Summer is summer camp time in our neck of the woods. This is not something I did growing up or that Tyler did. It is not something people that live around us do. I’m not sure why I have got us in this tradition but I feel like it is important for my kids. They are very lucky that they have parents that take the time and money to do this for them. But we are more than willing to do it. The things they learn and experiences they get to have are worth it.
Summer Week #1 Club U Camps
Could I be trying to push my girls to go to the U of U above BYU already? Quite possibly. But these camps sell out in a flash and are jam packed full of hands on education. I signed them up for a week about “Culture Appreciation” that had everything from yoga to making rice noodles to fire eating to drum music. It was Shae’s very first time at an all day camp. I would watch her from the sides to see how she was doing. I noticed that she would sit out a lot and to the side. But that she had the biggest smile on her face being there. She loved to do the activities sometimes. But then a lot of the time she loved to just sit out and watch people have fun. These camps I really think are good for my kids because they push them physically. I like that because they need more of that! They were BEAT at the end of every camp day during this week.
Summer Week #2 Natural History Museum of Utah
Shae got to attend her very first Natural History Museum camp with her cousin Mason and they did a Dr. Seuss themed science one. Cameron attended a camp that was in partnership with four other camps in the area. So their group got to go to a new place every day of the week. One day she went to the Zoo (this was her favorite day), then This Is the Place, then Natural History Museum, then Red Butte Gardens, and lastly a camp for special needs. Abby is in the oldest (sob, the oldest group!) classes and chose Art & Science and then Geocaching.
Summer Week #3 Abby–Overnight Girl Scout Camps, Shae & Cameron—Peterson Farm Camp, Reagan–Stuck with Me
Shae & Cameron along with their two cousins attended a farm camp. They helped farm, do work, take care of animals, and play games. Cameron overcame fears of certain animals and because even more obsessed with goats. Shae had fun being with her favorite person Emma. Check out this cute video of them showing me around the farm:
Farm camp from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.
Abby went to an OVERNIGHT Girl Scout camp, a Horse Lovers one. We had been waiting for the program to be announced, then sign up, and then wait. All of which took a full year and it drove us both batty. So much tension and excitement and problems came up waiting for this to start. Abby did WONDERFUL being away from home for a full week and really grew as a person. I was so proud of her.
Cameron was so worried about missing her that she bought little presents and wrote notes for her to open each day she was gone. I wrote notes as well and we patiently waited for letters to come each day she was gone. NO LETTERS CAME—SHE HAD NO TIME TO WRITE LETTERS BECAUSE SHE WAS HAVING TOO MUCH FUN!
Summer Week #4–Abby, Cameron & Shae Leonardo Camps and Reagan Puddle Jumper Camps
The Leonardo camps won the award for best liked this year. Abby took a Robotics camp and then also a surviving a Zombie Apocalypse camp. The way their staff does camps reminds me of how into birthday parties I get. You can tell they LOVE IT, have put tons of thought into it, and so much creativity. Cameron & Shae took an Alice in Wonderland and a Harry Potter camp. The way they fit science, engineering, and computer programing into these camps was amazing.
Reagan went to our favorite neighborhood camp at Puddle Jumpers. Such a fun preschool that offers great camps with a loving staff.
Summer Week #5—Utah Children’s Theatre
This year the camp we signed up for at the theatre was Heroes & Villans. It the end of the week production Reagan was a ninja, Shae a batgirl, Cameron a cat lady, and Abby a girl from the 50s.
You can see them in their plays here:
Summer Week #6—Mom at Girls Camp, Abby & Cameron at Zaniac, Shae & Reagan at Puddle Jumpers & Camp Alex
I am the YW President in our ward and get to hang out with the best girls in the universe for a week each year. This year was very tricky, Tyler had some health concerns going on and different girls needed to be driven to and from camp a lot. So basically I drove hours and hours every day, cooked one awful dinner for the girls, and surprised them in their camp skit in my T-Rex costume.
Abby & Cameron attended a camp at their Math & Stem school and learned how to create a website! Abby’s website is here http://abbythemango.weebly.com and Cameron’s is here http://dancingpotato.weebly.com. They also learned how to use a fashion design software.
Shae & Reagan went to “Camp Alex” at my dear friend Alex’s house where they swam and played. Then in the afternoons they went to our favorite neighborhood camp place–Puddle Jumpers.
Summer Week #7–Abby & Cameron Salt Lake Culinary Center, Shae & Reagan Swimming
Abby & Cameron took a 3 days workshop at the culinary center focused on “Foods Around the World” and their class chose Asian food. On the last day they set up a fancy dinner for their guests, which were myself and my dad. They were so proud to serve us their food, it was so fun to see.
Shae & Reagan swam every day for a long long time. All four of them had swim lessons from our wonderful neighbor for a couple of weeks.
Abby also got to attend Camp Tracy with her Activity Day group. Both girls got to invite friends over for a summer late night as well!
Summer Week #8–Cameron–Art Camp with J.Kirk Richards, Abby–Fencing at the U of U, Shae & Reagan Swim Swim Swim
Cameron went with her cousin Lydia to an art camp by J. Kirk Richards. Lydia’s parents were so kind to drive Cameron every day because it was an hour down south. And where I needed to take Abby at the exact same time was up north 40 minutes. Cameron enjoyed the pencil and pen art the most, she likes very detailed art. I took her to her “open house” at the artist’s home and she showed me all her art on display.
Abby fencing from Vanessa Brown on Vimeo.
Every year we get the catalog from U of U showing off what classes they have coming up in the summer. Fencing is a class Abby has had picked out for a couple of years but it just now finally worked with our schedules. To be honest it was a little bit of a rough start. We got lost, lost, lost, and she walked in hours late. Then on the last day she got hurt, yelled at, and embarrassed. My heart completely broke for her and she wanted zero help from me. The teacher was great, the way they had everything set up was done so well. I just really think we ran into some bad luck and crossed paths with a grumpy person.
Summer Week #9–Salt Lake Culinary Center–Baking Workshop
Abby & Cameron finished up this summer’s classes with a baking workshop. Boy did those girls learn to make some yummy breads, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, etc.
Shae & Reagan spent weeks just swimming their guts out! Boy do those two LOVE water!
Such a fun summer!