A friend’s daughter is attending camp this summer for 3 full days a week for free. They have created a great thing they call Co-op camp and all the girls involved attend 4 days a week – 3 of them for free. Here’s how it works… Each family takes the girls 1 day a week. The other 3 days the girls go to a different house. The parent is responsible for creating some camp like activity for the girls either at home or somewhere out in the community.

So far, and only one week into summer break, they have roller skated, swam in a creek and biked at the town veloway. In the weeks to come they’ll do some sewing, bowling, definitely more swimming and who knows what other fun stuff. The total cost is up to the parent – free or a fee.

The cost benefits are obvious. The other benefit is that the kids are exploring¬†their own town in a way that they might not have done if just left to their parents’ devices and they are getting to do it with friends – thereby avoiding the summer cries of “more friends!! For the parents, they are committing to spending one day each week solely dedicated to the pursuit of summer fun. Who doesn’t want that?¬†And everyone is seeing their own town with a brand new lens.

So, if the cost and chaos of the pursuit of the ideal summer camp has got your worn out, consider co-op camp. I bet you can already think of a couple or a few parents you’d like to partner with on this.