Our Perfectly Unplanned Summer

Before I could realize it, summer was over and I’d already tackled the back to school supply list. A.J. is going to a new school for first grade!

Ten weeks of summer seem so daunting back on the last day of school. At that time, I’d only registered A.J. for one formal week of camp, which extended to two weeks at local private schools. As a Braves Blogger we reviewed a week of Youth Baseball Camp. That’s only a total of three weeks of camp. The rest allowed us to go with the flow.

While scouring the NextDoor App and trying to learn our new neighborhood after we moved, I found out about an open basketball night at Rehoboth Church near Tucker. That’s where I met the pastor’s wife who told me there was a week-long church camp that was just $50 for the week. For.The.Week.

I almost didn’t believe her. I’ve paid that much for one DAY of camp – never for a whole week. Thanks to volunteers the church hosted an amazing faith-based camp. We will definitely be back there for Summer 2017. Speaking of faith-based camps, a neighborhood church offers a free lunch program and drop off for three hours a day. It was so close, convenient and staffed with the sweetest volunteers. Sadly, it only lasted a few weeks. But A.J. had a blast and met some new playmates.

Emotionally and physically, A.J. was a lot more challenged when he attended a week of Braves Youth Baseball Camp. I wondered if waiting until he was six years old was too late to start a new sport.

Featured Starting Sports

Starting Sports at Six Years Old

I am now the Mother of a baseball fan. We play catch almost every day – rain or shine – inside or outside our house. The visit to Turner Field and the opportunity to interview the second baseman Jace Peterson were memories he’ll treasure.

By far, my favorite part of summer was when A.J. learned to ride his bike. Thanks to a bike-riding class for kids presented by REI, an outdoor company. Before this class, we were only getting so far with his biking skills. By the end of the class, you watch see in the video that he was riding like a pro! Several times a week the idea of BMX racing comes up in conversations.

From a fitness perspective, it has allowed me to walk around our neighborhood high school track on cool mornings while he rides!

Teach a Child to Ride a Bike


For the first time in a long time, we had playdates at our house thanks to our larger space and play set in the backyard. I helped a friend by picking up her children or watching them for a day. It was a big difference for me going from one child to three – but it also gave A.J. the social time he wasn’t getting on non-camp days.

Friends at Lake


We also discovered nearby Pine Lake, Georgia’s smallest city, with its own lake and recreation area. As someone who grew up on an island, I’m still not used to the idea of people calling sand near a lake – a beach – but I’m adjusting my mindset. We had a laid-back morning there with a friend and her son. The boys swam, dug in the sand and enjoyed the nearby playground. We’ll definitely be back as long as weather permits this summer.

Comment below: Was your summer schedule planned down to the minute? Did you take a leisurely approach to planning? What are you planning for next summer?

I already have some plans to Summer 2017. I’d like to go home to New York like we did in 2015 to spend time with my family and enjoy the ocean air. I’d like to find A.J. a fun stem and a drama camp since he has aspirations to be a Disney star. If you’d like to work on planning ahead for the school year, holiday season, and the entire year ahead – download my free printable and a family goals planner. You can organize a family meeting, turn off your devices and really listen to each other.

12 Life Events that Require a Family Meeting

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. We both work full-time, so a free schedule like that wouldn’t have worked when A was that little – we needed something full time, and she loved it. Now that she’s a teenager, she has more time by herself (a great life skill) plus travel lacrosse, and as many family activities as we can find in our free time.

  2. Looks like you guys had a wonderful summer! Baseball camp looked like it was a ton of fun!

  3. What a whirlwind of fun you had this summer. ANd unplanned too! Love it. And your little baseball player is so handsome.

  4. One of the best things about being self employed is the ability to take life a little more off the cuff. We tried to have a more loose summer this year, as well.

  5. It sounds like you guys made the most of your summer. It’s nice to be able to take summer as it comes rather than scheduling out each and every little thing that happens.

  6. It sounds like you guys had an amazing summer! I love that there are so many things you can do if you just take the time to look around!

  7. Sounds like your family had a fun summer. I enjoyed going to camp as a kid. So many new experiences and fun trips. They can be costly but that’s great you found an affordable one.
    As for this summer, we didn’t have anything planned, we made up things as we went along. We were hoping to go to Niagara Falls this summer but we are planning that for next year. I like the idea of unplugging and enjoying family get togethers.

  8. Sometimes unplanned getaways turn out to be the most fun and unforgettable! We have a lot of unplanned trips this summer and we really had so much fun! Looks like you enjoyed your summer too!

  9. Sounds like a lot of fun! We didn’t have much planned for this summer either – just taking it weekend by weekend and it worked out great.

  10. It looks like you had a fabulous summer filled with tons of fun.

  11. Oh what a lovely summer. It’s awesome that your son was able to experience so much with out too much planning!

  12. Some of the best experiences come from flying by the seat of your pants. We only planned one vacation this summer. The rest was we winged it and had a great time. I am so sad my girls have to go back to school in 2 days now! It sounds like you all had a great summer too!

  13. We definitely did not plan our summer. It was relaxed and local.

  14. Your summer looks like it was the perfect mix of fun and unscheduled play! Sometimes the best laid plans are NO PLANS! We will have one week like that coming up and after reading this post I can HARDLY WAIT!

  15. Unplanned is the best happened ever! It looks fun and adventure! I bet your idea.

  16. I like unplanned trips. The last time we have a trip is planned but still there are circumstances that not everyone make it.

  17. This sounds like you’ve had such a fun and memory filled summer. This is what summer is all about!

  18. Summer is always so fun because it is unplanned. I love that about summer, that and sleeping in. haha!

  19. That is awesome that it was $50 a week. I found one for $80 but it wasn’t faith-based. Still… I was glad to have found one that inexpensive.

  20. Looks like you guys had a great summer! We found a local camp that my twins love and so they spent 6 or 7 weeks there this summer! Finding a great camp is so good for kids!

  21. That’s amazing and a stinking great price too! It sounds like it was truly worth the money too!

  22. I can’t wait to get my son into baseball. I would love to take him to things like that. What a deal, too!

  23. Summer definitely went by too fast. Our summer might as well have been unplanned because all of the plans we did make fell through. Either way, summer is always great.

  24. Girl I definitely had an unplanned summer as when I saw you recently…I unplanned a car accident which had an unplanned broken hand that had to heal. I was out of commisson for almost two most so that was most of my summer. Its ok because what seems like a set back for the summer…will be me making up for it starting this week since my hand is healed. I have some summer things to make up for. AJ is too adorable playing baseball and glad you already have plans for 2017!