June is here! For many, Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of June is the official start to summer. Here in Idaho, we are blessed with all four seasons and so summer holds a special place in our hearts where we try to cram so many activities in a few short months. The trick to those three glorious months is figuring out how to plan a summer full of adventure without becoming overwhelmed or stressed.
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Every year, we have a few activities that absolutely have to happen during the summer. For us, it’s a week-long river trip and a weekend with all of the cousins planned long before our summer starts. Your “must do” summer list might include camping, a week at the ocean, Fourth of July celebrations, family reunions, or sailing. Whatever activity you love or must attend, make sure to make note of these special days.
Put the Plan in Writing
Going to the beach, taking a week off for camping, or booking a river cruise are all great plans. But if you don’t write them down, chances are they won’t happen. In our house, we print off a calendar for the entire summer and write down every single plan we have. Kid activities (practices, summer camps, and bible school), personal goals (bike races, trail races, once-in-a-lifetime trips), and those trips that just have to happen every year are placed on the list.
Some weekends will have multiple activities. For now, leave those all on the calendar. We’ll determine what activities to eliminate a bit later. This year, we had a wedding, a trail race, a bike race, and a concert all on the same weekend we were supposed to prep for a once-in-a-lifetime river trip.
Make Negotiations and Research
Once all of your summer plans are on the calendar, it ‘s time to negotiate. Ask yourself these questions about each activity:
- Can we afford it?
- Does it fit into the schedule?
- Is it practical?
- Does it conflict with another item on the list?
- Do we really want to do this activity?
Some of these answers will be easy. In my previous example of a wedding, a trail race, a concert, and prepping for a river trip we had to negotiate a lot. We opted to miss the wedding of great friends due to logistics. It simply wasn’t practical to attend as it added a few hundred miles of travel to one weekend and so much time. The concert was not possible either since it was also hundreds of miles away. The trail race was paid for long before all of these conflicts were known and I had talked others into running the race with me so I couldn’t back out of that obligation. And that river trip, a huge priority in my household.
The hardest part of the negotiation stage is being realistic. If you can’t afford that two-week road trip, don’t take it! If that weekend getaway is too far, it’s okay to say no! If money and time prevent attending all 6 of those weddings you were invited to, make plans to go to the few that you’ll regret missing.
Update the Plan
After all those negotiations, you’ll need to update your calendar. Update the calendar every single time the plan changes or you might forget. After all this hard work, you certainly don’t want to renegotiate anything you’ve already decided.
Keep in mind, all this research, negotiation, and planning is to simplify your summer! The goal is to NOT be stressed or overwhelmed.