Birmingham Parent February 2018

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ed note HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH February is the littlest month with the most going on! Valentine’s Day, and for us, our big camp issue and Birmingham Parent’s Camp Expo event on February 24, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the McWane Science Center. But this month also is a great time to teach your children about the achievements of African-Americans throughout our country’s history. Birmingham is full of tangible black history, though not all of it is positive. However, it IS our history – good, bad and ugly. There is the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church downtown, where four precious little girls lost their lives in 1963, in a racially motivated church bombing. 1963 was also the year of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that school children still recite today. Birmingham is graced with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute downtown ( for a look back at black history in Birmingham, from the time of the Jim Crow laws in 1896 with “separate but equal” legislation, to the abolition of school segregation with Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. The BCRI brings it to life for children too young to remember, and it is right across from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Not far away and worth the drive is the George Washington Carver Museum at Tuskegee Institute ( as well as the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery ( And of course, there is Rickwood Field ( in Birmingham, the oldest professional baseball park in the United States and where the Black Barons played when baseball, like most of the country, was segregated. So this month as you celebrate Valentine’s Day, National Dental Month, and all the other special days, it’s a great time to visit the living history of African-Americans, right here in Birmingham and in Alabama. Happy February!

P.O. Box 326 (add 800 Hwy. 52 E. for pkg) Helena, AL 35080 205-987-7700 205-987-7600 FAX

editorial PUBLISHERS David & Carol Evans EDITOR Carol Muse Evans ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lori Chandler Pruitt OFFICE ASSISTANTS Bethany Adams Hunley, Kate Hankins CALENDAR Lori Chandler Pruitt E-BLASTS Lacey Updegraff CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Vivian Friedman, Charles Ghigna, Dr. Corey Hartman, Stephanie Rodda, Marie Pittman, Md, Tiffany Doerr Guerzon, Christina Katz, Elena Epstein, Yvonne Jasinski


art & production Carol Muse Evans Publisher/Editor


ABOUT THE EDITORS: Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabama-based parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in readership of the digital edition online. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also has written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Alabaster. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Alabama Media Professionals and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA). Evans also serves on the board of directors of Childcare Resources. Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent, where she is responsible for the calendar and editorial editing. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children. 4 | birminghamparent | february 2018

BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN200694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or editor@birminghamparent. com. Birmingham Parent is © 2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.

Life is busy enough already. But when you or a loved one is sick, it makes everything harder. That’s why Brookwood Baptist Health offers the largest primary and specialty care network in the state, with convenient locations all over central Alabama. We’re there for fevers, injuries, vaccinations, women’s care, chronic condition management, and everything in between. For convenient care, backed by all the resources and expertise of Brookwood Baptist Health, let our family care for yours. Book Online at or call (205) 967-1772.

Comprehensive, compassionate care, close to home. | 5

contents The Well-rounded Camper: 14+ Life Skills Kids Build While Away From Home page 28

Feeling anxious about sending your child away to camp this summer? Fret no more. This list of life skills re-


minds you of all the reasons to send kids to camp in the first place.

our focus

our features

our regulars



EDITOR’S NOTE Black History Month..........................4

Camp Expo Comes to McWane Science Center Feb. 24.................12


Birmingham Parent’s 2018 Summer Camp Directory............... 14

Short Stuff........................................... 8

How to Make Your FoodAllergic Kid a Happy Camper......22

PRODUCTS WE LOVE: Great New Items from NAPPA.....10

How to Handle Bedwetting at Sleep Away Camp...................... 24 The Well-rounded Camper: 14+ Life Skills Kids Build While Away from Home................28 Schedule Local Summer Activities and Avoid the Summer Slide...................................30

PARENTING with Dr. Friedman...............................7

DINING WITHOUT WHINING: Flemings is Fantastic for a Valentine’s Day Date Night..........38 Help Your Child Prepare for the First Visit to the Dentist.......................... 34

HEALTHY SKIN IS BEYOND BEAUTIFUL Cancer Fighting Foods.................. 42

FAITH: Prayer Force United......... 43

ASK THE SPECIALIST Winter Blues.....................................44


CALENDAR OF EVENTS............... 47

How to Make a Camping Trip a Success..................................52

POETRY PARTY Love....................................................54

ON OUR COVER: Elijah, age, 11, tries out Mountain High Outfitters ( climbing wall, available for parties and other events. Elijah is a student at Shades Mountain Elementary. Climbing walls have become a fun activity for kids, and many camps are also now offering this activity. Photo by His Hands Photographs, Samantha Ferguson,, 205-862-3374.


