life Parenting

Brief Updates: Vero, Camp, Etc

October 19, 2021

1- Josh and I had a lovely time on our Vero trip. We stayed here and I would definitely recommend! It was not crowded though I am sure that may vary by season. We had perfect weather, planned together, and binge-watched a lot of Enlightened, as planned. Saturday night we had a lovely family gathering that felt like old pre-2020 times. Except it was even better, because I no longer have to chase a toddler around and can actually engage in adult conversations! Amazing.

learning chess with Poppy (Josh’s dad)

2- G has a runny nose today (and thus we are keeping her home). Every time I am even remotely tempted to think about less childcare, something like this happens. Fun fact: There will literally NEVER be a ‘good time’ for your kid to be home sick. There are only bad times and worse times.

3- I just registered A&C for 4 weeks of sleepaway camp (in NY state, where their cousins go + my SIL actually works AT the camp!). This was actually our second registration attempt – the first camp actually ran out of room already and both kids were placed on a waitlist. Annabel is sad (she wanted the first camp because her BFF goes there) but I am not, because I think going with cousins is actually kind of cool and nice. And I have better gut feelings about the 2nd camp.

I never went to a camp like this as a child, probably in part for financial reasons and also because it just wasn’t something most people did in my neighborhood. But in South FL it’s very common and I’d like to give them the chance to try it out. And I have to admit I love the idea of 4 weeks screen free (without having to actually enforce that myself). I think G will be sad for a minute but then will probably relish having all of the attention on her. (Plus we can have more age appropriate playdates etc instead of her usual tagalong status!).


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 19, 2021 at 10:34 am

    G looks so grown up in that photo with Josh’s dad! What a smartie pants! So cool! You have hit a sweet spot of independence. I look forward to those days but that’s a good 3 years off for us. But it will be here before I know it.

    That will be cool to be at camp with their cousins and with your SIL. I’m sure that will give them some comfort. I did some week long camps when I was younger and then a 2 week camp around middle school. Camps were not a thing where I grew up in ND! I would have been thrilled to go somewhere for 4 weeks. I was so bored in the summer since we lived in a rural area so I did not get to see friends very much. Will you visit the kids during their 4 week stay?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 19, 2021 at 10:56 am

      I don’t think it’s allowed!

      • Reply natasha October 19, 2021 at 12:13 pm

        Visiting and even calls were not allowed at the camp my son attended for 5 weeks every summer and it’s for the best. We did send a few care packages though and plenty of letters.

    • Reply Alyce October 19, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      Visiting defeats the purpose of sending them away!

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 19, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Wow, 4 weeks?!! That’s so long!! I assume they are consecutive weeks then? I’ve never heard of kids going away for a whole month like that around here, although the “week long” overnight variety is very popular. (Though it’s really like Sunday afternoon to Thursday/Friday, so not even a full week!) I’m not aware of anyone I know ever doing more than one week though at the same camp, so it must be a regional thing. That will be quite the experience! My kids have done sleepaway camp for a week each two different summers now and have loved it both times.

    My husband always says he wants to send the boys to his parents’ in Mexico for a whole month or something alone some summer. But they always have sports they don’t want to miss, we usually have family vacation in there, etc…and it never feels like it would really work out exactly. Maybe we’ll try to make it happen sometime though. Would be cool for them.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 19, 2021 at 11:53 am

      I think it’s a very regional thing. I have a friend in NYC suburbs and her kids (and many of her friends’s) kids go for the entire summer (7 weeks!!).

      • Reply Natasha October 19, 2021 at 12:18 pm

        A month+ away at camp is common here in New Orleans, probably partly because the summer heat and humidity is so oppressive here. Some of my son’s friends have gone for almost the whole summer. We always did one in NC and my son loved the cooler weather and all of the outdoor activities such as white water rafting, zip lining, hiking etc. If your child is ready, I can’t recommend the experience enough. My son went his first year not knowing a soul and loved it, looked forward to going back and seeing the campers and counselors every year after that.

        I read your blog daily but rarely comment, so I must have big feelings about the camp experience!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 19, 2021 at 12:22 pm

          Cameron will be 8 (rising 3rd grader) so definitely on younger end, but I think he will do well and will greatly benefit from the outdoors/physical activity aspect. Annabel probably would not have been ready until this summer. 3-4 weeks seems like the right amount for us. I’m excited for them!

