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Mom Camp Is The Latest Summer Parenting Trend

Skip the expensive sleepaway and day camps this summer.

Everyone knows about summer camp, but have you ever heard of “Mom Camp”?

Before you get too excited, let me burst your bubble a little bit and tell you that Mom Camp is a camp led by mom, not for moms. There will be no girls’ nights away with your friends or an endless flow of wine. Mom Camp is all about keeping your kids home with you for the summer instead of sending them away. And while you might not be familiar with the term, the idea behind Mom Camp is not necessarily something new (some might even argue that it’s just another term for “parenting”).

So why choose Mom Camp (or Dad Camp, if you wish!) over the more traditional camp options? For starters, sending your kids away to summer camp is not cheap—far from it, actually. According to the American Camp Association, camp is an $18 billion industry, with day camp tuition averages ranging from $199 to $800+ a week. Sleepaway camp? Well, that could cost you an average of $690 to $2,000+ a week.

Now, for some, it’s totally worth the money. For other kids (my younger self included!), just the thought of summer camp is enough to cause anxiety. There is definitely some debate on the benefits of sleepaway camp, and whether you should send your child even if they don’t want to go.

Mom Camp, however? Much cheaper and less anxiety provoking if you have a nervous child.

children camping photo
Flickr | Oregon State University
So, How Does Mom Camp Work?

If this sounds like your cup of tea (and you’ll need plenty of caffeine because at Mom Camp, you’re in charge all day!), plan the week in advance so your children have a schedule, just like they would at an away camp. From meals and naps to activities, try to plan a full day everyday for the entire week.

What Are Some Things You Can Do? 

If finding activities to keep you busy at home the whole week sounds daunting, try planning some field trips! Zoos, aquariums, a trip to the movies or just playing at a park are great ways to get out of the house.

And while you’re at home on your own turf, here are some great ideas to get your kids excited and engaged:

  • Look ahead of time at your backyard to find things your children can search for, then have a scavenger hunt.
  • Fill up some water balloons and cool down with a water balloon fight!
  • Build your own obstacle course: Stack up some furniture and toys and have a fun adventure (Just be sure it’s safe!).
  • Pitch a tent inside and gather around the fireplace instead of the bonfire.
  • Make your own healthy popsicles or these super cute felt ones!
  • Make your own sidewalk chalk paint and draw some masterpieces.

sidewalk chalk photo
Flickr | saebaryo

What About Food?

Keep it simple! Summer camp food should never be complicated. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza—you know, all the foods you’d want to eat if you were at camp! And don’t forget the summer treats—like s’mores. They can be made indoors right in the oven, or you can have s’more-flavored desserts instead, like these no-bake Indoor S’mores or these cookies.

For more summer craft ideas, click here. What other Mom Camp ideas can you think of? The possibilities are endless! Happy camping, moms!