Green Thought: Staycation for Kids

Green Thought: Staycation for Kids

One quintessential summer experience for many young kids and teenagers is packing up and shipping off to camp. And while there are many benefits to going away to summer camp, we like Mike Lanza's alternative ...

Lanza, profiled in this past weekend's SF Chronicle, has turned his Menlo Park, Ca front- and backyard into a sort of informal day camp for neighborhood kids. He's transformed his outdoor places into kid-friendly environments and is inviting neighbors to play freely. And he's even coined the term "Playborhood."

"When I think about my boys' futures, I'm terrified," Lanza says. "I'm not terrified that they will have inferior educations or live in an unsafe world. I'm terrified that they won't have very much fun."

We spent plenty of summers at camp and plenty of summers running around the neighborhood with friends — but it does seem like that joy of just playing outside in your own neighborhood is slowly fading. And we love the idea of preserving it. It builds a sense of community and it encourages the habit of finding what you need nearby.

What do you think? Summercamp or playborhood? What would you choose for your kids?


Image: Lee Suzuki/ The Chronicle

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