The rigorous schedule of school will soon give way to the slowness of summer, if it hasn’t already. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21 will be the longest day of the year, or at least the longest amount of sunlight. The summer solstice officially marks the beginning of summer, though we have most likely already begun our summer celebration. Summer in West Texas doesn’t lazily slide into town on the coattails of spring, but rather bolts in breathing hotly down spring’s back, shoving it aside and loudly declaring its arrival and intended stay.
It isn’t even Memorial Day and many of us have already bravely donned our swimsuit, eaten our fill of watermelon, and even slurped an inaugural snow cone. I am in favor of a shorter summer and longer springs and falls which are gentler seasons, catered to by actual spring and fall clothing lines from Land’s End or L.L. Bean. I sometimes thumb through the catalogs looking longingly at spring sweaters or jackets, but pass them by, knowing I couldn’t wear them more than a day or two. In West Texas, only two seasons are worth your shopping time – hot and cold.
Although I would prefer it not last from April to November, I do like summer. I like the lazier rhythm, homemade ice cream, beach vacations, and long days filled with sunshine — preferably under 100 degrees.
Also, summer means it is time for Caring in Action (CIA) day camps sponsored by Connecting Caring Communities and hosted by CCC’s Young Leaders of Abilene (YLA) leadership group for middle- and high-schoolers. For the third summer, these youths will be spending their summer learning and practicing leadership skills as they lead day camps for the elementary-age children in the College Heights neighborhood. Camps will be held at Grace Fellowship Church at 910 Cypress, Monday through Thursday, from 1-3 pm. (See below for camp dates.)
This year, the campers will be asked to STRETCH their minds and bodies and imaginations and vision. The theme allows us to focus on reading and brain teasers and puzzles and yoga and Zumba and karate and hobbies and careers and community service. These camps are made possible by a Future Fund grant from the Community Foundation of Abilene.
If you are too old for camp, don’t despair. Summer provides opportunities for adults to be leaders in their neighborhood as well. Longer days mean more opportunities to host your neighbors for a backyard barbecue, or collaborate with them for a block party. Check out your neighborhood association and see if you can host an event to get to know more folks and increase your community’s involvement in the association. The list is as endless as the heat of summer. Make the most of it!
- Week 1 – June 12-15
- Week 2 – June 26-29
- Week 3 – July 10-13
- Week 4 – July 24-27
* Campers are encouraged to come all four weeks!