I think Nat King Cole must have had a more leisurely family life than we do when he wrote about those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer"; only one of those adjectives fits our family's typical summer experience and this coming summer will be no exception. Even despite my best efforts to resist all temptation to sign the kids up for every class and camp I could find, we're still going to be moving in a dozen directions, all at once, for the majority of the summer months. Here are some of the upcoming highlights:
Marching Band: Zach will again participate in the Pleasant Grove High School Marching Band, with practices and parades on most days of June (through the July 4th Freedom Festival parade in Provo) and then a July break before picking up again in August to prepare for the fall field competitions. We don't know what Zach will be playing yet; last year he was on the front line playing marimba; this year he's auditioning for marching snare but will settle for bass drum. He refuses to play the tenor quads because he thinks they are too big and heavy to carry around, but I secretly hope that's what he is assigned because I think they're cool.
Color Guard: Izzy auditioned for the color guard about a month ago and made the team, so she'll be marching right alongside Zach and the Marching Band in this summer's rehearsals, parades, and competitions. Since Chris was in Marching Band all the way through BYU (where he was the drum major his senior year), and since I was on the color guard when I was in high school, we both feel a sense of pride in watching our kids follow similar paths and we hope they have as good an experience as we did.
Hummingbird Music Camp: Last summer we took Zach and Izzy down to Hummingbird Music Camp in New Mexico. This is another "living vicariously through our children" moment, as Chris attended Hummingbird for many years during his own boyhood. The camp is fun, but also wonderful in that the kids get to choose two instruments (a primary instrument and then a secondary one if they want), and for each they receive private and group instruction every day of the week they are at camp, culminating in private recitals and band/orchestra concerts on Sunday when the parents come to pick up the kids. This year, Zach was selected to be a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) and so both he and Izzy will spend two full weeks at Hummingbird in July. Joey is going to join them for the second week. Zach chose to learn the tenor sax this year; Izzy is sticking with her viola, and Joey will play both guitar and trumpet.
Clearcreek Camp: This is Joey's year to attend a week at Clearcreek camp--the Alpine School District summer camping program for kids moving into the 6th grade next fall. Joey had a choice of attending either an all-boys session of the camp, or a co-ed session; this was a "no-brainer" as Joey quickly chose the mixed gender camping group. He'll be attending camp from June 13 (early morning) until about noon on June 17, and this will be his first experience of spending an extended amount of time away from home. I'm a little apprehensive about how he'll do, especially since his peanut allergy and his recurring asthma always complicate things a bit for him in ways that most other kids don't worry about, but at the same time this will be an opportunity for him to mature a bit (and get a preview for what his week at Hummingbird in July will feel like!).
Private Music Lessons: School may be out, but right now Zach takes private percussion lessons, Izzy takes private viola lessons, and Joey takes private guitar lessons. Our plan is to continue most of these at least throughout June, and then we'll have to figure out whether it makes sense to try and continue during July and August when we're doing some traveling, or whether it's best to just put the lessons on hold until the fall. I'm leaning toward the latter.
Family Vacation: This year we plan to spend the first week of August (or so) in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California with my sister and her family. The itinerary includes a couple days in the Portland area visiting with family, then a few days at the "Great Wolf Lodge" in Grand Mound, Washington (a fun water-slide resort that we hope keeps the kids entertained for hours on end), and then a couple nights camping in Eureka, CA where we'll spend a day or two admiring the biggest redwoods in the country.
Girl's Camp: We will return from our family vacation the day before Izzy needs to pack up and head off to ward Girl's Camp in Heber Valley. She had a great experience last year at stake Girl's camp, and she's very excited to go again this summer.
Scout High Adventure: Originally the scouts (Zach) were going to hike, camp, and fish in the high Uinta's as their summer scouting activity. As I understand it, though, that has been changed and now the plan is for all the scouts to head down to Moab, UT and mountain bike through the redrock. I have no idea when this activity is supposed to occur, but it's tentatively on the calendar anyway...hopefully without conflicts with Marching Band, Hummingbird, family vacation, etc.
I usually have signed my kids up for a few nights at Space Camp, but haven't done that (yet) for this coming summer. If time and opportunity arises, I might still try to get them in--Joey especially is anxious to have an overnighter at Space Camp--but it's tentative. Also, while all three of my older children are excellent swimmers, Ben hasn't really had much opportunity to strengthen his swimming skills, so I'm feeling like enrolling him in some swim classes this summer will be invaluable. On the upside, we did purchase a swimming pool (aluminum/vinyl lining kind of thing) that we'll be setting up this summer, and I'm very excited to have a pool in the yard where the kids can splash, swim, and escape some of the summer heat. It's a big pool--10' x 20' and 52" deep, so it should provide a great deal of fun during the hot summer months!
Also, I have not signed any of the boys up for golf lessons, Izzy probably will not do summer orchestra this year, and as far as I know, Zach won't have honor band or steel drum band since he's moving up to the high school this year, and those (I think) are junior high programs. So that simplifies the schedule a bit...I hope...
At any rate, I am looking forward to the end of the school year, and a hiatus from the daily grind of homework, school responsibilities, etc. But this won't be a lazy, hazy summer. Bring on those crazy, crazy, crazy days of summer!