Sunday, July 10, 2011


When The Professor, now aged 12, was a preschooler, I was inspired by Flylady to create an at-home summer camp.  The purpose was to get the kids involved in cleaning, decluttering, and organizing the home while having fun.  I thought this sounded lovely and did a simple week-long camp with a Hawaiian theme for my boy.

Somehow over the years, as is typical with anything I get involved in, the camp has expanded and grown as my compulsiveness has kicked into high gear.  An early camp involved a Pirate theme and daily worksheets that gave the children clues as to the day's activities.  (I patted myself on the back for tricking them into reading and doing math problems.)  As the children grew and the list of new-to-them activities shrank, I found myself feeling pressure to outdo the year before.  That's how we went from a Hawaiian camp with decluttering to a private plane ride from Lunken Airport in a few short years.  I think Flylady would say I'm a perfectionist.  She'd probably also have a few other names for me that may or may not be printable.

Given my compulsion to try to outdo myself each year, as well as my children's increasing "been there, done that" attitude, 2011's camp is going to be very scaled down to try to salvage what might be left of my sanity.  Insanity can be the only explanation for how a woman could bury her father in late June, try to handle his estate as executor throughout the summer, and still create a camp based on The Amazing Race, complete with "Detours" and "Roadblocks."  Someone needs to shoot me with a tranquilizer gun.

Based on my previously mentioned obsession with my daughter's Girl Scout awards, my sister suggested a camp based on earning patches.  My kids will not be impressed by this.  I, on the other hand, am super excited as I ordered THREE of each patch and intend to award one to myself for each activity as well.  I may even make myself a vest to sew them on. 

I've always tried not to duplicate activities from years past.  New and different has always been my motto (which is how we ended up in that little five-person plane with my mother and sister watching nervously from the ground as we took off).  Given how much my children get to do, finding new-to-them destinations and activities is getting increasingly difficult.  I've managed to come up with a list, though, that may not be as exciting as the helicopter ride I originally wanted (and which my mother was vehemently against), but I hope it will make for a fun week.  If nothing else I have a dozen or so patches just waiting to be sewn on MY vest.

Thanks primarily to an eBay store (TroopMoore), I'm now in possession of a wide variety of patches and a list of accompanying activities and destinations that I hope will be at least reasonably amusing for The Inmates.  If not, I can console myself with the fact that this is the least time-intensive camp I've planned since the first one.

A small sampling of the patches to be earned.

I'll try to give details on each camp day as it occurs, but for those who can't wait to see what we'll be doing, our activities will include:

*  Going to the American Sign Museum in downtown Cincinnati.
*  Visiting Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky.
*  Doing a Native American bead craft taught by Uncle Chester.
*  Creating no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus.
*  Learning origami and making braided leather bracelets from
    kits purchased at Hobby Lobby.
*  Going to a Florence Freedom baseball game.
*  Visiting the Cincinnati Observatory.
*  Going on a scavenger hunt at Cincinnati's Findlay Market.
    (A big thanks to my friend Kathie for putting this idea in my head.)

And in case you think that this award obsession is mine alone, a recent blog post from my sister (affectionately known as Uncle Chester) will prove that it is genetic.

You might also be interested in:

Meet the Inmates -- The Professor.

Meet the Inmates -- Foghorn.


Anonymous said...

I have the week reserved to help out or just observe.

Nancy Susanna Breen said...

We're supposed to be doing beadwork? I was going to have them make tomahawks. Or pottery. I can't see wrangling those maniacs long enough to do beadwork.

Kathie said...

"I'll try to give details on each camp day as it occurs, but for those who can't wait to see what we'll be doing"

I know you are talking about me here :-) !!

Enjoy Findlay Market! If you need a tour guide, my Josh would volunteer, because after two trips in two weeks, he thinks he's an expert!