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Summer is coming…

Every year at this time, I re-read “Doing Nothing is Something,” an essay by Anna Quindlen. Written more than a decade ago, this article still rings true today: doing nothing is something for kids.

Through much downtime and ‘boring’ summers, Ms. Quindlen was able to become her: more fully human. She writes:

“Downtime is where we become ourselves, looking into the middle distance, kicking at the curb, lying on the grass or sitting on the stoop and staring at the tedious blue of the summer sky. I don’t believe you can write poetry, or compose music, or become an actor without downtime, and plenty of it, a hiatus that passes for boredom but is really the quiet moving of the wheels inside that fuel creativity.”

Downtime. Every kid needs it. We live in a world of over engagement: scheduling every minute, television, video games, online social networking, homework, commitments…the days become long and the years short while living this way.

Consider creating space for your child where they are invited to just be: to think, to create, to find adventure, to read, and to be outside. Yes, you will hear your share of the “I’m bored” and “please, just 5 more minutes of x” and “you’re so unfair.” Those voices will hopefully steadily still and you will be left with a child who has time. Time to be. Time to create. Time to think. Time to be outdoors.

Speaking of time to be outdoors, I would put in a good word for camps. Yes, there are the specialty camps: rock-climbing, computer coding, yoga to name a few. They are awesome choices. But what can be as fun and rewarding as classic camp? Classic camp is being outdoors, sleeping in rustic cabins, learning how to string a bow in archery, making a tie-dye T-shirt in crafts, swimming in the pool, and playing tag in the meadow.

The Diocese of Olympia has many classic and faith-filled camp options this summer:

Camp Huston in Gold Bar, WA
June 24-July 3: Counselor Training
July 6 – 12: Discovery Camp & Horse Camp
July 13 – 18: Missoula Theater Camp
July 27 – August 2: Discovery Camp & Horse Camp
August 10 – 16: International Odyssey & Buckaroo Camp
REGISTER HERE. Cost varies. Scholarships available.

High School 6-DAY CAMP in Mineral, WA
July 6-12, 2014: Camp for completed 9th-12th graders
REGISTER HERE. Cost is $250.00 with scholarships available

July 22-26, 2014: Camp for completed 1st-6th graders + 7th-12th grade counselors
REGISTER HERE. Cost is 140.00 with scholarships available.

Here is to a summer of both scheduled and unscheduled fun,

The Rev. Canon Rebecca Kirkpatrick

Finding the Balance Between an Unscheduled & Scheduled Summer for Kids

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