The summer camp conundrum

summer camps
(Photo by Chance Agrella /

My daughter's kindergarten year is winding down. In a few weeks, she'll be spending ten hours a day, five days a week at daycare, which, for the most part, is fine with her. Oh, she does have her, "I don't want to go to daycare," days when I drop her off for after-school care. But by the time I pick her up, she's always fine, playing with other kids or helping the staff by sweeping or doing some other chore.

In other words, if her summer vacation is spent hanging out with a bunch of kids she's known since she was 6 weeks old, she'd be happy. I, on the other hand, would like for her to take part in a day camp ... if we can find one that's affordable, that is.

She has a lot of interests: music, art, dance, T-ball, nature ... the list goes on. With the wide range of camps offered in our area over the summer, this seems like a good opportunity to let her try some of them and perhaps find a new hobby (or maybe even winnow down her list of interests).

But looking for a camp has been a learning experience for my husband and me. They are pricey! We've ruled out the bulk of them based on the cost.

My husband and I thought we'd lucked out a few weeks ago. Two of my adult nephews work at a school planning a free -- yes, FREE -- basketball camp and invited our daughter to participate. However, once the schedule was finalized, we realized it wasn't going to work because the hours (six a day, five days a week) were too rigorous for our 5-year-old and would conflict with her T-ball schedule.

So now, we're back to square one, scouring lists of sports camps, nature camps, art camps, music camps, dance camps and more. Hopefully we can find one she'd enjoy that won't break our budget.

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