Calling All Kids
The time to register your child for summer
camp is much sooner than you think.
I’m a Libra; I can’t decide on
lunch, let alone commit to
registering my kids for camp
months in advance.
and her kids will forever have sculpted muscles
as a result. Susan, an early adapter of coding
classes, is now figuring out how to pay for her
daughter’s Ivy League education, while another
friend, Dyer, clued me in to the Stinson Beach
Junior Lifeguard program, a free summer-long
course offered by the GGNRA. Her strapping
son Dea will return this year from college in
Scotland to take a post in one of the lifeguard
stands for the summer. Camps are not only a
great way to explore new interests; they can
inspire a lifelong passion.
That happened for my oldest daughter, Grace.
At 7 she was finally old enough to attend Miwok
Stables summer camp, and by 14 she was a counselor, although for some reason we continued to
pay a weekly fee. She’s still a passionate equestrian at 18; riding has opened many doors for her
and it looks like she will stay with it in college.
Browsing through the summer camp
guide we include in this month’s issue, I saw
some familiar names: Steve and Kate’s, the
Marine Mammal Center and the Bay Area
Discovery Museum, where Grace insisted on
being a squawking eagle in a play about ocean
creatures. I look at a coveted tiny painting of
a tree every morning, created by Natalie at
Masterworks art camp. Somewhere, I have all
the T-shirts that came home with each camp
(free advertising). I was planning to make a
quilt out of them for the kids to take to college.
I may have complained about the hassle of
committing at the time, or about the expense,
but with that stage of life in the rearview mirror,
I am so grateful for those creative educators
and businesses’ dedicated efforts to keep summers fun. Now I just need to find a summer
camp for grown-ups.
Mimi Towle, Executive Editor
PAREN TS OF MARIN — what are your children doing? Or shall I say, exactly what will they be doing the week of July 10 through 14? I just heard there’s a spot open at the
Richardson Audubon Center day camp. Some
kid dropped out, didn’t pay the deposit, or some-
thing, but the point is: there’s an opening.
While summer is traditionally a time for
beach vacations and lazy days, the reality is
many adults still have weekday obligations.
For me as a mom of young ones, the month of
March often meant I needed to make quick
decisions and pay deposits for dates way too
far in the future. I’m a Libra; I can’t decide on
lunch, let alone commit to registering my kids
for camp months in advance.
I learned the hard way. After a blissfully
adorable preschool graduation — yes, there is
a ceremony for completing the rigors of pre-
school — reality set in. What memo did I miss?
Why were all the camps filled? That first year,
I optimistically hired a local tween to watch
my two girls. The three of them would be safe
in my house: plenty of healthy snacks and
games — what could go wrong?
“I accept the consequences,” my toddler
mumbled into the phone, choked up with tears.
“What?” I asked, holding my breath. “What
happened?” Next I heard footsteps and an
anxious voice. “Who are you talking to? Why
are you in the closet?” And then, “Hello Mrs.
Towle, everything is OK, Natalie was just climbing ... well, she fell, but she’s fine. But the shelf
broke and I’m trying to fix it.” It turns out, after
assessing the weakness in her likely distracted
minder, my 4-year-old decided to scale the
kitchen cabinets in search of the coveted chocolate chips, the only refined sugar in the house.
Eventually I learned to follow the lead of my
friends. Lisa had the gymnastics camps wired