By Andreea, Summer Camp Mom
My daughter attended Art Week for 2 graders at the Sacramento Zoo camp this year for the first time.
A long time ago we democratically chose between more camp options and summer activities, and this looked to her (and to me) to be the most appealing. It proved to be the best choice I have ever made in terms of child activity!
For her, it was a big thing. For me, the perfect combination between education, vacation, bonding time and time for mommy alone. Since we live in the Foothills Country side, and driving back and forth wasn’t worth it, we stayed at the hotel, and had enough time and energy to explore the town in the afternoons. I bargained my way for at least one museum visit per day, among many other fun activities, like ice cream and Candy Factory, which I am sure my daughter would have loved to do every day – 6 hours per day....
My daughter is just about to enter her “Miss Independent " phase, so before we came to this vacation, I was a little bit unsure how my role as a mother is changing, too. Well, that became very soon clear on the first day of camp. She wanted me to stay with her “because she needs a mommy", which put my heart back in the right place again! For the next days I became pretty much the taxi driver, but that was OK, because we had reconnected again.
I observed with admiration the enthusiasm of all the teachers and the camp principal. Boy, I wish I would have that early in the morning! They sang and danced and did funny faces everyday, to the excitement of all kids, and they really meant it! I think there is something for every parent to learn from every educator, this real engagement and enthusiasm they all brought in to really be there for the kids, to offer them their best knowledge and entertainment, and at the same time to set clear rules and limits. I liked it that they had “to be safe” as the first camp rule, and my daughter of course liked “to have fun” being the most important rule as well!
I was amazed how much she had learned every day, how comfortable I was to leave her there, and how much the Zoo will feel so different for sure at our next visit!
Children at the Zoo camp learn respect towards animals, learn to quickly associate with a new group, accept and learn from new companions and educators, and have a fun vacation at the same time!
I also liked it that they have older teenagers take care of the little kids, my daughter wants to do that one day , too .
All together, we are grateful for this experience. I asked my daughter this morning, on the last camp day, what to write in the report. And she looked at me and gave her ultimate decisive verdict answer: “It was good!” So you know it now!
I’m pretty sure we'll be back next year again - and maybe then, who knows, we will hang out more by the pool and at the ice cream stand, instead of conquering that town like a whirlwind!
Thank you for providing this opportunity,
And here is a slideshow of the final art show!