This week we'll be in Lincoln, Nebraska for summer gymnastics camp with several team members. Going to camp is one of my favorite parts of the off season, because it gives the girls an opportunity to get out of their comfort zones, try some new things, and have fun with their teammates outside of the gym (sort of).
In order to get ready for camp, I like to do a few things ahead of time.
1. Check out the Visitor's Bureau of the city you'll be visiting - especially if you don't know anyone local. They'll have the inside scoop on what events are taking place, and special summer activities, and often have brochures and coupons for you to utilize during your visit. Here's the Lincoln tourism site, in case you have a visit planned soon.
2. Fundraise! Our gym lets all the families who are going to camp do a concession stand fundraiser at the annual spring show, which is a huge help. I also "make" R go around to our friends and family to collect their cans and bottles to take to the redemption center to get a little extra money. Our deal is that if she wants me to pay for camp, she has to do her part in earning some money. She also does chores for grandmas or for me. I think it's important that she understands that this is an extra, and somewhat expensive, opportunity, and not just something to be taken lightly.
3. Make your packing list, and then remind yourself that you won't need half of it. Don't overdo it on the packing. Nobody cares what I look like while I'm there, so workout clothes go a long way, and the girls spend *most* of the week in the gym - other than clean leos for every day they don't need a ton of extra stuff along.
4. Look for ways to save money. Gymnastics is an expensive sport, so anytime we can save money, I jump on it. Our team moms share rooms, pack lunches, and stock up on water and snacks before heading out. We car pool, eat things like Subway instead of going out every night, and spend a lot of time by the hotel pool for entertainment.
5. Enjoy the mommy/daughter bonding time! I don't actually end up getting a lot of true vacation time over the summer it seems, but this is one time when I can sit back and enjoy my time to myself and time with my kid. During the day I like to walk or jog, check out the local shopping scene, or lounge by the pool. In the evenings I get dinner with my daughter, find out all about her day, and maybe watch a movie. Take advantage of the down time, not having other kids around, not having work calls to take, and relax.