Good, Old-Fashioned Family Fun: Alternatives to Over-Scheduling Summer Camps

If you ask your average young adult today, they will tell you that growing up it felt like their parents couldn’t get rid of them fast enough in the summer. Not that they didn’t like having us around, it was having us underfoot 24/7 that would drive anyone crazy. Most have distinct memories of their mothers grabbing their tote bags, herding their children into the car, and driving off to whatever camp was the flavor of the week. As soon as one camp ended, another session, or a different type of camp altogether, would begin. There was theatre camp, tennis camp, soccer camp, general sports camp, general day camp, and a two-week sleep-away camp in the mountains. Sometimes, there were two different camps in one day if they were only offered for a half-day. In retrospect, going to camp was a lot of fun and a great way to meet children my age, but was it really best for the children to be shuffling between camps all summer?Most young adults who have siblings spent many of their childhood summers fighting with their siblings, when home, because everyone was so tired from going to different camps all day. There is also the memory of the parents spending a lot of their time driving around the city to pick up their children. Summer camps are, undoubtedly, a great way for children to learn how to interact with others, learn new things, and to be active over the summer. On the other hand, being in camps for the whole summer is too much. Today, there is a tendency to over-schedule children all year-round, but especially in the summer. They are asked to be in X, Y, and Z camps and be good in all of them, especially true of the sports camps. It puts a lot of pressure on children and, really, on the whole family. Perhaps, the best way to alleviate this pressure is to allow for one, maybe two, sessions of camps that your children are most interested in, also allowing them to get more excited about going to camp because they got to pick it themselves. Let the rest of the summer be family time.This is particularly important for the working mom. If you work all summer, perhaps you do want your children in camps so that you don’t have to worry about hiring a nanny for a few months, but in that case, make sure that they are camps that your children WANT to be in as opposed to just putting them in camps for the sake of having something to do. There are so many fun things that you can do together in the afternoons and on the weekends though, so make sure that their camp doesn’t go all week and/or is only for part of the day (sleep-away camps excluded of course).There are so many amazing family activities that you can do over the summer. You can grab your backpack /tote bag and all go for a hike, or even just explore your neighborhood. You can have a picnic in the backyard instead of dinner inside, at the table. Another idea is to create a sort of family camp, where you and a couple other families get together and do camp-like activities like sports, competitions, tie-dye, etc. but do them as a family.Over-scheduling children is tempting, and certainly the easiest way to keep them busy and entertained over the summer without the help of the Mario Brothers, but it’s not always best for them. Good, old-fashioned, creative play is fun for them, and for you. And above all, you get to spend time to together with your family, which during the school year is hard to do. Take advantage of your summers together as a family because, unfortunately, they are limited!

Camping Safety – How to Make Sure You Always Have Enough Drinkable Water

Camping safety means you always want to be as prepared as possible. Making sure you have enough water when camping is very important. However, to be safe the water needs to be drinkable. Here is how to make sure you always have enough drinkable water when camping.Camping safety and drinkable water go hand in hand. If you are camping you want to make sure you never run out of water. Sure there are usually lakes and streams around when you camp, but that water is not the best for you to drink.You do not want to drink lake or stream water, if you have to, and then get sick or pick up some parasite-related disease.The solution is to use an appropriate camping water filter. These are especially designed for this purpose and will allow you drink from a variety of water source you may come across in the wild.Packing a camping water filter can save you from a lot of things – from expenses down to your safety. You would definitely love to commune with nature but not ingest any harmful natural elements that can be detrimental to your health. Camping water filters offer a lot of benefits that can help you enjoy a worry-free camping trip.The following are reasons why you should bring along a camping water filter before leaving for outdoor camping fun.Convenience – You do not have to bring gallons of water with you. This will save you some space in the car for more important camping equipment and gadgets. Using camping water filters will be a hassle-free way to secure safe and potable drinking water. Most camping water filters are also made of light weight materials making them easy to carry around.Safety – Camping water filters take out the contaminants found in stream and lake water. Even if the water looks pristine and clear, you can never be so sure if it is safe to drink. Most bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms are invisible to the naked eye. You cannot afford to be too confident in just scooping and drinking water from the pond or any bodies of water near the camping ground. The filter also removes lead from the water and ensures that you are not ingesting any harmful chemicals in your body.Cost-efficient – Buying gallons of distilled water can cost you money. Even if we say it does not cost much, using water filters makes safe drinking water and it is free of charge. Buying camping water filters is just a one-time investment. You can use it in every camping trip without worries of whether the water that you are drinking is potable.Better Taste – Camping water filters purify water making it taste and smell better. This is because the filters remove the contaminating elements and chlorine in the water. Unlike other purifying agents, you do not have to settle for a safe drinking water that you can barely take in because of its poignant smell.Re-Hydration – Trekking is one of the camping activities you cannot afford to miss during a camping trip. This makes water important to ensure that you have enough energy to go and trek further. Camping water filters do not take out the minerals in the water. These minerals allow you to re-hydrate and replace the body fluids lost due to walking and other camping activities. The filters will only take out the contaminants but not the minerals that your body needs.

Teen Boot Camps

Originally teen boot camps or juvenile boot camps were meant for delinquent adolescents with behavioral and substance abuse problems. Here they stay under supervision for a time and are subjected to a military-style discipline.Several jurisdictions send first-time and non-violent offending teenagers to boot camps as a corrective measure. But today, even parents trying to cope with difficult children send them to teen boot camps. Teen boot camps claim to straighten the child by reinforcing structure and disciplineThe basic premise of a teen boot camp is that a defiant teenager subjected to heavy mental and physical subjugation becomes a better person. Inmates at these boot camps face stark, in-your-face disciplinary orders from supervisors, who are just like military sergeants and punishments for the slightest infraction of the rules. There is also an emphasis on physical exercise and mind control. Earlier, supervisors used corporal methods in such camps, but they are now banned by legislation.Teen boot camps also function by creating uniformity among its members. Teenagers attending such camps have to forgo their contacts with family and friends. They wear uniforms and some teen camps even shave kids’ heads to create more harmony among them. In juvenile boot camps, teenagers are not addressed by their names, so that no one is given particular importance. The period that a teenager spends at a boot-camp is followed by a period of aftercare. This aftercare is usually a mentoring period, where problems of the juvenile are discussed, and solutions are drawn. During this period, some job-training skills may also be taught.The effects of teen boot camps on the minds of young adolescents are a controversial issue. Experts feel that boot camps do nothing to improve the youth; in fact they are detrimental. According to them, the effects of boot camps are highly temporary and forgotten once the camp is over. Also youth who live under subjugation for a period of time become more defiant later in life.Experts also argue that boot camps for teenagers do not mitigate tendencies of recidivism in them. Offenders who are placed at teen boot camps may once more revert to their original behavior once they are out.Even economically speaking, correctional teen boot camps are not feasible to the government. Though the time spent by an offender at a juvenile boot camp may be less than at prison, the costs of running such boot camps which also cater to non-offenders is quite high.