The transition to summer isn't always an easy one for kids or their parents for that matter. The first couple of days there is the euphoria of sleeping in and no homework and then they begin to literally stand in front of me with a look of bewilderment as they stare down 10 or 12 hours of wake time with no set schedule. Sleeping and television watching are not permissible ways to fill ones day so then what?
Lucky for them I have pre-registered them for Camp Workalot. This is not a camp advertised in the East Cobber, the neighborhood happenings magazine. This camp happens to be conveniently at their very own house! Coincidentally, I also quit my job and signed up to be the director. This round of kiddos, I have less time, not to mention less energy to train them up in the way they should go. This is a no brainer. They have nothing to do. I have too much to do. They are young, I am old. They have copious amounts of energy, I have a limited supply of energy that must last at least another 20 years. There's mulch to be spread, decks to be stained, garages to be swept, patios to be pressure washed, chicken enchiladas to be made.
I have nothing against, art camp, drama camp, dance camp, circus camp, space camp and the list goes on and on, but are these life long skills that my children need to become a productive member of society? Juggling and floating around weightless are fun but unless they are bound for Ringling Brothers or outer space, these camps are not a good use of their time or my money.
Before you call Child Protective Services on me, they are allowed breaks and all the gatorade they want on the mulching job, and they can attend a sport camp each if they want, along with some volunteer work at our church VBS to break up the mulching. Turns out, they love Camp Workalot! It's turning out better then I thought. They are working together which is a miracle in itself, in the hot sun and brokering payment deals with each other. It's amazing what working to earn money to buy Lebron James basketball shoes or an IPOD shuffle will do to motivate an 11 or 12 year old. We are hoping for a little longer term but it's a good start! It's worth it just to hear them come in from mulching and announce, "We're calling it a day" like they've been at the salt mines all day long. I've also seen them utilize creative ways to speed up the process like one of them lowering a bucket of mulch with a rope to another to avoid going up and down steps with the buckets of mulch.
Except for the mulch that I am finding in areas of my house that have never seen mulch before and the black smudges on the door jams of the path from the mulch pit to the bathroom, not to mention tennis shoes and clothes that will need to go into the trash after the mulching project, I'm calling it a win.
P.S. The chicken enchiladas were delicious!