It's that time of year again to worry about summer camps. I never went to summer camp as a child unless you count the ones at our church. Those weren't summer camp so much as brainwashing seminars. I'm kidding of course.
My summers consisted of roaming the neighborhood on my bike. With our son Joseph, things are so much different than when I was a kid. I am afraid for him to roam the neighborhood. For one thing, he would most definitely be lost and never figure out the way home. Secondly, we don't live in a great neighborhood. I often see homeless folks and vagrants walking the streets. That doesn't seem like an environment for an 8 year old.
I also don't trust the local parents terribly. for example, one of Joseph's friends came over the other night, and he stayed and played a while. It was beginning to get dark and I decided it would be best if he went home to check-in. We sent him with a note with our phone numbers and address. Joseph and I ensured he got home to check-in and he was allowed to come back and play for another half hour, but the parents sent nothing in return.
The next day, he came back and asked if Joseph could come over for an Easter egg hunt. My wife told him to first go home and get his phone number so we could contact his parents should we need to. He came back a few minutes later and told us that his parents don't give out their number. This should have been a hint something was wrong, but I let Joseph go as I didn't want to disappoint him.
A few minutes later the number thing began to really nag at me. I went down to speak with the parents. The mother greeted me and agreed we should have their number. She instructed her boyfriend to write their number down for us. The boy friend immediately broke into a "Hell no, bro. You're kid is safe here. You don't need our number." He said this with a liquor bottle in his hand. I gathered up Joseph and we left. I felt bad for Joseph, but this is not where I want him playing.
Anyways, I am setting up Joseph's summer camps. So far, he will learn to swim, chill in the outdoors with friends, do some pottery, go to Burn Camp, and take a week of acting classes for a Disney production. Hopefully, he will enjoy it all. I am always second guessing myself on these things. Also, since Joseph has ADHD I worry about how he'll act.