Parenting with Dr. Friedman Q:

I am a high school marching band student. I am the section leader

of the clarinets. There is a student in my section whose mother forces him to be in the band when he doesn’t want to be there. The result is that he doesn’t practice or even try in class and he is the worst player that we have. This week I was in the band room helping my band director sort music and put it away for the summer. This mother dropped by with her son and wanted him to help us. He refused. She told the band director that she would force him to continue band because she thought it would help him grow up and become more responsible. Does this work?

Children lack adult perspective on how the world works. Because they have limited experience, it is often helpful for the parent to expose a child to new opportunities. The question is how long to require the child to continue an activity that he doesn’t enjoy right away. Some activities are difficult at first but become pleasurable when the child attains proficiency. Piano lessons are an example of this. Many adults find themselves glad that a parent urged them to practice and urged them to stick with lessons. Conversely, many adults are sorry that they were allowed to quit.

This said, it is also true that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. If the child is determined not to acquire a given skill, he will never become proficient. A child who is rebelling against being required by a parent to attend will not get the full benefit of the experience. Generally, it is best for a parent to expose a child to new adventures but to back off if after a time he continues to dislike it. Forcing a child to dance, play an instrument or play a sport that he doesn’t enjoy will lead to a power struggle and often, to passive resistance. In the case of group activities such as band, it also harms the other students. When the activity is a group performance, the rebelling child lessens the experience and the success for all. Occasionally a parent forces a child to participate in an activity that has special meaning for the parent. A football playing dad or a musician mom might place high value on his or her child continuing what they themselves did as a teenager. Sharing those things that brought the parent pleasure can be a positive thing, but not if the child’s skills and interests don’t lie in the same area. It is probably best to lead the horse to water and to watch and see if he will drink, backing off if he doesn’t. Requiring a child to participate in band might make sense for one year but probably not indefinitely. If after a year of being exposed to the opportunity he still doesn’t like it, it is probably wise to try something else. Using arts and sports experiences to help a child mature will not work if the child is fighting the plan. A child who doesn’t practice

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S


2018 View our Camp Expo camps online, see photos & videos and visit their sites!

and who marches in the wrong direction will not become more mature. Maturity tends to come with time, and for some children, with the treatment of underlying psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit disorder or depression. A careful assessment of the nature and causes of the problem might lead to a more targeted intervention.

Vivian K. Friedman Ph. D. is a child and family psychologist at UAB, Department of Psychiatry. Send questions for response in this column to No personal replies are sent.

SEEING CLEARLY STARTS HERE Call and schedule an appointment today. Now accepting Blue Cross, Davis, Superior, Spectera, Met Life, All Kids, Cigna, Tri Care, Avesis and many other insurance plans.

205-987-2308 | 2122 Old Montgomery Hwy. | Pelham, AL 35124 | 7

S H O RT STU FF SHERIFF’S CORNER Protect Your Pets in Cold Weather By Sheriff Mike Hale Cold weather is here! Just as we protect ourselves from the elements, we need to give thought to our pets and their safety and comfort. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure your pet has plenty of water to drink will help keep your dog or cat well-hydrated and their skin less dry. Make sure your companion friend has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect. Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside and out of the cold. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death. Having a pet is a big responsibility. Be responsible and take care of those who can’t help themselves. You can report animals left unattended to the Sheriff’s Office.

PBS Kids Has New App for Families with 3-5 Year Olds PBS KIDS has launched a free new app available on iOS and Android devices, designed specifically for parents and caregivers of 3-5 year olds. Following the success of the first Play & Learn app, which launched in 2013, the bilingual (English and Spanish) Play & Learn Science! app helps parents and caregivers: · Build on a child’s natural curiosity about his or her everyday experiences to extend the learning into the real world. · Engage with their children to reinforce and build foundational skills in science inquiry. · Create educational, bonding moments with their child; the in-app games can be done together and replicated around the house or neighborhood to create shared experiences. · Generate dialogue for conversations they can have with their kids to help guide them to develop the skills, thinking and language of science inquiry. For information on the app, go to

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Thank you Gardendale Mount Vernon UMC and Trinity UMC for your support. Visit and signup for a recurring monthly donation to BLESS A LOCAL FAMILY Businesses, local organizations & individuals all welcome!


