Happy Campers

Happy Monday, RMT’ers! We’re especially happy over here this morning as T starts his final week of summer day camp today!

Welcome to Pee Wee Camp! As noted here, each week of camp offers an off-site excursion for all campers at no or very little extra cost.

Welcome to Pee Wee Camp! As noted here, each week the program offers an off-site excursion for all campers at no or very little extra cost (the field trip to the California Science Center was free). This week, T and the Pee Wees are headed to the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum, one of his favorites!

This is T’s second of two weeks at Pee Wee Day-Camp at Wardlow Park here in Long Beach (CA). This camp’s specially designed for ages five-to-eight, which is fantastic. It’s quite difficult to find a full-day, drop-off day-camp in this limited age range, so we jumped at signing up when we discovered it. I also was very impressed with the friendliness and longevity of the staff who run this camp, namely Andrea, who’s been with the Pee Wee program at Long Beach Parks and Recreation for more than 10 years.

This was the schedule for T's previous week at Pee Wee Camp. As you can see, it's a great mix of structured and free play, activities, and excursions.

This was the schedule for T’s previous week at Pee Wee Camp. As you can see, it’s a great mix of structured and free play, activities, and excursions. I don’t know what “CTF” means though, so I need to ask today!

Pee Wee campers are separated into smaller groups by age and led by a camp counselor and at times (like on field trips) a couple of other counselors-in-training (usually teens and college-aged students earning community service hours through our local school programs). The leaders organize games, crafts, and other forms of structured and free play times for the kids throughout the day. All the campers also take time to learn a song together to perform in front of one another at the end of the week, too. While C and I didn’t go see that last time (as parents typically don’t sit in on the weekly performances), we may try to sneak a peek this Friday if at all possible (shh!).

I call this area "the yard" as it is a closed-off courtyard for the campers to play in the afternoons. There is a larger, more open park and playground inside of Wardlow Park, but the counselors prefer the kids to play here around pick-up time so the campers are easy to find.

I call this area “the yard” as it is a closed-off courtyard for the campers to play in the afternoons. There is a larger, more open 15-acre green park space with two playgrounds in Wardlow Park, and the kids get plenty of time there throughout the day (mostly in the mornings through lunchtime). However, the staff prefers the kids play here or inside the recreation center around pick-up time to make for easier pick-up. The rec center is also air-conditioned so kids can get out of the sun during those warmer afternoon times.

T playing in the yard just before I picked him up from Pee Wee camp. Who knows what these boys were doing, and that's OK with me. Have fun, T!

T playing in the yard just before I picked him up from Pee Wee camp. Who knows what these boys were doing, and that’s OK with me. Have fun, T!

T’s small group last time was named the “Silly Surfers,” which consisted of five- and six-year-olds. One of the other groups I heard a lot about from was the “Pee Wee Pirates”, which he REALLY wanted to be a part of, but T said he needs to be seven to get into that group. Just a couple of more years, T!

T heading in for drop-off at Pee Wee Camp. Wait up, T!

T heading in for drop-off at his first day of Pee Wee Camp. Wait up, T!

Have a great week at camp, T!

Have another great week at camp, T!

While I didn’t get a lot of pictures of T at camp and likely won’t again this week, that sort-of illustrates what summer camp is all about. This is time for T to be away from me for a bit this summer to gain some extra self-confidence and independence all while making new friends; simultaneously, it’s also time for me to be, well, doing whatever the heck I want to. That normally means messing around with the blog, running errands, breakfasting with friends, watching trashy TV, and reading. And now I can add SUP’ing into the mix this week since my car racks arrived this weekend (woo hoo!).

Enjoy these last moments of summer together… or not!

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Thanks to the generous parent who donated cupcakes to the Pee Wee campers! It was their child’s final day of camp for the summer and they wanted to make snack time special. Did they ever!

There are just two weeks of Pee Wee Camp left at Wardlow Park. Camp hours are Monday-through-Friday, 9 a.m.-to-4 p.m. (extended care available for extra fee before and after regular camp hours, please inquire with park staff about costs and availability). Wardlow Park is at 3457 Stanbridge Ave. (cross-streets at E. Wardlow Rd. and E. Monlaco Rd.), Long Beach, CA 90808. If you want to check for any last-minute camp openings (which are rare, but do happen), please call the recreation center at (562) 570-1705. For more information on last-minute summer camp openings elsewhere in and around Long Beach (CA), please check out the official RMT list of summer camps here.

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