This summer is going to be a memorable one in a way that we’ve never imagined. We spend the months of the school year planning for these two months that are set aside to be all kinds of different – different routines, different activities and different surroundings. These differences is what makes summer special and that’s why we plan for it, dream about and countdown to it for 10 months of the year.

This summer is a whole new kind of different though and it’s begging for something special. We’ve all be at home isolating for a while now – months actually – so the uniqueness of summer is not as simple as relaxed routines and the freedom from rushing from one place to another whether that’s school, work, activities and events. We need our summer Plan B.

In the spirit of go big OR go home, here are 5 go big AND stay home ideas for Plan B.

1. Backyard Camping

Pick a day,  put it on the calendar to go camping. You can put all of those summer camp(ing) essentials to use and set up in the backyard to eat, play and sleep in the fresh air under the stars. If you want to be really serious about it, pack your food in a cooler, barbeque your dinner and pretend that the house is not accessible (except maybe for the washroom). Don’t forget the marshmallows and the bug spray.

Summer Activity

2. Throw a dinner party

Host a fancy dinner party with all the trimmings on your deck for a special occasion or just because. Bring out the holiday dishes, glasses and tablecloth and set a fabulous table to set the mood. Create and print a menu, place cards and invitations. Pick a theme and set the mood with decorations and music. Dress for the party, go for a walk around the block and show up to the party.

Summer Activities

3. DIY Backyard Movie Theatre

This one takes a bit extra everything, but it’s fabulous and you will be the envy of all your neighbours and your friends on Instagram. Check out this video with step-by-step instructions on how to turn your backyard into an outdoor movie theatre.

Full list of supplies and step-by-step instructions Here: 

4. Recreate Camp Traditions

There is no place like home camp. For those among us who literally grew up at camp, summer is all about being that place, with those people and doing those things. But if camp taught us anything, it taught us to be creative, resilient and free. Live that at home and recreate some of your camp traditions at home. Drop your usual roles and become a counselor instead of a parent and plan special campy days – gather for morning rituals, do a few activities, go on a hike and sing for your lunch.

Camp is also about special theme days and those can be recreated at home too. One day every summer at Camp Gesher is set aside for Rev Day. It’s actually short for Revolution or Revolt but could also Reversal because it’s the day that the campers take over the camp for the whole day and are in charge of all activities and meals. It is always a surprise and is announced in a big way – disrupting the morning gathering at the flagpole. This would be a really fun thing to do at home. Talk to your kids and encourage them to plan their own surprise family Rev Day at home and let them put together a full day where your family roles are reversed and they are ‘in charge’.

Summer Activities - Recreate Camp Traditions

5. Embrace Digital Connection

At this very moment, we don’t know what is in store for the summer and how many people we will be able to gather with at a time. What we know for sure, is that our kids aren’t going to camp and that they miss their friends – their camp friends and their ‘city’ friends too. Encourage them to plan special social get-togethers online. Physical Distancing doesn’t have to mean Social Distancing. This can be as big as organizing activities that they can do together or simply setting time to be together.

If camp is about community and community is about connecting, we can keep it strong by embracing the opportunities to do this online. On Saturday nights many camps are hosting Havdallah programs on zoom that are filled with familiar elements, stories and songs. Pick one and connect from your backyard to start your week. You’ll be glad you did.

Summer Activities - Digital Activities


Consider these ideas as a starter list to get you thinking about how you can go big and stay home this summer. Let’s make it a memorable-in-a-good-way one.

Let’s keep this list going and growing! Let us know what big ideas you have for the summer of 2020.