Last month, while I sat in this chair, at this desk, designing the pages of our February magazine, the winds were howling and
whipping around snow flurries.

Today, we are deep into the first “real” snowfall we’ve seen in the Springfield area in quite some time. Oh, yeah, and the temperature was below zero with a minus 15-20 windchill. Brrrr. Even reading through the summer camp descriptions couldn’t keep me warm.

But, summer camp—what wonderful memories that phrase conjures up. I was a Camp Fire Girl, and we had day camp at Lake Springfield on the hilltop with the big pavilion. Our small groups would rope off our special place among the trees. I remember my mother would send a peanut butter sandwich, chips, and a pudding cup. Ice packs and insulated lunch sacks were not a thing yet. So, we needed something for lunch that wouldn’t spoil in the summer heat. (The pudding cups were a special treat, not something I had any other time.)

When I was old enough, I graduated to sleep-away camp at Camp Wakahni near Walnut Grove. That was a little slice of heaven: We rode horses, performed kitschy skits, sang songs in the mess hall, swam in the pool, and walked through the woods.

Summer camp should be something every child experiences, regardless of age, abilities, and interests. Explore a favorite pastime, meet interesting and sometimes unusual people, and learn something new. Have fun remembering your own summer camp days and plan something wonderful for your kids.

Be safe. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Kiss your kids. Be kind to yourself.

~Melinda, parent of a teen & publisher