Edited to say: As we enter the second week of Summer Camp, registration is now closed. Check back next year to participate!
I’ve been quiet here on the blog this week, in order to not distract from current events, and to honor the voices of people of color who have waited far too long to hold the mic in our collective consciousness.
Today, I’m going to pop in quickly to put this post out there, because if I wait, I fear the first week of content will be missed by many of you. I want to provide this resource to as many families as possible right now, and I feel children everywhere could use a little joy, a little magic, a little space to simply be small.
Keep fighting, keep protesting, and keep changing the world, beautiful people!
How is your heart, friend? My, it’s been quite a season so far, hasn’t it? 2020 is one that none of us will soon forget. Or I certainly hope we won’t. Because where we now stand is a crossroads. And at this place lies the heart of change.
Yet even as I hold fast to the optimistic belief that current events will generate lasting, long-overdue change on a global level–from addressing police brutality and systemic racism to challenging how we live in and navigate the world–I know that this time has been excruciating for many.
I see you. I hear you. I stand with you.
Especially people and families of color who have been marginalized for centuries.
And so I’ve been quiet, though not complacent. As a white person, It’s my time to simply listen, act and donate. So that’s what I have done.
But today, I’m going to break my silence for just a moment, to put an opportunity on the table for everyone this summer.
While what I have to offer during such difficult times feels minuscule in comparison to what our country and planet so deeply need, I believe there is space for each of us to bring our gifts and offerings to the community.
And now more than ever we are all being called to bring forth whatever we have to share. And so I have decided to offer up a healthy summer activity series for anyone who might need it right now.
A series to give you pause as a family, and draw you and your children away from screens (however briefly), out into the sunshine to reset your souls.
With Unplugged Family Summer Camp.
What is Unplugged Family Summer Camp?
It’s an invitation to unplug, connect, and play with your child this season, away from the distractions that our screens so often hold.
Because this year more than ever (with most summer camps and other activities canceled and so much is in upheaval), it’s up to us to make our own magic, providing our children a place to simply be children.
And I suspect that many families are hungry for a few fresh ideas to get them moving in the direction of a little more unplugged family fun.
What if we don’t want to give up our screens?
Great! Because The Unplugged Famly Summer Camp (and The Unplugged Family Activity Book, for that matter) doesn’t ask anything of the sort from you or require you to dive into an austere, screen-free lifestyle.
Spolier: I also appreciate my phone and laptop, and use them often!
What it does offer is resources, encouragement, and inspiration. It’s an alternative to our screens as the place to discover entertainment, gain knowledge, and have fun–together.
And we think that’s a delightful idea for the whole family.
How does it work?
When you sign up for Unplugged Family Summer Camp, you will receive an 8-10 page downloadable booklet each weekend for five weeks. Camp will run from 6/13/2020 through 7/11/2020. When you receive your weekly content bundle, print it out (or download it to a phone, tablet, or laptop if you prefer), then dive in with inspiration, projects, games, and recipes for the whole family to enjoy.
That’s all there is to it!
And it’s self-paced, so if you don’t get to something in the week it is released, you can always come back to it later.
What is included in each booklet?
Each booklet is broken down into four sections and contains:
Just for Caregivers
A favorite post from the decade of archives on my blog. These words are intended to inspire connection, acceptance, and presence in our role as parents or caregivers–this season and always.
Two kid-approved recipes to make together in the kitchen–recipes you’ll revisit again and again, and truly make your own. These are simple and fun and a great way to get started on cooking together–whatever your children’s ages. Snacks, treats, mains, and more.
Unplugged Family Fun
Activities, games, projects, or other adventures that require little more than basic supplies that you already have on hand. Some activities will come from my blog archives, others from my books, and still more straight from our family’s imaginations. Projects and play for backyard or park, kitchen or craft room.
Nature Exploration (bonus)
And finally, several bundles will also include a bonus project or idea to help you explore or discover the natural world around your own neighborhood. These projects may require special materials and supplies, and so we’ve added them in the bonus section since they require more resources and planning. (In the first booklet, we’re talking about raising and releasing native butterflies.)
The Unplugged Family Summer Camp consists of five downloadable, full-color PDF booklets, that are yours to keep and use forever, plus access to an exclusive community Facebook group for making connections with like-minded families, asking questions, and sharing your completed projects with one another.
Best of all, I want to make this experience available to everyone. (Keep reading!)
In future seasons, I plan to price this 6-week summer camp experience at $25.00 to $30.00/family. But this year, I won’t be offering it for sale.
Instead, there are three simple ways to participate.
1. Book Preorder Bonus
First, I’m giving Unplugged Family Summer Camp away for free, as a thank-you gift to anyone who has pre-ordered a copy of The Unplugged Family Activity Book! (And there’s still time to pre-order.)
Since the book costs just $22.99, this year the book and camp will cost less than camp alone will cost next year. I think that’s one heck of a steal.
You can purchase directly from me, or from your local, independent bookseller.
Make a donation of any amount to any of the organizations listed here who are fighting for equal rights and civil liberties. Donating directly through ActBlue, as we did, makes it easy to divide up your donation automatically, or however you see fit. Or head directly to these organization’s own websites and give directly.
Then email me with the subject line “Unplugged Family Summer Camp – Donation” and include a screenshot of your donation receipt. I’ll add you to the camp!
For those who do not have the means to purchase the book or make a donation, I am offering scholarships to participate. I am especially interested in offering access to the camp to children and families of color, who have been systematically shut out of countless opportunities in their lifetimes, and their ancestors before them.
Applying for a scholarship is painless. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “scholarship” in the subject line. Then let me know why your family wants to participate. There’s no need for you to disclose any personal details or finances. Just tell me why you and your kids want to play, and we’re set.
There is room for all in this virtual summer camp.
For those who do have the means to purchase my book, I’d be honored to know it has earned a place on your bookshelf. I hope it (along with your five weekly summer camp bundles) becomes a resource your family treasures for many years to come.
Some have shared that they purchased copies to donate to local public libraries, which is an even greater honor. Thank you for that!
So… are you in?
I do hope you will join me!
We start next Saturday.
To sign up for summer camp as a book bonus (option 1 above), all that you need to do is pre-order your book from any bookseller (or directly from me–I’ll ship your copy signed). Then include your order number and the store you purchased from on your registration form below.
All camp registration fees will be waived, with my thanks for preordering The Unplugged Family Activity Book.
Or drop me an email with the scholarship request or donation receipt above.
Looking forward to summer camp with you!
Be well, friends.