Science from Scientists and Murata Launch The SpectacuLAB at Walt Disney World Resort Science from Scientists, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and inspiring children to solve real-world problems by improving literacy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), announced the opening of The SpectacuLAB in the Epcot Innoventions Pavilion, located at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Designed in collaboration with leading electronic components manufacturer Murata and Disney Parks Live Entertainment, The SpectacuLAB is an all-new experience featuring live demonstrations from the organization’s programs that bring to life the wonders of science and innovation in an amusing and engaging way. The SpectacuLAB will be open during Epcot park hours. For additional details about the show, go to For more information about Science from Scientists, visit | 9


Great New Items FROM NAPPA By Elena Epstein

QUICK & HEALTHY MEALS One Potato ($78-$130, provides families with organic and local pre-prepped ingredients, plus simple step-by-step instructions to make delicious meals. Kits include tips on how to get kids involved and excited with cooking, and free organic cookie dough in every box. Special pricing is available for kids’ meals.

MAKE COLOR The Crayola Silly Scents Marker Maker ($14.99, shop., ages 6+) gives kids the tools to create their own set of markers in custom colors and scents. The kit includes everything needed to design, assemble, and store 16 fruity scented markers, as well as Scratch & Sniff stickers and blank sticker sheets.

FAMILY FUN The all-new Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition ($129,, ages 3-12) gives you access to 15,000 age-appropriate books, videos, apps, games, and a kid-friendly web browser, plus an 8” HD display, quad-core processor, and up to 12 hours of battery life. Parents can manage and customize up to four child profiles, set bedtime curfews, and control screen time and content.

BE COMFY Milk Boss from Itzy Ritzy ($24.99,, ages birth – 24 months) is an infant feeding support, burping pillow and arm cushion all in one. Its unique, rolling egg shape finds the perfect position for baby’s feeding and its lightweight, compact, portable and machine washable. 10 | birminghamparent | february 2018

READ & LEARN PBS KIDS 100 Words for Toddlers ($9.99,, ages 2-3) is designed to help toddlers make their very first phrases. Curated by child development experts at PBS KIDS, this picture-packed board book empowers kids to identify and connect items in the book with what they see around them.


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Camp Expo Comes to McWane Science Center Feb. 24 By Carol Muse Evans

Birmingham Parent has worked with the McWane Science Center and sponsors to bring you a new destination version of the long-running Camp Expo, a day for parents to find out what their kids might want to do during the summer, whether it be day camp, away camp or something in between. Birmingham Parent’s 2018 Camp Expo, Presented by the YMCA of Birmingham and sponsored by 93.7 WDJC, Alabama Cable Network, Mountain High Outfitters and Camping World, will be Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at McWane Science Center, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission to the event is FREE through the EVENT ENTRANCE on Level C of the Parking Decking by the elevator. Those who want to enjoy the McWane Center Adventure Halls that day can register online at www., while supplies last, and the first 100 to register will get two tickets into the McWane that day for FREE. This year’s event will feature an entertainment stage with local entertainment throughout the event, great camp and summer program exhibitors and big prize giveaways every half hour. There’s free facepainting with the Face Painting Fairy,

too. See a great camper from event sponsor Camping World out front on the plaza. Birmingham Parent is seeking additional sponsors and vendors for this event. It’s not too late! For more information, call 205987-7700; email info@birminghamparent. com or visit directory/camp-expo-exhibitors.

Admission to the event is FREE through the EVENT ENTRANCE on the LEVEL C of the parking deck by elevator.

Pioneer offers a world of opportunities for your child to play, learn, and grow in a safe and loving environment.



2262 Chapel Rd, Hoover, AL 35226 (205) 823-2431 . 12 | birminghamparent | february 2018




The YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s sleepaway camp, Camp Cosby, offers a one-week, co-ed, safe and structured experience for children ages 6 to 16 on the shores of Logan Martin Lake. At Camp Cosby children play hard, make new friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime in a safe, fun and structured environment. Located on 135 acres nestled in east Alabama, Camp Cosby provides the perfect atmosphere for Sleepaway Camp, Outdoor Education, Family Events and Retreats. On the shores of Lake Logan Martin campers, students and guests enjoy beautiful shorelines, amazing sunsets and 10 miles of hiking trails.

Visit our website for camp details at





730 George Roy Pkwy. | CALERA, AL | 866.906.6548 | *Based on 2016 Statistical Surveys. © 2018 FreedomRoads, LLC. CAMPING WORLD Logo is a registered trademark of CWI, Inc. and used with permission. Unauthorized use of any of CWI, Inc.’s trademarks is expressly prohibited. All rights reserved. CLE01226-0118 | 13

