When Summer officially ends, camps take on a new life and role! For Pompositticut Farm Day Camp, we shift gears slightly and become a “farm” again where the focus is on the horses and ponies who have devoted their summer to the campers. Like people, they too must keep in shape, eat properly and exercise. It’s a win-win situation for them and the children who continue with horseback riding lessons into these autumn months. In fact, we begin receiving requests for Fall Riding Lessons during the camp season. Families are already anticipating those beautiful autumn days when it is ideal to be involved in outside activities. Gone is the summer humidity, replaced with breathable air, bluer skies and mild evenings.
Afternoons find the farm filled with children who have registered for Fall Riding Lessons. These lessons begin the week of Labor Day and continue right up until Thanksgiving. There are no limitations in age or skill levels for taking lessons, just a desire to learn. Our licensed and skilled instructors are capable of teaching the first-time rider right through to those who are confident in their jumping abilities. Many of our participants are past and present campers who are eager to continue riding those horses/ponies they have been riding during camp.
Apparently, parents are finding they too can enjoy what their children have been experiencing on horseback by taking part in riding lessons themselves. One busy, working mother said she had taken lessons many years ago and this was something special she was “doing just for herself”. She had specifically adjusted her work schedule to take part in these lessons. Along with a friend, these two ladies are exercising, relearning a past skill, sharing time together and setting goals for themselves!
As summer officially ends, so many opportunities abound! The riders are not only learning how to ride but they are learning responsibility, commitment and caring for a living being. They are building upon personal confidence, independence and maturity. They are strengthening friendships, meeting new people and conversing with adults. Summer may have officially “ended”, but for many it’s a new beginning!
As a parent you may not be thinking about your taxes during the summer months. You might be thinking about your much needed vacation or how you are going to keep the kids occupied for the summer. Here is a solution that your kids will love and so will your bank account when the tax bill arrives. Summer Camp!
How is this possible you may ask? Some summer camps specifically day camps such as Pompositticut Farm Day Camp can be used as a tax deductible by qualifying for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. According to TurboTax, “Under the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you may receive a credit up to $1,050 of your expenses for one child under 13 and up to $2,100 for two or more children under 13 and there is no age limit if they are disabled. There is one catch though. Overnight camps do not count.
There are a few qualifications necessary in order for you to save with the Child and Dependent Care Credit as follows:
The care must be provided for a qualifying person who is your dependent under the age of 13 when care was provided. Note: Care may also be provided for your spouse or certain other dependents who are physically and mentally incapable of self-care.
Your child or qualifying person must be in summer camp or daycare so that you can work or look for work.
Your tax filing status must be single, married filing jointly, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with your dependent listed on your tax return.
The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year in question.
The care provider must be identified on your tax return and cannot be your spouse, the parent of your qualifying person, or your dependent child under the age of 19 by the end of the tax year.”
Hopefully this helps to be thinking forward to plans for next summer or using summer camp this year to help with those pesky taxes. Pompositticut Farm Day Camp is happy to provide any of the information you require to complete the Child and Dependent Care Credit on your taxes.
Recently Powerball was in the news due to the extraordinary amount of money a few lucky winners finally won. A BILLION dollars was at stake and it certainly got people thinking about what they would do with the money. I know I gave it consideration, despite the fact I only purchased one ticket on the first go-around.
My thoughts first went to how it would change my life and relationships with friends and family. Then, after the initial dreams of how many luxury items I could afford, my thoughts went to how I could actually spend that money to better mankind. Although it seemed a stretch, would there be a way I could bail out a desperately poor town whose budget needed balancing? How about just building a group of houses in an area ravaged by tornadoes or floods? What about anonymously paying off patients’ medical bills in a hospital? There are so many ways that money could be put to good use with numerous people benefitting instead of just one lucky winner.
Altruism is not something we think about in our everyday lives nor are most of us in the position to afford extreme amounts of charity. Although it seems we all lead busy lives, we could afford to give more of our time. Indeed, even the top Ivy League universities are demanding more of their applicants. Not only is it imperative these perspective college students be in the top percentile of their classes but also that they are well-rounded individuals. Intellect, athleticism and talent certainly might get their foot in the door, but more and more colleges are asking what a student has contributed to society as a factor in determining who is accepted. Have they volunteered or donated their time and effort to a charitable cause? Have they put their egos aside to help those less fortunate or in need of comfort? Have they proven they have the potential of being not only a doctor, or scientist but a caring, empathetic citizen? It’s something we all could take a look at inwardly and consider whether we are all doing our very best.
Here at Pompositticut the opportunity to give back and help others in need was created several years ago. With the passing of Jackie’s Mom in 2012, the founder/director became personally aware of the hardships and challenges cancer patients face when undergoing chemotherapy. As a result Jackie established a scholarship program entitled “Serving More Kids” or SMK, with the ultimate goal of providing a wholesome camp experience for children whose custodial caregiver will be undergoing cancer treatment during the summer months. This is basically the only criteria required to apply and we encourage anyone who may know of a friend or family member going through this process to do so. Applications for these annual scholarships are available on the camp’s website.
It may not be a billion dollars, but if we all contributed in some small way it would eventually add up. Who knows, it may even feel like a billion dollars to the person on the receiving end!
There are many reasons why all children should experience summer camp in their lifetime. Camp provides children the chance to meet new people, try new things, lean new skills, challenge themselves, have a change of pace from daily life and of course have FUN!
Camp is a safe place where children come and meet new friends who may not be in their neighborhood or school circle. They can interact with children from different backgrounds, cultures, and ages. This allows them to expand their world view through new friends and look forward to coming back each year to reconnect with their camp friends, some of whom will become lifelong relationships.
Summer camp is always a fun and exciting environment where hard working staff provides new activities and games that children might not have a chance to experience in their daily lives. Children could discover they love archery, acting, dancing, horseback riding, or even participating in a ropes challenge course. Along with discovering and trying these new activities they may also learn new skills along the way. These activities and the camp environment foster skills such as independence, cooperation, compromise, and working as a team to only name a few. These are invaluable skills that not only help your child with camp life but throughout their entire life.
Camp life and activities also provide a place where children can challenge themselves in a safe and supportive environment. Here there are many activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and ropes challenge course where children build upon their skills and can push themselves without a competitive atmosphere.
These days so much of children’s lives revolve around technology and computers. Camp provides a completely different environment where children are unplugged from the tech world and can enjoy friends, nature, and physical activity. This change of pace from a child’s daily routine allows them to relax and have fun along with stretching their legs and enjoying the many great things the outdoors provides.
Best of all Summer camp is a place for children to have fun. They can let loose and be themselves without the worry of being judged by peers or confined by a particular stereotype. Each summer as camp staff, we look forward to having fun as well and seeing the smiling faces and excited laughter of the children arriving to camp to have another great summer. Click Here to refer a friend to PFDC so they can experience the joys of camp.