summer isn't cancelled!
2021 summer camp magazine
Summer will be here before we know it and even in the midst of the global pandemic,
as moms we know that our kids need spaces dedicated to growth and community. We are so excited to highlight unique, creative and safe opportunities that provide development and fun so our kids can continue to be kids in 2021.
Be sure to check out our linked guide: a comprehensive list of area camps, nature and educational opportunities, art camps, theater camps, and so many other local businesses that we trust and love, linked throughout this magazine.
cheering our kids into summer safely
For many of us, the memories of summer camp stick with us forever. They're triggered and brought to mind by the smell of a campfire, the sight of a canoe in the water or simply a cheeky song that we remember belting out with our summer friends. 2020 put a hold on the making of those memories, but as things come back to the table of opportunity, we are more than excited to share this guide with you. So many spaces are working diligently to create a safe space for our kids to begin to get back to the business of making memories. Whether you're ready to register, or simply looking for a few camping tips so you can continue to distance, this summer is far from canceled and we cannot wait to experience all that Minnesota has to offer our families!
COVID-19 NOTE: We understand each family has a different comfort level and will make different choices for summer activities and camps. This is true in and out of a pandemic, but this year, know that the local recommendations we share have your family's safety in mind and are very open to fielding your questions. Don't be afraid to ask!
summer camp in the age of covid
Nestled in Northern Minnesota, summer camp provides an escape from ordinary, technology-filled life. With a variety of options available, campers have the opportunity to spend a ton of time in the great outdoors and build life-long friendships. From archery and canoeing to theater, horseback riding, arts and crafts, and so much more, there’s never a shortage of new activities to try. And campers even have the opportunity to go on overnight outdoor adventure trips during their stay!
But summer camp isn’t just about what you can do—it’s also about who you become. Through activities and the relationships campers build with their counselors and each other, our kids grow in self-confidence, build lasting friendships, learn from real role models, acquire soft skills that will serve them throughout their lives, and have their accomplishments celebrated. All this, plus spending their entire stay disconnected from technology. A couple weeks at camp can be truly transformational.
a note about
Camp Birchwood is a place where girls (ages 7-17) engage their whole selves in remarkably fun and meaningful activities in the great outdoors in Northern Minnesota. With kindness and respect as the hallmarks for daily life, Birchwood girls are steeped in a rich sense of community and encouraged to be their truest, most authentic selves. The genuine connections that are forged in this brilliant setting remain strong long after summer has passed.
camping with young kids? yes, you can do it!
My family and I recently returned from a 10-day road trip that included two cabins, three campgrounds, hundreds of miles, and countless memories. Of those 10 days, four nights were spent in a tent in three different locations. Yes, that is correct. A tent with a four-year old and a 22-month old. And let me tell you, it was so much fun! I know some of you are giving me the side eye right now, and I know that camping is not for everyone, but let me tell you that if you enjoy camping, do not let having kids stop you!
I have to admit, when we go camping we lean more towards the glamping side of camping vs the roughing it type. I often joke to my husband that our raised queen size air mattress we use camping is more comfortable than our bed at home! But none the less, it is still camping. So how do we have fun while camping with two young kids? Here are a few tips we have learned!
summer books for kids, that you need to read too!
Are you ready for adventure? I gathered fourteen of my favorite books to read to my kids during the summer, some that celebrate the joys of a sunny day and get you outside, ones that spark imagination or teach you a new mindset shift, and plenty that evoke the wonder of summer in children and adults alike.
eight essentials for the perfect picnic
I have found that in this world there are either picnic lovers or picnic loathers. There was a time when I was not too fond of packing up all the food and paraphernalia to have a successful picnic, it all seemed like too much work. But then I cut myself some slack, learned the joy of picnic “take out” and realized there is one really great reward that comes when you dine at a park that makes it all worth it.
Here, in no certain order, is my list of 8 essentials for the perfect picnic:
why I over-scheduled our summer
Well, after experimenting a few years with the notion that I love my kids too much to not want to be with them all summer long, I discovered that my children don’t necessarily function best this way. I’ve learned, especially thanks to our eldest, that they function best when they have a schedule and routine…and I am not the best at providing that on my own. I wish I was, but I’ve learned that I am not.
I’ve learned that planning camps and other classes does not mean we don’t get to have the freedom that summer provides- it’s just for part of the day, not the full day. And so far those half days of unstructured time have proven to be much more enjoyable than a full day used to be. Trust me, we still have our fair share of lazy summer (half) days.
summer reading at the library
In the Twin Cities, we are so darn lucky to have a great system of so many libraries with amazing summer reading programs to keep our kids motivated to read all summer long. In the metro, we have MELSA, Metropolitan Library Service Agency, which “is an alliance of over 100 public libraries in the seven-county Twin Cities metro, working together to bring the best library services and programs to you.”
All of the MELSA libraries have different summer reading programs for kids and teens and all of them involve prizes! Personally, I love that I don’t need to incentivize reading on my own and the library will do it for me. Not only do the reading programs encourage reading, but they also reward good behavior and kind deeds, like paying someone a compliment or helping out a parent with a chore around the house.
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