BIRMINGHAM PARENT'S 2018 SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY Day Camps Advent Episcopal School 2019 Sixth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203-2701 205-252-2535 summer Dates: June- July • Panther Camp Ages: K- 3rd Grade • Summer Solstice Ages: 4th-8th Grade Our summer programs offer students a wide variety of activities and classes during the day, such as art, basketball, swimming, chess, Chinese & more. Celebrate summer with Advent! Alabama Ballet 2726 First Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-322-4300 • Junior Camp June 25-July 6 Ages: 8-12 $285 -1 week Or $475-2 weeks • Tutus & Tiaras July 16-July 20 July 23-July 27 Ages: 4-7 $250 weekly Offering 2 camp options where dancers will take age appropriate dance classes - ballet, theatre dance, modern, tap & jazz. Younger classes will create ballet-oriented crafts. Family performances held on the last day. Alabama School of Fine Arts Summer Program 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-9241 Dates: June 4-22 Ages 7 - 15 “S.T.E.A.M. through Summer” with ASFA programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Camps for creative writing, dance, music, theatre arts, visual art, math-science and computer science/game design. Specific descriptions, fees, dates, times at Aldridge Gardens Summer Camps 3530 Lorna Rd. Hoover, AL 35216 205-682-8019

Dates: June 4-June 29 Ages: 5K- 5th grade June will be a full month long of excitement, entertainment and, of course, education at Aldridge Gardens. We have plenty of camps to choose from for boys and girls. All teachers have Alabama Certification in Education. Birmingham Dance Theatre 1694 Montgomery Hwy. Suite 200 Hoover, AL 35216 ​205-​822-3012 ​ Dates: June & July Ages: 2-18​ Offering beginner-advanced dance classes in hip-hop, jazz, ballet, cheer/dance team prep, tumbling, plus special Toddler Camps and preschool ballet & tap classes. Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-254-2565 Dates: June and July The only summer experience that gives your camper immediate access to our collection of original artworks from around the world! Give your child a summer of endless inspiration! Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 205-397-3877 Spring Dates: March 26 – 30 Summer Dates: weekly, day June 4 - Aug. 3 Ages: Entering 4K -12th grade Experience up-close animal encounters, hands-on science activities and nature play. The best place for summer learning and fun is a Birmingham Zoo Camp! BOOST Kids Occupational Therapy & Yoga Explore & Inspire Summer Camp! 1623 2nd Ave. N., Suite F Birmingham, AL 35223 205-767-9207 Dates: July 9-13 (ages 3-6) and July 16-20 (ages 7-12) Organized and run by an occupational therapist, this camp ad-

14 | birminghamparent | february 2018

dresses social skills, coordination, and self-regulation with different fun themes daily! Kiddos explore to be inspired: Music Monday, Science Tuesday, Sports Wednesday, Cooking Thursday, Yoga Friday. Camp Couture 2024 Morris Ave. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-250-5232 Dates: June 4- July 27 Ages: 5-16 Camp Couture is a fashion-focused summer day camp. Designed and created by fashion designer, Project Runway alum, and TLC TV host, Heidi Elnora. Camp Couture gives young people the knowledge to explore their design dreams. Camp Fliptastic At Head Over Heels Gymnastics 500 Caldwell Mill Trace Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-2720 • Mity Mites - Ages 3-6 June 5-7 & July 10-12 • Camp Fliptastic - Ages 5-12 June 11-15 & July 16-20 • Circus Camp - Ages 6-14 June 18-22 • Ninja Camp - Ages 6-12 June 25-29 • Science of Motion Gymnastics Camp - Ages 8-14 July 23-27 • Combo- Circus/Gymnastics/ Ninja Camp - Ages 6-12 July 30-Aug 1 Daily themes, fantastic staff, creative crafts, circus arts and plenty of gymnastics make our summer camp all day fun!!

• SESSION 1: June 4 – 8 ($295) • SESSION 2: June 11-15 ($295) • SESSION 3: June 18-22 ($295) Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM Ages: 7-17 This summer theatre intensive is designed to give children the opportunity to explore all aspects of working in live theatre with classes offered in: acting, singing, dancing, hip-hop, improv, stage-combat and more! The Dance Foundation 1715 27th Court S. Homewood, AL 35209 205-870-0073 Our non-competitive dance education nurtures creativity, engages the imagination, and promotes social and developmental skills in a safe and enriching environment for self-expression and collaboration.

Camp Indian Springs 190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs Village, AL 35124 205-260-8548 Dates: May 29-July 27 Ages: 5-13 Campers are active and engaged in outdoor and indoor play as well as off-campus activities designed to entertain, develop and promote growth in each camper.

