I had such fun writing this Aunt Camp article for Savvy Auntie the other month and hoped it served to inspire other aunts to think about fun learning experiences they could create over the summer months. I was thrilled when I received the following email and photos from Jennifer, a very savvy auntie who has been running Auntie Camps and Retreats for her lucky nieces for years! Here she shares her story… where can I register!?
I wanted to respond to an article from Savvy Auntie that you posted a while back. I was just delighted to see you promoting Aunt Camps (or as my nieces and I call it “Auntie Camp”. I have been doing Auntie Camps and now Auntie retreats for the past 3 years and before that sporadically and we are all huge fans!
It started when I was living/teaching overseas and I was looking for a way to spend some quality time with my nieces when I was home during the summer. So I sent my sister and her husband away for two nights and moved in to take care of my two nieces then about six and seven years old. I did simple things but made a big deal about it.
Going to the park, baking a cake, a simple craft and a simple science experiment (I am a high school science teacher so that one came naturally. ) My nieces LOVED it. Since then they’ve been begging to send their parents away every summer so we can have Auntie Camp.
I now live near Washington D.C. and they came to my place for a few days. They are 10 and 12 now and it just keeps getting better. I try to tailor activities to their interests or educate them about it so they are interested! This past year we went to the Kennedy Center and the zoo, painted pottery, did cake decorating, saw free concerts on the Capitol steps, traveled the world through Thai food, and other exciting things. The best part is my relationship with them is deepening and as they head into the teen years – I’m so thankful I can be a positive voice in their lives.
I realize it’s not possible for everyone, but even starting with an overnighter is a blast, minimal planning and tons of fun. It’s also a HUGE blessing to my sister and her husband who are thankful for a break and at peace that their kids are well cared for and not homesick.
I’ve attached a couple of pictures from over the years and my niece’s edition of her biweekly newspaper that she writes. This one was about Auntie Camp.
I have tons of ideas including easy science experiments, craft ideas, even how to schedule things. It does take some effort but it is definitely worth it.
~Jennifer F. aka Auntie Jenn