From the Publisher – March 2024

AOP front cover

March is our most anticipated edition of the year… Summer Camps 2024! In this month’s magazine, you will find national, regional, and local camps that feature everything from fine arts and STEM to archery and soccer. Do you have a child interested in learning how to play the trumpet or guitar? Or is he showing interest in acting in plays on a theatre stage? How about wanting to discover the great outdoors and meet new friends at a sleepover camp? The summer months are a great time to let your children grow and explore in new ways and new environments. After stepping out of the classroom this spring, kids will want some much-needed rest and downtime but are always eager to keep the learning going. What better way to foster summer growth than to embark on new summer activities like day or overnight camps?

The first, and probably the most challenging part, is deciding if your camper should stay local and explore day camps in the Auburn and Opelika area or if they (and you) are ready to pack their bags and go overnight to a sleepaway camp. It’s a big decision and should be decided together as a family. In the feature article, 7 Signs Your Kids Are Ready For Their First Sleepaway Camp, the author gives great tips to help families prepare for summer camps. When looking at an overnight camp and your camper’s readiness, ask questions like, “Is my child fairly independent and has personal initiative?” or “Has she experienced positive sleepovers with friends?” Also, another good question to ask is, “Are you ready to let them go?”

For me, it was always the latter question that was most imperative to answer when planning for my children’s summer adventures. Yes, I am a helicopter mom, and letting go is the hardest thing for me. However, sitting down and chatting with my kids about sleepaway camp helped us parents and our children decide which camp we were all ready for. Asking them what they perceive the camp experience to be like and coupling that with what the camp days and nights will ACTUALLY be like can help everyone realistically prepare for the experience. Leaving no surprise unspoken, like the possibility of being homesick, early morning wake-up calls, and getting themselves ready for their camp day, can be beneficial because it leads to discussing possible real issues at camp. These conversations ahead of time and early in the spring can help your family decide if the kids are ready to go to a camp away from home.

If you decide that local day camps are the better option this year, our area has many great camps from which to choose. Whether it is a ballet, ceramics, golf, or science lab camp, you will find a perfect fit right here in East Alabama. Auburn Day School will host weekday camps for kids ages 3 to 9, including Little Bakers, Minecraft, and Music Lab. Also, Variations Dance Studio will be hosting the Petite Academy Adventure Camps featuring creative movement, jazz, ballet, and hip hop. Whose little princess wouldn’t love wearing a pink tutu and dancing each day? New to the area is Jenny’s Little Ranch Hands, where your day camper can work on a farm. They will meet all the farm animals, learn how to care for them, and go on country walks.

Explore the options as a family, but decide as soon as possible to get in on all the early bird rates and specials. From one parent to another, here’s to a great summer filled with happy campers.

Auburn - Opelika Parents
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From the Publisher – March 2024

by Kendra Sumner time to read: 2 min