One of the hardest things Sara and I have to deal with each year, is how to keep our boys occupied when they are not in school. When they were little, it was easier since they were in daycare. Now, with Sara and I having three boys between us, putting them in a “daycare” or leaving them with a sitter all summer is not exactly economically “easy” (though we will figure it out if it comes to that).
We are lucky in one aspect, and that is that I work “3rd shift”. That means, if need be, the boys can stay with me during the day. The main downside is I would get little-to-no sleep, and the boys would not get to do a lot of things outside the home since I would have to get at least SOME sleep during the day.
Last year, with Robbie in daycare full-time, we were very lucky to find a church in our area offering a “day camp” that met every weekday, for 4-5 hours each day. This camp was incredible. First of all, it was free even though we were not members of the church (though we donated several things from snacks, to money, to volunteer time), plus the kids got to do arts and crafts every week,and the church even took them to a local water park every week. It was a really awesome camp, and the volunteers from this church were wonderful (they were even quite understanding about Colin and his difficulties).
This year, unfortunately, we are not sure if the camp will be done exactly the same way. One of the founders of the camp passed away, and while his wife has told us the camp will continue, we are worried that it will be scaled down quite a bit. We do have a bit of a plan, though, if the camp is not the same.
Sara ran across a wonderful camp called Charis Hills. It is a traditional “sleep away” camp especially for kiddos with ADHD, autism, Aspergers, and other special needs. We are VERY hopeful we will be able to afford to send Colin to this camp. Colin and I got to attend an open house for the camp this weekend, and I came away more impressed than I thought I could be.
This camp offers activities like learning the basics of archery, riflery, fishing, camping, snorkeling (good luck getting Colin in the water, haha), and other traditional “summer camp” type stuff, all for kids just like Colin. At the open house, we got to meet several other families, and I couldn’t believe just how much those other kids were like Colin.
I just know this place would do him a world of good. It’s not inexpensive to send a child there (almost $1200/week), but Sara and I are determined to save the funds required for him to go.
After getting to see the place, Colin hasn’t stopped talking about going. He probably won’t stop talking about it until he goes in July, and probably won’t stop talking about what it was like for quite a while after he comes back.
Ryan got to spend a week with my mom last summer, and that was the first time either of them had been “away” from the other since Ryan was first placed in our home. It made him feel really special. Colin was obviously a bit “jealous” that he didn’t get to go also, but he is far too much for my elderly mother to handle. This year, though, Colin will get to go somewhere special, and they will be well equipped to handle him. Heck, he’ll even be one of the “normal” kids there. Something with which Colin is not very familiar. It will be an interesting summer, that’s for sure.