Summer Camp


Lewie started his first day of summer camp yesterday.  This year, instead of staying at Surreybrook (where he attended private kindergarten last year), he moved up with the "big" kids.  I decided to send him to Camp 565 at Chase Collegiate School (a private school for kindergarten up to twelfth grade).

We can't afford Chase during the school year, but their summer program, as it turns out, is very affordable.  I liked the school because of the low camper to camp counselor ratio (4 to 1) and because it provides a variety of fun activities--arts and crafts, cooking, theater, games, tennis, field trips, water play, music, and dancing.  Since Lewie, at age 7, is still discovering his likes and dislikes, I figure, why not expose it all to him?  Then I'll know what type of extra curricular activities he might want to pursue during the school year.

So far, day one was a success.  As much as he moped about going to camp because it would take him away from his beloved home and his computer, he came home singing a new tune.  As it turns out, he liked EVERYTHING.  A counselor nicknamed him "Lewie Proskills," a word that Lewie, evidently, made up himself.  His main counselor, Travis, is a senior at UCONN studying counseling and family therapy.  He loves acting, having performed in a variety of local theater productions, and he's a huge Harry Potter fan.  (I decided that I will start reading the books to Lewie this summer.)

So far, we're off to a good start...  Below are pictures his camp sent to us of the first day.  (We all signed a media release to allow our children's images to be posted.)

The Counselors at Camp 565--Travis, Lewie's Counselor, is on the bottom right.

My mom, Grammy, walking Lewie in on his first day...

The Chase Collegiate Campus...

Water Limbo

A kick-line?  I'm not sure Lewie is ready for the Rockettes.

The counselors are showing us how it's done!

First Bike Adventure with Little Lewie


A few days ago, we went on our annual Delaware trip to visit family.  (It's more like a long four-day weekend, than a full vacation.)  We stayed in Rehoboth Beach, and just like last year, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to ride our bicycles on the boardwalk. 

Last summer, I requested a small bike with training wheels for Little Lewie, and I ran after him on the boardwalk trying to make sure he did his best to avoid any collisions with people, other bikers, etc.  It was fun, but it was a lot of pedaling for Little Lewie, and his excitement was worn away by sheer exhaustion.  In the end, I think I had more fun following him taking pictures than he did riding.

This year, thank goodness, was different.  I worked with Little Lewie this spring to help him learn to ride his bike without training wheels, and so he was eager also to test his new skill on the boardwalk.  We rented a bike he felt comfortable with, and then I rented a three-speed bicycle for myself.   The lady working at the bike rental shop gave me a map of the Rehoboth Beach area and showed me trails and backroads we could explore.  "The boardwalk is tough for young riders because there's so much traffic.  He'd be better off going on the backroads with you where there's very little cars or people," she advised.

I thought about it for a moment and decided she was right.  We both had bicycles now; why not take them out for a true bike adventure?  We followed Surf Avenue on the coast, which led us right into Henlopen Acres (a beautiful seaside community filled with multimillion dollar homes).  In Connecticut, such a place would have been labeled as a "private community" where outsiders are not welcome, but not here!  The very quiet roads and tall trees provided a park-like setting, and so we had a blast exploring the area, and I didn't have to worry about Little Lewie getting into any accidents.  Even more, the tall trees provided shade--which is not like the very hot, unprotected boardwalk.

This employee at the bike rental shop has the same name as Lewie.  Little Lewie really wanted a picture with him.  I think he reminds him of Lew, Sr. (our beloved Papa who past away last September)

We ended our second adventure with a cup of Rocky Road ice-cream--my favorite!

Little Lewie and I LOVED our bike adventure.  In fact, we loved it so much, we came back for a second time and explored new roads inside the community.  The folks at the bike rental place didn't even charge us for a second day's rental; they were so nice!

In April as I coaxed Lewie to push his bike without training wheels and practice gliding, I was daydreaming of a day when we could go riding and exploring together.  Little did I know we would have our first bike outing two months later!  We're on a "roll" now (no pun intended); I'm ready to begin planning some more--and Lewie, well he can't wait too.  He told me he loves "exploring."

Career Day: I am a YouTubber


This Monday marked the start of Spirit Week at Little Lewie's grammar school; his very last day of first grade is next Wednesday.

Spirit week is new for us this year.  His kindergarten and preschools hosted a pajama day in the past--but not a full week of adventure (mismatch day, career day, dress like you're from another decade day, school spirit day, etc.)  Yesterday was Career Day, and Lewie proudly announced that he wanted to be a "YouTubber."  A YouTubber? I asked myself.  What type of profession is THAT?  Is it even a career?

The reality is that over the past several years, Lewie has developed a passion for watching YouTube videos and tutorials.  I still remember the transition like it was yesterday.  Around age 4, Lewie loved trains.  Daily, I would search "trains" under Google Images, so he could see a variety of train pictures. His little imagination raced furiously as he viewed the train pictures, made train sounds with his voice, and swirled his hands around like they were wheels.  (It was seriously the cutest thing to watch...)

One day, he clicked on one of his train pictures, and he found out it was a video.  Well, train pictures might be pretty awesome, but train videos (as I would soon learn) are seriously the coolest secret on earth.  Before long, Little Lewie started requesting train videos, and so the passion for almighty YouTube began...

Here are some of Lewie's favorite "YouTube" sensations:

Eric Siegel from Eric's Trains - a series of video tutorials about his "3 Rail O-Gauge and O-Scale train adventure"

Ramahfool - a series of funny Thomas the Train Trackmaster Videos  (Thomas the Trackmaster Show is funny if you're into this kind of boy humor)

Now that Lewie is "into" video games and Minecraft, his favorites have become EthanGamerTV, TheDiamondMinecart // Dan TDM, PopularMMOs Minecraft (known as Pat and Jen),  and FGTEEV (The Family Gaming Team).  (All of these are watched under supervision, of course.)

YouTube has replaced TV, and if I don't plan extracurricular activities, Lewie can easily spend the whole afternoon watching video after video.  Of course, now he's been watching videos on how to create his own website and make his own YouTube channel.  With him being only 7, I still feel he has a long way to go before he starts doing this (people can be mean); still, I won't discourage him when he's old enough to handle the responsibility...

Okay, back to my beginning paragraphs... Now choosing to be a YouTubber is not as admirable as say choosing to be a doctor or a firefighter, but I am certainly in no position to judge.  If we had Career Day at school circa 1982 (which we didn't), my seven year-old self would have certainly wanted to dress up like an MTV star with funky colored hair, bangle bracelets, and a pleather skirt.  I certainly wanted to be anything that would make me famous--an actress, model, singer, dancer...

So, my point in all this?  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Lewie, have fun rocking your YouTube shirt on Career Day.  You never know where this crazy life journey will take you!