By Renee Williams


Welcome to our Summer Camp Guide!

Ah yes, summertime. Remembering the good ol’ days when my summer vacation meant watching The Brady Bunch, playing Pac-Man, backyard water slides, drinking from the water hose, catching fireflies and roaming the streets at all hours with my best friend Roxanne.

This was way back before organic, non-GMO food or cold pressed juices. There was Wonder Bread, frozen TV dinners, the Happy Meal, Kool-Aid laced with red dye number five (Yup, we drank the Kool-Aid) and processed sugar, bleached flour and fried foods were all part of the four basic food groups. And if you were one of the cool kids, you mixed Pop Rocks with your Coke too.

Yes, it is easy to over-romanticize childhood summers because that is what summertime is all about anyway, nostalgia and making magical memories.

As a parent though, I admit that I have a love-hate relationship with summer. I am excited to have my children home more, excited to not have so many responsibilities or places to be but at the same time, I feel nervous about all the unstructured time that will need to be filled. Kids bouncing off the walls shrieking, “Mom, I’m booooooorrrrrred,” having a crazy messy house and all that close togetherness can oftentimes be too much for me.

But rest assured, there is hope for anyone that may share in my distress because there are many summer activities offered in the area and our Summer Camp Guide is the perfect resource. Our Summer Camp Guide is full of ideas from art camp, soccer camp, gymnastics camp, SAT prep camp and other amusement, recreational and instructional ideas.

Also in this issue, you can gain tips on how to maintain routine and structure over the summer with Cammie Jones’s Smart Mom’s Guide to Age Appropriate Chores.

Next, check out Naimah Shaw’s Inspiration Station on Lew Bandy with Wesley United Methodist Church’s Faith Care program and consider volunteer work as a family activity this summer. One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them the importance of serving and helping others. 

In our feature story, Layla Khoury-Hanold explores community gardening projects and the benefits of fun, hands-on ideas using adventures in agriculture as a way to spend time outdoors as a family.

And do not forget the books! Be sure to read Meredith Flory’s Raising Curious Readers to keep children reading over the summer and a big kudos to Meredith who recently won a bronze award with Parenting Media Association for her wise and thoughtful column. Art director, Michael Rushbrook also won a gold award with PMA for his dynmaic and fun illustrations in Augusta’s Extreme feature and our previous Mom to Mom columnist, Jennie Montgomery and previous editor, Karin Calloway both won gold awards with PMA for their work with Augusta Family. 

Finally, on April 12, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen White will be hosting a luncheon and book signing at Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar. White’s latest book The Night the Lights Went Out will be available in hard cover and e-book on April 11.

In closing, Augusta Family would like to welcome our new Mom to Mom guest columnist, singer and songwriter Karen Gordon.

Until May,

Renee Williams

This article appears in the April 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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