The lottery for Oak Park Park District Summer Camps is Thursday, March 10th at noon. They supposedly send out their brochures the first week in March, leaving families a hair over one week to plan their children's summers. In actuality, we received the booklet on Friday and many of our friends haven't gotten it yet (although you can view it online in PDF form).
In preparation for registration, I printed out information about every camp under consideration for this summer, from the aforementioned park district day camps to sleepaway and local Jewish camps to arts camps, zoo camps, swimming camps and special learning enrichment camps. I sent our friends a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet where they could share their camp choices and set up my own personal planning camp at the dining room table with a pencil, blank calendar and checkbook in hand.
It's a dance, figuring out our summer plans. I have to factor in Z's interests, A's comfort level and nap schedule, our vacation plans and Josh's tolerance for driving all over the place. I ended up programming most weeks to my satisfaction and Josh's approval, giving Z 2 weeks of swimming lessons, 2-3 weeks at sports camp, 1-2 at a general day camp, 2 weeks at an eco-explorers camp and 2 weeks of art camp. There are a lot fewer options for the 3-turning-4-year old set, so A will spend most of the summer at her Montessori school's summer program. She will, however, get a taste of day camp and a week at art camp with her sister.
I can't imagine how frustrated I'd feel if I wasn't tuned into the summer camp early registration craze--if all these deadlines somehow slipped by me. Now I just need to set my calendar to remind me to register the minute swimming lesson registration goes live--two years ago Huskies filled its most desirable swimming sessions in the first 2 hours.
Fellow Oak Parkers, while you're registering for summer camps, don't forget to buy your polar bear pool pass and sign up for the Spring sports lotteries--Z's hoping to play soccer!