Any time of year is a good time for a vacation. But there is something about the summer that is uniquely for kids. For starters, it is the longest time of year when they are out of school. They are also in a state of giddy transition between one grade level and another.
Because of the weather, all activities are available to them. So they have the maximum opportunity to burn off excess energy. And after a long and tense school year, they should have plenty of energy to burn.
With so many options, it can be difficult to choose which kind of summer vacation is best. It partly depends on the personality and quirks of your kids. But, it also depends on your parental instincts about what is best. Here are a few of the options that will cover most situations:
For some parents, the best thing about summer camp is the ability to send the kids away for awhile and gain a little adult time for mom and dad. That is certainly one way to do it. Another is to use summer camp as a vacation for the whole family to be together in a different and interesting setting.
This can be achieved by volunteering as counselors and to help staff at the camp. Parents can be with their kids without being a smothering influence over all of their activities. There are seemingly endless possibilities for styles of camp. Camp Barnabas is a religious camp with a focus on a particular faith. There are camps representing all faiths and beliefs, even those that are not religious.
It is even easier to find a sports camp for every taste. Team sports and individual sports are well represented. In case you are wondering, chess is considered an individual sport that is even recognized by the Olympics.
There are also nature camps with a particular focus on teaching kids about nature, preservation, and good planetary care-taking skills. Organized camps are among the best ways to spend a fun-filled week with your family without having to do weeks worth of planning in advance. Just sign up and go.
Of the many fun things you can do with your kids this summer, a road trip needs to be near if not at the top of your list. Spending hours at a time with any group of people is going to bring you closer together. Sure, there will be tension and disagreements. Emotions will run hot and patience will be tested. But there will also be shared experiences, stray glances that erupt into irrational mirth, and epiphanies of understanding and breakthrough.
The destination doesn’t really much matter. Pick a spot on the map and make sure there is more than one way to get there and back. Take a couple of days getting there. Spend a day exploring the area. Then come back another way and see something different on your way home. Stop and look at every interesting rock. Eat at every greasy spoon, and take a selfie standing next to a babbling brook. You may travel the road, but the adventure is always within.
Explore Your Family History
It seems that every generation is a little more disconnected from the previous one. But as social creatures, continuity is important. It is okay to break away from the past, but we need to know as much as we can about that past so that we can have a solid foundation for our future decisions.
It’s one thing to know who your grandparents are, but it is quite another to know something about your relatives who were first on this soil. Here are some questions to ask your parents, from what country did they come? What was their favorite music or their political preferences? What were the life-altering decisions of their day that affects your family now?
This type of search may result in a trip to Ireland, or a trip to the next county over. Either way, you and your family will learn something together, and grow closer in the process.
This summer, try a camp, road trip, or a time machine tour of your own past. Whatever you do for the kids this summer will be a part of their own story for years to come.