For many of our dear readers, life is more complicated than ever before. Having a good plan for summer - early! - has never been more essential. That's why this year's special summer issue includes our biggest summer program guide ever - more than 250 listings!
With so many options, we also offer a little guidance on how to choose a kickin' sports camp.
And for those of us who need to keep summer....ah....budget friendly, we've included a great list of free summer learning.
Our summer events calendar brings the fun with a season-long round-up of great family festivals and events.
Online listings of camps and classes
From the editor:
Does this sound like fun?
Pile three girls, ages 5, 6 and 8, into a canoe. Climb in with your spouse; toss in three days’ worth of provisions. We’re talking tent. Stove. Sleeping bags. Food. Water (wine?). Bug spray. Paddle the whole mess down the river in search of the Perfect Camping Spot. Voila! Another Russell family adventure.
I have no idea how my mother found the energy for all that chaos, or how dad found the patience. But camping — by canoe, by car, or in the back country — was a given, growing up. You could say my sisters and I had Nature Surfeit Disorder.
Fast forward a few decades, and I’m still camping (or as my kids call it, “glamping.”) But the summers? Not so simple. Most of us have jobs; the kids are in camps. It’s harder than ever to find time for family adventures. But you don’t have to take on a river to create a great summer tradition. Writer Loralee Leavitt gives us dozens of great ideas for simple summertime adventures that keep the learning — and fun! — quotients high (“Keep summer learning fun — and free!”). As Renton mom Michelle Myers told her, “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to give children good memories!”
As we shiver into a chilly spring, summer seems a distant dream — but don’t be fooled! Those camp decisions need to be made soon, and the best programs fill up all too quickly. This year, we’ve doubled the number of summer camps and programs listed. You’ll find first-rate summer adventures — and a little help with the choice (“Choose a kickin’ summer camp"). Our month-by-month guide to summertime fests keeps the fun rolling; why not pick a few and start your own summer family tradition?
My own camping adventures these days too often involve risotto, air mattresses and hammocks, but who cares? I’m living proof: Those childhood summer traditions stick.
— Kristen Russell Dobson, SummerMap editor