This summer, the one between kindergarten and first grade, has presented some new challenges for us when it comes to child care and how to keep Max engaged and entertained during summer break.
Last year was easy; he just stayed at his full-time preschool until the week before kindergarten started. This year, it wasn’t that simple.
With family trips and our weird work from home schedules, we had to cobble together a summer of child care, including the on-campus company he goes to during the school year, an outdoor adventures camp I’d won admission to, a week with my sister and his cousins, and Camp Galileo.
Before Camp Galileo reached out to me, I’d heard of them before… offering one week camp sessions at a bunch of Bay Area locations, they often appear on those “What to do with your kids this summer” lists that are so popular at the end of the school year.
Galileo offered four different themes this summer, and I let Max pick. Of the four, it took him no time at all to choose the “Adventures Down Under” camp, because he has been talking about wanting to visit Australia since last year. (Sorry kiddo, this is the closest you’ll get for a few more years)
The other themes were Galileo Road Trip, The Incredible Human Body, and Leonardo's Apprentice.
We arrived on Monday morning for the first day of camp, and I was instantly impressed with how organized they were. No fumbling for paperwork, or unsure staff members. It took only moments to get him checked in, I verified his after-camp care, and he was all set to enter through the “Fun Machine” into his Galileo experience.
Pick-up every day was an adventure; he would climb into the car bursting to tell about things he’d learned, or done. He’d be covered in paint from head to toe. (Seriously. Face and body painting is a big thing, and he loved it! Thank goodness for washable paint though, amirite?)
After the first morning, a streamlined drop-off allowed Max to be greeted, by name, in front of the school and he hopped out of the car without my even needing to park. Win.
Parents are invited to come to camp on Friday afternoon, to see a bit about what they learned, crafts they made, all the good stuff of camp. I loved getting to see all of the different groups; the younger kids were adorable, of course, and seeing the older ones who really put Galileo’s emphasis in innovation to work.
Every staff member I encountered was like my childhood memories of camp counselors. Silly and fun, with crazy hats and attitudes, I knew that Max was in great hands with people who love what they do.
Each day had a dress-up theme, from Jalloween (Halloween in July) to Crazy Hair Day; just the right amount of silly to temper the learning that was also happening every day.
Max can’t wait to go back to Camp Galileo next summer, and he’s already asking if he can go for two weeks instead of just one. Who am I to say no?