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It Can't Be Four Weeks Already...
Summer Camp Gives Parents A Break

kid at campSummer camp!

For parents, it's a relatively guilt free way to take a parenting vacation during the summer.

Buses load with groups of campers – burdened with enough gear to last for several summers, all carefully labeled and packed with love. Tears get shed by kids and by parents. The engines start, the buses leave and the silence that remains is an echo of the emptiness you feel at sending your charming, but noisy, little one off to camp.

Back at home you realize that you MISS the chaos that you live in when the kids are around. Parents are well trained and long spells of quiet usually mean trouble. The alarm in your head is not easy to turn off… so you keep checking only to discover… “Oh, that's right… they're at camp!”

All of the fantasies about how the freedom from being Mom and Dad would improve the romance are shattered by the fact that you just feel mopey with no little voice at your elbow!

Choosing a Summer Camp

Start with choosing the right camp. Do your homework. Talk to other parents who have used local camps...

You can prepare for parental separation anxiety. Start with choosing the right camp. Do your homework. Talk to other parents who have used local camps. A bad camp will have a reputation. A visit to the camp before the event will help you visualize what your child is doing. Make sure that the camp uses mature, well trained counselors. Checking the camp's accreditation should also ease your mind.

Find a camp that caters to your child's interests. Our horse loving daughter remembers the riding lessons at summer camp. Even cleaning the stables has turned into a warm memory! If you are raising a computer genius, check the camps that focus on this. You'll score with a sports camp for the budding baseball pro. There are so many specialty camps that finding the perfect match is just a matter of research and budget.

Also, double check to make sure that there is a good ratio of counselors and equipment to campers. There's nothing more frustrating than going to a computer camp to get an hour on the computer every day.

Get Ready for ... Quiet

Make some plans for yourself. Getting together with other suddenly childless couples is a good way to take advantage of the hours of free time that appear when children are absent.

Going to a movie or restaurant without having to make bathroom trips is a wonderful experience! Planned dates will let you enjoy the fun of being a couple that seems to get buried in parenting and will make sure that you don't sit around missing your baby.

As amazing as it seems, you will start to enjoy the peace in your home. But be warned… the day after you discover that you really like not having to clean jelly from the coffee table or being able to watch some adult TV before ten at night… you'll be back at the bus stop picking up the kids!

More about summer camps around the Web:

Tips for Choosing a Summer Camp for the child with Learning Disabilities

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