my own camp mom summer schedule. As a family we worked on brainstorming a summer bucket list and coming up with themes.
Planning “Camp Mom” is not as intense as it sounds. It’s really a flexible schedule I use to plan our weeks for the summer. I’m all about spontaneous fun and we do have unscheduled activities. “Camp Mom” keeps us going and helps me to plan our weeks. It also reminds me to explore all the fun activities we have locally. Summer moves so fast and I like to see and do as much as I can. Planning our summer weeks helps me do this!
Camp mom is not stressful. Don’t feel you have to scour the internet for ideas. You don’t. Do what makes you happy and keep it flexible. If your family loves playing in your pool most days during the summer that is what you should do. The goal is to make summer fun and easy. You do not have to spend your days on Pinterest finding the perfect summer craft, unless you want to!! If you do please share your ideas because I love being inspired by other families.
Camp Mom is all about taking those moments. The moments when you kids are small. The moments where your days do not have to be filled with running from one activity to the next. The moments your kids will remember and cherish. I want to be an active part in those memories. I want to explore and have adventures with my kids.
Camp Mom is about me. It is about me wanting to soak up every moment I get to spend with my kids. It is being unplugged and removed from the day-to-day to enjoy summer. It is what summer is all about for me.
I start planning camp mom with these three easy steps:
We only have a few months of summer weather and I plan to enjoy everything that Western New York offers. From visiting new playgrounds to beaches and baseball games. We try to do it all! At times we don’t get it all in but we always try!! We also add in a few visits to grandparents houses and weekend day trips. Summer is busy for us, but I love the time we get to spend together as a family.
Start your summer bucket list by being a tourist in your own town. Write down places you’ve wanted to visit but haven’t had time.
Often there are so many wonderful places to visit in your own backyard. I always get the kids involved. What do they want to do this summer?
It might be as simple as visit their favorite playground or have a picnic in the park. All ideas get put on the list. There may be ones that are not doable, but you should try to have at least one idea from each family member on the list.
Look through your local community center for events. Check the local library or book store. Museums often have weekly summer events and activities. Look at your local parent website for family friendly activities. I like to use Kids Out & About or Visit Rochester for local fun.
If you are not a planner this part may be a challenge but I promise once you set it up you will not have to do much again. Give yourself an hour to look at your calendar and plan out what the next 8 weeks of summer will look like. This is a very flexible plan. I have a notebook that I have been using since 2014 to lay out what our summer plans will look like. Don’t worry I have a free worksheet for you to print out and plan your own!!
The first thing I do is write in any camps or summer activities the kids are signed up for. Every year looks a little different. Then I look at our brainstorm list and figure out what can go together. Each week gets assigned a theme and then I work our summer activities and bucket list into the themes. If your kids are a little older they may want to plan a week. My kids have planned 3 weeks for this summer. I will go through and add a few activities but they do a great job and have a lot of fun. (Bonus: They work together!!)
The last thing I do to plan out the summer is to have a theme day. This is more generic and flexible plan for the week. Ours looks something like this:
I am sharing all the resources I use to put together our Camp Mom Summer Schedule in my family travel resource library. You will find:
The kids have come to really love camp mom. They love helping plan family activities but I think they love the unplugged time together. We spend time together that is uninterrupted by electronics and we are enjoying the summer. It is making these memories that makes summer the best.