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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 37: Purposeful & Fun Summers

Summer is quickly approaching and all the kids will be returning from college or finishing up their studies very soon at neighborhood schools. It's the time of year that parents ponder about what activities to plan for their tykes.

When our children were younger we wanted to ensure that they had "activities" to keep them occupied. I was always the worst with this as I was much more free form and wanted the boys to just play! To be creative and find things to occupy their time, without it being a scheduled activity.

This philosophy worked for our family because with three boys they always had a play mate. It also worked because my boys are homebodies -- meaning they really like hanging at home with all the comforts it has to offer. Even when I was working 12 hour days they still were content in finding enjoyment in being curious and creative. Of course I did have to ensure that there was lots of food in the house!

Now that all three boys are teenagers there is an emphasis to perhaps have some
more purpose to the lazy days of summer. The belief is that responsibility builds character and too much idle time can lead to bad stuff. So finding the right balance of kicking back and meaningful activities is the key.

Brandon is home from college and occupied with baseball and work, so he is set and doing exactly what a 19-year old teenager should be doing.

Harrison & Spencer, the 14 year old teenagers, will of course be playing baseball all summer with their American Legion Team. But more importantly, I am happy to share that they will be participating in a one week camp program designed for underprivileged children.

It's called Camp Harmony, and was created to allow kids from broken
homes & lives to just be kids for one week out of the year. My boys will be counselors and working, they are not campers. At the orientation meeting the camp Executive Director said "expect the counselors to work an 18 hour day." A little hard work never killed anyone!

We learned of the program from my beautiful niece Olivia Bernstein who was a counselor last summer and has remained a mentor to many of these children. Her enthusiasm for the campers that attend & the program encouraged the boys to participate.

The boys will be responsible for children who may not have a home, may be in the foster care system, may have witnessed domestic violence, may be a victim of domestic violence themselves, may go to bed hungry and in dirty clothing, may not bath regularly or brush their teeth daily, may have learning challenges, may not trust others, may be depressed and sad or angry, may have never been swimming before or seen the ocean before, but all children are worthy of love and a summer filled with activities and laughter. If my children can play a small or large role in making a child's life brighter even for just one week, then I've done my job in creating the best summer of all.

To learn more about United in Harmony and their Camp Harmony program, please visit Seeing a child smile & be happy is the greatest gift we can give.


Robindod said...

I just love reading this and it confirms what a truly amazing and inspirational woman you really are! This is truly a gift for all of us and your family is so lucky to have you!

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Thank you so much for your interest in my 49th year! I appreciate your support! -Robyn