Welcome to Camp Whattawedo

June 6th, 2013

A plan for DIY summer fun with kids

The last day of school is here, and we have a plan.

I call it Camp Whattawedo.

Camp Whattawedo is run pretty much like any summer day camp. It runs Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm. Lunch and snacks are provided. There are routines and regulations. There are theme days and special programs. The chief difference between Camp Whattawedo, and other day camps is that our campers may show up with no pants. In fact, pants are entirely optional until 10 a.m.

Morning activities are self-guided at Camp Whattawedo. Until noon, campers are welcome to sleep-in, veg out, loll around, and help themselves to a bounteous breakfast bar modeled on the finest interstate motels. During this time, the Camp Director will be occupied with fundraising and administrative activities (i.e. freelance writing), and should not be disturbed.

In the afternoons, there will be activities, depending on the theme for the day. The weekly activity plan is posted below.






The Camp Director has exhaustively researched local enrichment opportunities, and there will be ample variety within this simple plan. For example, campers may choose their own area of independent study on Mondays for “Creative Projects.” Upon consultation with the Camp Director, a plan will be approved, and stipends will be considered for fees and materials. Some campers have already expressed an interest in participating in online guitar lessons, or learning digital animation. An arts and crafts station will be amply supplied for those who do not have an ongoing project.

Camp Whattawedo places great emphasis on reading, so there will be weekly library visits. As we are fortunate to reside within an amazing public library district, these visits will often coincide with fun and interesting programs being offered at area branches.  Time will be allotted for reading each day, and credit will be given in the form of rule-bending powers that can extend a camper’s screen time, or leverage other special privileges.

We will visit the pool twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, as with many day camps, we will take a field trip to a location to be announced. Campers can expect to visit our beautiful state parks, interesting museums, zoo, and other exciting, fun-filled, and educational destinations. Depending on the success of fundraising efforts by the Camp Director, these may occasionally involve a day or overnight trip out of town.

The weekly activity schedule is intended as a default plan, the answer to “What do we do today?” Acceptable, alternate plans are always welcome from individual campers. If there is no acceptable, alternative plan, participation in the scheduled activity is mandatory.

Camp administration is dedicated to making the Camp Whattawedo a positive experience for all concerned. We have considered the logistical aspects of professionally run day camps, and have adopted their model for our own, from menu-planning to scheduling to bulk-buying, and we feel ready to open our doors and welcome our happy campers home.

First day of the 2012-2013 school year. It seems like a long time ago.

If you have kids at home this summer, I would love you to join us on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #WHATTAWEDO to share your summer fun, frustrations, appreciations, and inspirations. And stay tuned to my Facebook page, where we’ll hang out and share progress (and disaster) reports weekly throughout the summer. 

11 Responses to “Welcome to Camp Whattawedo”

  1. marilee pittman says:

    Sounds like a great camp!

  2. Bianca says:

    What a wonderful, well thought out plan!

  3. Amy says:

    Love it, doing it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Beth says:

    Yup – I’m with Amy. I always do a loose version of this (activities on certain days), but we will turn it into full-fledged Camp Stephens kicking off this Monday. I’m really pleased to have two enthusiastic campers signed up just hours after making the decision to open registration. Wheeee!

  5. Alison Chino says:

    I love this so much! Brilliant.

  6. […] her lens and her words, and enthusiastically recommend you read her musings. Last week, I read this post by Kyran about the launch of Camp Whattawedo, and two days later had my game plan to shamelessly steal, heavily borrow and occasionally adjust […]

  7. Alexis says:

    Fantastic idea and I’m TOTALLY STEALING IT!

  8. […] we peaked too early, but Camp Whattawedo is in full swing. I’ve had to tweak the mornings a bit to get them closer to autopilot, but […]

  9. […]  Camp Whattawedo. Got kids home all summer? I love this mother’s approach to “structured, not […]

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