Nothing Beats Planning for the Summer!
Though spring’s very first fingers of green have just begun to poke their tips out of the ground, summer is going to be upon us before we know it! For families, springtime can be filled with excitement and renewed enthusiasm for outdoor adventures, and alongside spring sports or the busy-ness of the end of the traditional school year, spring can slip away into summer before we know it. With summertime less than two months away, now is the time for families to begin thinking about summer adventures and summer schedules. What kinds of learning experiences do you hope for your children to have? Where would you like to visit? What new things would you like to try? How much time will you have together as a family?
In order to plan for the summer months, families should take into account the adventures and learning opportunities afforded by the multitudes of local summer camp opportunities, as well as the camping and day trip destinations located within a few hours’ drive of anywhere in western Massachusetts. In the words of “Hindsight Parenting” author Logan Fisher, nothing beats planning for the summer!
In particular, families should consider summer camp registration in advance because no matter the camp, space is limited! A myriad of camp opportunities for children of all ages exist across western Massachusetts, and camp themes cover a wide range of topics – enough so that families can plan camp experiences based on children’s specific interest. Local camps listed in our 2015 Summer Camp and Program Guide offer experiential learning opportunities in everything from pottery to circus skills, natural science to weaving, music to rock climbing. Additionally, many camps offer what could be considered a more “traditional” summer camp experience, centered around building community, exploring the natural world, and developing self confidence and social skills.
While summer camps are full of exciting experiences, the freedom of summer (many hours of daylight, warm weather, and the absence of school schedules) lends itself nicely to taking day trips – miniature adventures that don’t require an overnight but still take children outside of their familiar surroundings. Western Massachusetts is filled with great day trip options – our readers have offered over 75 suggestions for summer adventures, and our Things to Do, Places to See bulletin board can serve as a checklist for summer adventures. Heading to the ocean can be especially intriguing in the summer, when the waves are at their warmest. In addition to suggestions for local day trips, check out our readers’ suggestions for ocean beach days and tidal pool explorations.
Another classic not-to-be-missed summer adventure is camping, a family activity that often needs advance planning. Often, the best campgrounds are reserved by avid campers months in advance and in order to take advantage of all of the camping opportunities that summer has to offer, families should schedule their tenting adventures as soon as possible! To plan a camping vacation appropriate for your families’ abilities, age, and comfort level, peruse the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Affairs’ list of campgrounds. Take advantage of some camping-related reader wisdom before heading into the wild, and keep in mind that you may want to pledge participation in the Great American Backyard Campout, which takes place during the month of June.
[Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield]