Last year our summer was disappointing at best. I had The Shortlings in a combination of stay at home with Momma and Summer Camp at the facility where they want to pre-school.  It seemed like a workable solution, but the kids did only a small percentage of the fun-filled activities and trips that were promised and, much to my consternation, they ended up watching movies a good portion of each day or sitting in a corner watching their friends play hand-held video games they brought because there just wasn't enough to do during the day.  It irritated me because honestly, if I wanted to let Screens babysit my kids for three months, I could have done that in my living room and for a helluvalot less money. Plus, I'd get to monitor what they watch.  

It wasn't much better on the days they were home with me, because as it turns out, I am a pretty crappy Summer Camp Director too.

Every time I brought up the schedule of activities, or lack thereof, with the Center Director, I was promised that this was an unusual circumstance and things would be different just as soon as X happened, or Y fell into place, or Z was hired or whatever. It was week after week of excuses and promises until the end of summer when I, along with several other parents, made it clear to the Director that we were not happy with the value per dollar and wouldn't be back.  It was a hard decision because some of the teachers at that school had known my kids since before they could talk and they were the reasons we kept coming back. But The Dormouse was starting to outgrow the place and with The Caterpillar starting kindergarten last year, we wouldn't be back for preschool anyway.

This is how I feel about you, Last Year's Summer Camp.

So we trudged through the school year, knowing we'd have to come up with a plan for summer, but mostly choosing to think about that tomorrow, Scarlett. And then May came and we were like, "Oh crap! Guess we'd better do something." 

The KingofHearts found the summer camp program we ended up choosing. He happened across the website and I'd heard of it from some friends so it came highly recommended.  It was a bit more money than we'd spent last summer, but the plan looked better and if nothing else, they got to swim every day, which didn't even happen once a week last year.

As it turns out, it was one of the best decisions we've ever made. They were exposed to the most amazing, diverse group of activities and people and I couldn't be more happy with the experience they had.  On the last day, parents were invited to come and watch the group skits and I sat in the back, near tears, because this was over, and because school would start again with all its issues, and because I could have been sending them here all along.  I know they have to go back to school eventually, but I think they probably learned more this summer and had more positive experiences than they'll get in school all the rest of the year combined. So now the issue becomes saving enough money to do this again next summer, because man, was it worth it.

The Caterpillar dancing for her group's skit, but looking more like she's balancing on a beam.

The Dormouse doing her very best Harlem Shake.

This kid was so amazing with my children.  He is truly my favorite of all the teenage counselors and I wanted to take him home with me on the last day so he could live in my basement and entertain me and the girls.

This is maybe my favorite of all the pictures I took on that day. The Caterpillar has her head on the shoulder of her "BFF." She doesn't even know what BFF stands for, but she knows she have three new BFFs.

So long summer, we'll miss you.