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Summer Camp

Lillian23's picture

Last year we sent SS7 to day camp during the summer. It is not cheap, $235/week, but any childcare where we live is expensive and he LOVES going, so we're fine with the cost. Plus, it gets him out of the house, away from electronics, and keeps him social. Last year we stupidly asked BM to pay part of the cost. Big mistake. HUGE. It really set her off and created more drama than I care to get into.

Back then, we had SS7 the majority of the time. BM had him every Thursday overnight and every other weekend (Thurs-Sun.) She didn't like having to take him to camp on Fridays (she doesn't have a car and has to pay a private taxi service to drive her places), so she didn't. She was very bent out of shape that we dared to ask her help share the cost of camp. She "works from home" (doing what, other than spreading her legs, I'm not sure) so she doesn't have to worry about childcare. SO and I, on the other hand, do have to worry about childcare and this camp is a great option. Regardless of the need for childcare, I think having SS7 in a social setting during the day, NOT just alone with a babysitter, is the best possible thing for him.

The visitation arrangement changed about 6 months ago and now the schedule is 50/50 (2-2-5-5). SO wants to approach BM with the idea of camp again (I support this 100%). This time he will offer to pay the entire amount and ask BM to pick up and take SS during her parenting time. We can't pay for only half-weeks at the camp, so either SS7 goes during her time or we eat the cost. SO tries to communicate as much as possible via email, so here's the start of an email he wants to send:


I would like to give SS7 the opportunity to attend Camp again this summer. He really enjoyed it last year and has already asked if he can go again. I will take care of the full cost of camp. Will you agree to take him and pick him up during your parenting time?"

What do you all think? My main concern, and after reading this site for the past few months I think some of you will bring this up, is that SO can't tell BM what to do during her time. Just like she can't tell SO what to do during his time. However, I KNOW that if BM signed SS up for something (a sport, let's say) that SO would find a way to make it work. Do you think he should ask, but if she says no, not push the subject? I want him to at least approach her with the idea. Any thoughts on wording things better? I'm open to any/all ideas and opinions. Thanks!!


No saint's picture

I see nothing wrong in approaching BM. Ok, it also messes with "her time", but it's in the kid's best interest. Nevertheless, if she said NO, I wouldn't push it.

Lillian23's picture

It being in the kid's best interest is my strongest argument and it's like she doesn't see things like that at ALL. It's what's convenient or INconvenient for her.

Lillian23's picture

I totally agree with you on the wacky schedule. I was on board with every other week, but SO was against it so here we are. SS7 has adjusted pretty well, thankfully, but it's really not ideal.

Jsmom's picture

This is exactly why we switched to one week on and one week off. You can do what you want on your time. That is what we found worked better. If she says no, there is not much you can do. I am amazed it is so cheap.

We just paid over 2500 to book a computer programming camp for SS. I always did some type of camp for my son and it was never that cheap.

zerostepdrama's picture

I'm very curious what all this camp entails and where it is located and for how long. This seems like a shit load of money!

I am paying $520 for my BS for an overnight camp for a week. (YMCA camp) and I thought that was expensive!

Lillian23's picture

Luckily we haven't had too many problems with this schedule (besides me thinking it's kind of a pain). But it certainly would make things like this easier.

Maybe I should consider myself lucky on the price, then! It's definitely affordable for us, it won't put us in any kind of financial distress, so that's a positive.

Ex4life's picture

Have you considered offering to pay her something to assist in the cost of the taxi? I know that shouldn't have to be offered if BM was thinking of her son but it may be an option.

Lillian23's picture

I'm glad you brought this up!! I have thought of it and I'm keeping it in my back pocket for now. But I'm glad that some one else thought of it, too!

AllySkoo's picture

Hmmmm. Sounds like you're taking the right mentality here - it's her time, but at least we can ask if she'll let him do something he likes. That being so, maybe word it like this? It sounds more like "you can take advantage of this opportunity" and less "we'd like you to do this".


SS7 really enjoyed Camp last year and has already asked if he can go again. I will take care of the full cost of camp. They don't do half-weeks, so I'll be paying for the full week. If SS7 wants to go during your time and you're OK with it, feel free to take him, there would be no cost as I've already paid."

Lillian23's picture

Thank you. Smile

I really like that wording, I just worry about implying that she has the "option" (even though clearly she does.) But reading it's definitely a little more gentle than the initial version.

Isn't it terrible the kid gloves we all have to put on with these BMs??

AllySkoo's picture

Lol No kidding! My skids are aged out (thank GOD) so we don't have to deal with BM hardly at all any more. But in the rare instances we wanted her to do something, I just had to figure out how to make it all about HER and get DH to say it that way. Worked like a charm! (Now that same strategy works on the oldest SD.) Wink

Lillian23's picture

This is so smart. I love how you said "I just had to figure out how to make it all about her and get DH to say it that way." I'm not ashamed to say that I draft A LOT of emails/texts for SO. He's a man and can come across...rough/insensitive in his texts. I try to make it a little softer. The thing is, she totally called us out on it once. "I know Lillian23 is writing your emails for you." Listen, bitch, it could be a lotttt worse.

Lillian23's picture

YES! I love this. SS teacher and school totally get the step thing. BM often gets SS to school late and when SO gets the email from the school about it, he always calls. One time he said "Is this ok that I call and ask? Does this happen a lot?" The secretary was like oh it happens aaalllll the time.