As my daughters have gotten a little older, sending them to day care for the summer seems like an unsatisfactory experience. They would definitely receive excellent care, get to know people over the summer and have some fun adventures. However in researching summer camps, there is just so much more out there.
In addition to sports specific camps (gymnastics, volleyball, baseball, football), there are arts camps (art, drama, music), outdoors camps, and even chess camps. These are spread out all over Denver and Boulder. The prices range from as low as $150/week to as high as $355/week. The less expensive camps are often subsidized by the city and the more expensive camps are typically offered by private organizations
In browsing camps, it is easy to slip into the dream of a 12 week sabbatical where I could choose from a variety of 1-3 week long adventures. I could very easily see myself doing a week of kayak camp, rock climbing camp, archery camp, rowing camp, tennis camp, robotics camp, and creative writing camp, I could extend this list ad infinitum.
However for the kids I am trying to balance a sense of continuity with some new adventures. The locations need to be convenient for me and my wife and they have to accept kids as young as 6 years old. We also have to balance costs.
It would also be nice to coordinate with some of their classmates so that they have a friend. Although camp staff is certainly well intentioned, they may not always do a great job of bring kids together over the course of a 1 week period.
All of this ends up being a logistical nightmare and I am probably not going to ask the girls what they are in the mood to do for the summer. In my day, all we did was play with the neighborhood kids all summer and take a summer vacation. The days passed with bike rides, fishing, exploring the woods, and playing basketball. Downtime consisted of watching television and playing board games.