Eighty days and counting. That’s summer vacation for Summit County school kids. If the school year goes by too quickly, it’s certain that summer passes at a blistering pace. For most parents, it’s the time of the year that requires an oversized calendar and the memory that I lost somewhere back in my mid-20s. Just yesterday, I was busted at the supermarket as I muttered away under my breath trying to figure out the schedule for the next 24 hours.
We are fortunate indeed that so much is offered for our High Country kids. From Keystone Science School to the antics of Ann Lincoln at the library, there is no shortage of activities to fill the day. As the girls grow into teenagers, we’ve learned that some summer revelries are too soon forgotten by the young participants. When they were younger we clamored to make sure they had their place in the Lake Dillon performing arts camp. The camp provided then, and still provides, a full day of activity that culminates in a performance at the Dillon Amphitheatre. The scenery alone justifies an invitation to the performance to distant relatives. These days when we wistfully mention how well the girls sported their frog hats from a yesteryear production of the Ugly Duckling they tend to look at us like we’re the ones that should jump in the lake. But even if the kids don’t recall their stage debut — on the hottest day of record in the county — the memory of the songs from the production, played on an endless loop in the car, remains cherished (albeit the disc has met an unfortunate demise). Neither are the kids amused when we describe how they used to dance with abandon on many a Saturday night in the same venue. As the memories waft through the warm summer air, and we’ll look forward to seeing the new generation of Summit kids taking center stage at events throughout the county.
When summer planning comes around I often shake my head and wonder how parents managed in the years B.R.C. (Before Rec Centers). Dollar for dollar I can’t think of a better investment for parents in our community. In Silverthorne, the school’s out pass was offered for a mere $37. Because we have a true “rec rat” the pass will be amortized at about fifty cents per visit. Thanks to the folks at the front desks around the county willing to smile and lend a hand to all of the kids that pass your way. It means much to us muttering parents.
Each year it seems the educators in the county also are offering more opportunities for kids to keep pace with studies over the summer. If we don’t have every second filled, I may still check into one of the academic camps, although my worry is less about the kids falling behind in course work than about the risk one will accidently maim the other after a few too many sisterly hours together. Who knows, one errant bounce on the trampoline could lead to one being forever lost in the woods.
Sure, I recognize I don’t have much to whine about, it’s only two kids that are (far too) close in age, so coordinating events comes pretty easily. Add a couple of more kids to the mix, with a larger age range and you can easily explain the glazed look you’ll see on some parents’ faces when you run into them at the post office, when all the while they were certain they had travelled to City Market. One thing’s for certain, however, these kids have one great village of adults who keep an eye out for them. From all of the parents you’ll see around town counting down from 80, some looking far more dazed and confused than others, we appreciate the effort that goes into making Summit a great place to grow-up, year around.
Cindy Bargell is a mom and attorney that lives outside of Silverthorne. She’ll be the one muttering in the check-out line that still welcomes your comments at Cindy@visanibargell.com.