      • Reply Gillian October 19, 2021 at 3:53 pm

        Fellow NYC suburbanite here and there are no kids over the age 8 in my town in the summer. They are all at sleep away camp. My kids go for 4 weeks and this is considered short!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 19, 2021 at 11:54 am

      The “go away to international relative” version is also very popular here. To be fair, FL is not the best in the summer. If you can leave, you should. Lol.

  • Reply Natalie October 19, 2021 at 11:27 am

    My 10 year old daughter went to 4 weeks of overnight camp for the first time this past summer (reform Jewish camp in Massachusetts) and LOVED it! It was such a gift for her to just focus on being outdoors, making friends, etc. during the pandemic. A and C are going to have a wonderful time!

    • Reply Michelle October 19, 2021 at 11:00 pm

      I LOVED sleepaway camp as a kid! So much that I worked summers as a camp counselor in college. I think it’ll be a great experience for your kids and what a buffer for the transition having family there. Experiences like that helped me foster confidence and independence at a younger age. I and others in my community were navigating boarding high school and airport travel across states independently by 9th grade and had learned the skills needed because of opportunities like sleepaway camp.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 20, 2021 at 6:00 am

        I was a camp counselor at day camp 🙂 I always preferred the 5 year olds. I really loved it!

  • Reply Natasha October 19, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    My son (now 18) went to sleepaway camp for 5 weeks every summer for years. He always went to the same camp in NC that he loved and I’m still sad he missed his last year due to Covid. It’s interesting how readiness varies by child – my 11 year old is no where near ready to be away from home for over a month.

  • Reply KGC October 19, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    I love the idea of kids going away to camp. I only did one week of sleepaway camp once (it wasn’t a ‘thing’ where I’m from in Ohio) but starting at age 8, I flew by myself from Ohio to Massachusetts to visit my aunt for two weeks every summer through high school. I cannot overstate how awesome it was to do something like that on my own and fully intend to get my kids visiting somewhere (family? camp?) as soon as we think they’re ready. I actually think my oldest miiiight be able to do it next year – he’ll be 6 by next summer and I would feel pretty good about putting him on a plane to go see my parents for a week in Maine. We shall see!!!

  • Reply Amy October 19, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    4 weeks at camp, how cool is that! When I was 12 my twin sister and I went all the way to Holland on our own to visit relatives (relatives we barely knew, lol) — while that wasn’t camp, it was a great experience to be away from home for so long on our own, and it helped us both a lot with self-confidence and independence. I bet your kids will love it, especially with their cousins and aunt there.

  • Reply Jenny October 19, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    Growing up in MN, I only ever attended camp for 1-2 weeks at a time as it wasn’t common to have longer options, but my ex-husband grew up in NYC and he and his sister both went away to camp all summer every summer starting around third grade. He still speaks of it so fondly and made many lifelong friends that he looked forward to seeing every year. It was good for his parents’ relationship too as they really made the most of their solo time!

  • Reply CBS October 19, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    I grew up in California where the sleep away camp tradition isn’t as strong but I always thought it sounded fun. I went to nerd camps for a few summers, but just a week or two. It doesn’t seem to be a thing at all in the UK but we will probably work our way up to a few weeks at grandma and papa’s (American but in Portugal). My son will be 5 next summer and could definitely manage a few days now, the plan is to have a couples get away next summer. He is a chill kid so I think they would be fine.

    We also had illnesses this week, my son had a terribly snotty nose so was home with my husband on Monday, I’m away half the week and am half feeling mom guilt and half hoping I avoided the worst of the germs, since I am immunocompromised and get whatever he gets x2.

  • Reply gwinne October 19, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    I would really love for Tiny Boy to do sleepaway camp for a week to have some time solo with his sibling before college in the fall! Time at grandma’s alone would be a good backup plan.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 19, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      Ooh! That’s a great idea!

  • Reply Lani Inlander October 22, 2021 at 6:17 am

    My 4th grader loved his 3 weeks at sleepaway camp last summer so much that he asked to for all 7 this coming summer! We were hesitant at first, but were swayed by our positive experiences at sleepaway camp, the no screen aspect, and the fact that they are quarantined and tested so kids can be kids again with no masks, etc. after the first week. They will love it! And it is so good for the younger sibling to get time alone with their parents.

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