Of Bugles, Bells, & Blaring Megaphones; Sounding a Camp-Inspired SUMMER SCHEDULE (printable template included)

If you are just joining us, you can catch up on our Camp Quarantine Series here: DIY Summer Camp

My Own Personal Camp Bugler

My dad, as you may recall from My Family’s Camp Scrapbook, is an Eagle Scout. And playing perfectly into our ideal image of a Boy Scout, he can actually play a bugle! I learned this fun fact one Saturday morning growing up when I wouldn’t get up to start on the regular weekend chores.

camp119This was a common childhood struggle of mine. And my reluctance to get out of bed often resulted in painful measures like having my dad burst through my bedroom door sing-shouting “Rise and Shine, and give God the GLORY, GLORY!” while throwing the curtains open and tearing the covers off my bed. Extra reluctant days boasted a water feature; where a glass of cold water would be threated and then tipped slowly over my head as I yelled “ok, ok, I’m up!!!” . . . and once there was even ICE. You’ve got to have a sense of humor as a parent, and my dad  has always had plenty to spare in that department.

But out of all the camp-like pranks my dad pulled on Saturday mornings, the one that stands out the most in my memory—bold and blaring—is the time my dad blasted Reveille . . . two feet from my head . . . on a bugle.

~A Camp-Inspired Summer Schedule~
(+ printable planner template)

Summer Symphony

School lets out for the summer, and a symbolic switching of the guard takes place. You hop off the regular bus and board an older, funkier one—the camp bus. The door sluffs closed, and you ride to freedom! Lectures, homework, and tests seem like a distant memory by the time you arrive at camp. You hop off the bus, not onto pavement, but onto dusty, red, pine-needle covered earth. And just like that . . . in a puff of red dust . . . the school year is swallowed by summer.

White walls and straight edges crumble into a chalky forest mural of green and brown . . .

Twitching fluorescent lights are burned out by glorious sunshine and the flickering glow of the campfire . . .

The smells of sterile hallways and artificially fragranced classrooms give way to the natural aromas of cedar, smoke, leather, and dirt . . .

The electronic loud-speaker bells of the academic year are replaced by an organic summer symphony of camp bugles, activity bells, dinner gongs, and laughter —all rising and falling over the base notes of nature’s melody . . .

Ah, yes . . . for me, the sounds are the true kings of Summer Camp; waking to Reveille, flowing through a day set to the soundtrack of birds, water, voices, and megaphones, running to the mess hall on the heels of an echoing dinner bell, singing along with friends around a crackling campfire, all ending with a bugle solo once again— drifting off to taps as each note hovers in the night air above a chorus of crickets . . .

This rhythm is the spirit, the symphony, the soul of Summer Camp.

Camp-Themed Book List

Summer Schedule

camp96 (2)But . . . we need a schedule to go with that summer soul! Bugles, bells, and dinner gongs are just noise without a maestro. In last Wednesday’s post, Your Camp Quarantine Clipboard, I went over everything I could think of to help you create a camp-inspired summer for your kids. Today, I’m here to help you nail down a simple and flexible summer schedule; a schedule that invites the summer symphony of camp! The details and orders of operation are open-ended, and the rhythm entirely up to you! Bugles and bells are optional, but they come highly recommended (even if only as digital recordings).


camp132I have created a flexible, fill-in Summer Camp Planner & Schedule Template for you to easily customize a camp-inspired summer plan for your family. Also included are two examples: a standard summer camp schedule, as well as our family’s personalized summer schedule.

Click here to download the free planner template: ~Our Holistic Homeschool~ Fill-In Summer Schedule Template

For ideas, activities, and inspiration for filling in your template, check out my quick links below!

Summer Activities & Ideas for filling in your Template:

A word about Sticking to Schedule


Camp-themed Book List

In our parenting generation, we have become so fearful of our child being bored or growing disinterested that many of us allow our children to flit from one activity to the next the minute they lose interest. I want to suggest that we stop doing this. At camp, you do not get to decide suddenly halfway through making a bracelet that you would rather be on the lake in a canoe. You are stuck in one activity area for a specified amount of time.  So. . . what? Force your kid to finish the bracelet? No, not exactly. I propose making the activity block itself non-negotiable, and the activity itself optional. In other words: “we are at the Arts & Crafts table for 20 minutes and this is the project that is planned for today.” Your child may engage or not, may opt for another Arts & Crafts activity if one is available, or may sit there and do nothing. Being bored is allowed! But moving recreation time up 15 minutes is not an option.

Maria Montessori stressed the importance of having children finish what they start and build their ability to focus by remaining engaged past the initial loss of interest. Learning to focus is a life-skill that will serve your child throughout his or her life. I believe this to be a crucial goal in parenting . . . one we often lose sight of in today’s fast-paced, consumer-driven, gimme-gimme now society. Let’s remember: Summer Camp isn’t just about fun. It’s about building character, also.

Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~

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