So quickly it seems we have arrived at summer's midpoint. Some have already taken a vacation and now need to figure out what exactly, to do with the rest of the season. Others will vacate at the end of the season and are trying to fill up time until departure with some form of amusement. And of course, in our exasperating economy, a great many cannot afford to go anywhere at all.
There is of course, camp for the kiddies (both sleep away and full time ) but if you are reading this you probably don't want to part with the disturbing load o' dough required.
Yes, there are the local pools, if you are a member or lucky enough to have a friend with passes. But just how much roasting in the sun, watching your kid get "swimmer's ear" and exchanging pleasant chitchat can you muster before becoming going certifiably insane?
For kids summer can seem endless (while it is happening) and then when it is over, it went way too fast. But August still looms ahead and if you're looking for something to shake things up a bit, perhaps to spend some time APART from your school-age children, here are a few suggestions that need not break the bank:
- Cake Camp. A quiet but delicious gem in the heart of Oradell, The Art of Cake offers sessions throughout August for kids of varying ages. The classes are small and the amount of YUMMY product the campers turn out is astounding (and quite beautiful). Each session is runs for 4 days, for three hours. All supplies and ingredients are provided and included in the very reasonable cost. Check the website for a schedule of dates and times available for classes in August or call: (201) 483-9177
- Pony Camp. Saddle up for some real local fun in August at Pony Camp in Van Saun Park! Activities include: Horse safety, Daily horseback riding, Games on horse back, Equine education, Grooming and Tacking, Nutrition and care, Horse behavior, Field trips (within the county park), Weekly carnival and picnic, Nature walks and guided tours of the county zoo. There are two, 2-week sessions in August. Camp Hours are 9-2 PM. Check out the website or Call: Anna at 201-669-1537 or 973-279-2974
- Bergen Batting. If your little slugger (or pitcher or catcher or fielder) is pining for baseball season, check out private or group lessons at the Bergen Batting Center. When the autumn leaves begin to fall, your champ will have more confidence than ever. Check out the website, or you can call for details at: 201-525-1888.
- Parents Unite. Hook up with a few other parents whose summer schedule is similar to your own and start your own "camp!" A group of 5 parents can each take 1 day during the week (or rotate mornings and afternoons) where they are responsible for all of the lucky "campers." Each parent can contribute an agreed upon dollar amount and a weekly schedule can be established with all potential activities mapped out (after unanimous agreement). For example, it can be "Movie Mondays" with one parent (including lunch out at the River Edge Diner before the flick) or Science Thursdays (simple but colorful (and perhaps some edible) experiments done at home....you get the idea. It's nice for the kids to be together and allows each parent to have some time to fly solo.
It is also important to remember that summer should not always be all Me, Me, Me. It's also a great time to instill charitable and compassionate behavior in your kids.
Many elderly in the RiverDell area have families of their own living at difficult distances. Visiting an aging neighbor during the dead heat of August with your child can be a great experience for all.
Check regularly with older neighbors during the hottest time of the year; the heat can affect the elderly very quickly and it is important they stay properly hydrated. Often older neighbors will enjoy a visit from (a well behaved) child, along with some special cold treat to share.
Go through last year's school clothes, as well as outgrown books and toys to make a donation to a charity of your choice.
Volunteer for an organization which permits your age-appropriate child to join you, such as delivering food to those who are housebound or caring for their pets.
Need doesn't take a holiday during the summer and volunteering is a great way to help your child learn to think outside of their own immediate desires and needs.
The mail is already clogged with catalogues featuring "Back To School" sales. But there is still plenty of time to make August memorable.