10 Easy Ways To Make Summer Camp Awesome for Your Child


Every summer in America, more than 11 million children attend camp. At summer camp, kids gain independence, responsibility, and interpersonal skills. They are free to be themselves with peers while enjoying new experiences and activities. My husband, a Professional Camp Director with almost 20 years of summer camp experience, recently shared with me that a successful camp experience often depends upon choosing the right-fit camp for your child, then letting camp work it’s magic! I couldn’t help but ask him, “Is that all? Isn’t there more parents can do to help make camp awesome for their kids?”

Shared below is his response.

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STEM Design Challenge: Build Something That Floats


STEM is an acronym referring to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. My oldest son attends a STEM magnet school and really enjoys his weekly Design Challenges. In a STEM Design Challenge, students are presented with a task/problem and are given limited materials to create a solution. Design Challenges invite children to become imaginative, innovative problem-solvers. They also give children the opportunity to collaborate with peers and practice leadership and communication skills.

Both of my boys really connect with this technical, hands-on style of learning, so I want to give them the opportunity to keep designing outside of the classroom. I’m thrilled to partner with Horizon to bring you the premier of our STEM Design Challenge Series! In our first challenge, we build something that floats.

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Beach Keepsake Craft


I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Neutrogena. I received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #ChooseSkinHealth

Every summer, my kids and I enjoy a mini-beach vacation in Maine with my parents. My boys could dig in the sand, swim, and play in tide pools all day, so protecting their skin from the sun is important to me. Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will fight skin cancer in their lifetime? Choosing skin health now can help secure my boys’ health in the future, as sunburns in childhood increase the odds of developing skin cancer later in life.

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Fresh Strawberry Lemonade


Strawberries welcome summer vacation in the sweetest way. Picking them is one of our very favorite family traditions. Usually I can strawberry jam, but this year since my canning supplies are packed (we are moving to a new state in a few days), we only picked enough to eat…and drink! Shared below is a heavenly recipe for Fresh Strawberry Lemonade. I hope your family will love it as much as mine did!

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Honey Facial Mask and Scrub


Have you seen those funny Facebook status updates that say, “I know nobody will read my status, but sometimes, when I’m bored, I get wrapped up in my tutu and put a giant horn on my head and lather sparkles all over myself and slide around the kitchen floor pretending I’m a magical unicorn!” Well, I don’t slather sparkles all over myself, but I do often slather honey all over my face and neck! It’s true! Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that kill blemish-causing bacteria. It’s incredibly nourishing for skin and can help maintain a clear, healthy, and smooth complexion. Shared below is my favorite recipe for a DIY Honey Facial Mask and Scrub. It makes skin feel divine!

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Pine Cone Fireflies


Have I ever shared how this blog came to be? Three years ago, my family was living at a residential summer camp in rural Michigan. My boys, ages 2 and 4 at the time, spent their days outside playing in the woods with sticks, mud, and trucks. We took our learning to the forest, enjoyed daily nature walks, and studied the natural world. One evening while my husband was doing camp rounds, I was relaxing outside enjoying the echo of campers settling in for the night from across the lake. Distraction free and enjoying the sunset I mused “It’s the simple things that make childhood magical. Like making mud pies, catching fireflies, and spending quality time with people you love.” I couldn’t shake the idea that I needed to share that message with others, and soon, Fireflies and Mud Pies was born!

My blog and children have grown together, changing subtlety, yet strong in their roots. We still collect and create from nature and always make time for daily outdoor play—even if it’s just a run around the city park! Yesterday, my youngest son collected sweet, tiny pine cones and I knew immediately they would become an insect of some sort. Why not a firefly? It is the season for them!

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S’mores Cookies


This past weekend, I combined two of my favorite things—baking and camping—into an amazing, gooey cookie. S’mores Cookies are the perfect combination of crisp graham cracker, sweet chocolate, and soft marshmallow. My family devoured them!

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