When I was in elementary school in the 50s, every day my friends and I dreamed of that great day when our summer vacations would begin. The bus ride home from school on that last day was marked by singing and streamers out the window. It was a great day.
So what did we do all summer? Were there sleepover camps, town run day camps, sports camps, family vacations? None of that for me. What my sister and I did was maybe log in some time weeding the garden and then it's on our bicycles and off to somewhere. Often it was the neighborhood pond where we'd meet up with others and swim or the old pasture down the road where we'd play baseball.
The old pond is still there but no one has been allowed to use it by the owners for a very long time (law suits and all that) and the fields where we used to play now contain 3 schools.
So what do kids today do? Well, all the things I mentioned in the second paragraph. All sorts of camps-sleep over and day camps. For example my grand daughters just completed a week at a nature center where they learned a great deal about farm life and animal care. It looked like a great camp and I wish there had been something like that when I was a kid (as long as it wasn't too far for getting there by bicycle!).
No question about it, summertime opportunities for kids have increased tremendously. While that's generally a good thing, I still think it's important for kids to have unscheduled periods of time for them to explore and create their own amusements. Very often more fun and more learning can take place as a result of their own creativity then if scheduled and handed to them.
Just my opinion.
For pictures of my grand daughters on a typical day at nature camp, click here georgeswebpage.com and follow the links to the photo gallery.