I’m a fan of finding one’s own path amongst the way things have always been done, if it’s the right fit for my family. Not too long ago, Fran and I found ourselves taking on home schooling for Jeremy while traveling internationally. A challenge to be sure, but we did it our own way and opened the door for exceptional experiences, tailored by us, for us. Recently, I discovered an interesting opportunity to do it again when thinking about keeping Jeremy entertained this summer despite our busy schedules.

Recently, Denver Parent accepted a new listing in its directory: D.I.Y. Day Camp (diydaycamp.com). The idea is that rather than send him to a traditional day camp, Fran and I can choose people to be our “camp staff.” It can be a combination of favorite babysitters who are willing to give us a day or two out of their summer, stay-at-home parents who want a dedicated plan once or twice a week for their kids, or even a professional nanny. We work out a schedule and compensation – then just use the site to plan each week. It’s all flexible with choices ranging from “sports days”, “social days”, and “education days”, with a wide variety of field trip options. I’ve seen a handful of parenting sites and blogs feature this option, but none that go as far as this site in helping you plan every aspect. It’s a free guide that can be tailored to what works for me and Fran, while giving Jeremy the opportunity to see and do cool new things outside of the traditional pre-packaged day camp options.

D.I.Y. Day Camp’s flexibility is another aspect I like because there are a handful of sports camps that Jeremy loves and wants to do again. However, they are not whole-summer solutions.  Yet with some basic planning, he can return to his favorites from last summer and spend the gaps doing unique activities with his friends instead of dealing with the set schedule of a whole-summer solution. Plus, we can fit the gaps into our budget D.I.Y. style. I like it. As we plan our summer, I like knowing we have this option. Our son has out-grown many of our past go-to camp options, so this way we can tailor it to his interests. Depending on what we negotiate with the “staff” we choose, this can end up being a much more affordable option than traditional day camps or possibly more expensive. It really just depends on how we choose to do it. When I think about the effort and stress of finding a camp, registration and fees involved when change happens, the D.I.Y. Day Camp effort is minimal. In the end, the pay off is in designing a summer our kid will love.