Discovery Hall Programs Day Camps 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, Alabama 36608 • Oceans Alive! (ages 5-8) June 8, July 13, or July 30 • BIO Blitz (ages 8-10) June 15, July 12, or July 31 Survivor: Dauphin Island (ages 10-13) June 14, July 13, or August 1 Reel in a hands-on adventure with Discovery Hall Programs summer day camps. Fresh Air Family’s Gross Out Camp P.O. Box 321038 Birmingham, AL 35232 205-540-6642 Dates: Summer 2018 Ages: 1st- 4th grades Gross Out Camp is an award-winning science camp focusing on hands-on field biology with creek walks, animal shows, icky chemistry, and stinky experiments. Multiple locations for your convenience. Nothing is more fun than learning!

Camp VST at Virginia Samford Theatre 1116 26th Street S. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-251-1228 vststars/camp-vst

Hands-On at the Hillsboro School - Camps 73 Elvira Rd. Helena Al. 35080 205-864-7330 Hands-on fun--what every child continued on page 16




Art Studio for Teens • Grades 6-8 • June 4-8 Bulldog Art Camp • Grades 1-5 • June 25-29

Adventures in Music Camp • Grades 1–12 Session I: Piano • June 11-15 Session II: Piano and Voice • July 9-13 Music and Art for Minis • Ages 4-6 • July 16-20

Writing Camp for Teens & Tweens • Ages 11–15 Session I: June 18-22 Session II: July 23-27

Register Now! 205-726-2739

730 George Roy Pkwy., Calera, AL 35040 888-710-6513 • Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time traveler, the call to roam lives in all of us. That’s why Camping World wants to help you find the RV that’s best for your needs, deliver the service that will keep it running like new, and carry all of the accessories that make for a memorable travel experience. No matter where you are or what happens on your RV journey, we’ll be there. We can help you get on the road to your next adventure! Shop thousands of RVs, suitable for any lifestyle and budget. We will find you the perfect RV! With over 10,000 innovative products for RVers, plus new and used RV Sales, professional installation, maintenance and collision repair, Camping World has everything you need. Visit a shop online today! Why Choose Camping World? Being recognized as the #1 dealer in the nation by Statistical Surveys, Inc means we offer the best prices, the most floor plans, the best brands, and unbeatable financing rates and terms that are exclusive to Camping World. | 15

BIRMINGHAM PARENT'S 2018 SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY wants! Children experience joy and wonder as they explore nature, science, and art on our 30 acre campus.Weekly June camps for ages 3-11. What your hands do, your mind remembers. Highlands School Summer Camp 4901 Old Leeds Rd. Birmingham, AL 35213 205-956-9731 June 4th –July 27 (except July 4th week) Ages: 4K-8th Arts, sports, science and more for elementary-8th grade. Campers continue to learn while having a great time! Traditional day camps. Morning and afternoon extended care. Check out our Counselor-in-Training program! Hoover Met Complex Summer Sports Camp 100 Ben Chapman Dr. Hoover, AL 35244 205-739-7364 Campers will play a variety of traditional sports including basketball, flag football, soccer & volleyball. These will help build the foundation for physical skills, teamwork and most importantly…fun! Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy Summer Camp 5509 Timber Hill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242 Starting June 4 Ages: Preschool and elementary students Offers interactive and creative summer camps designed to engage children in meaningful and fun summer activities. Relax and EXPERIENCE summer on our peaceful wooded campus. Kidcam Summer Day Camp at Oak Mtn. State Park Pelham, AL 35124 877-4KIDCAM

Dates: May 29 - August 3 Ages: 5-13 Swimming, Arts, Sports, Hiking, Golfing, Boating, Archery, Geocaching, Nature, Outdoor Playgrounds & countless activities. Making Summers Rock for over 44 years! McWane Science Center 200 19th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8414 Dates: June 4- Aug. 3 (except July 2-6) Half Day: PreK & Kindergarten Full Day: 1st - 7th Grade Fun and learning never end during the summer at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum with aquarium and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder. Odyssey Early Sch​ools • Inverness Campus 104 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-0039

• Trace Crossings Campus 401 Emery Dr. Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-8829 Created by educators featuring ​state-of-the-art facilities​, nurturing teachers ​with Education degrees, and comprehensive curriculum ​that provides your child with age appropriate exploration into the world of learning. Pioneer Playschool 2262 Chapel Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-823-2431 There is no place like Pioneer for summer fun! Our summer-care program is packed with all kinds of activities including optional daily field trips and special events on site. Call today to reserve your spot. Red Mountain Theatre Company’s ​Summer Theatre Camps 3028 Seventh Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-324-2424

2018 Summer Camps BIRMINGHAM’S PREMIER DAYCARE & PRESCHOOL ---------------------------------Preschool Teachers with Degrees in Early Childhood Education ---------------------------------Exceeds All State-Student Ratio Standards ---------------------------------Professionally Developed Age-Appropriate Curriculum ---------------------------------Free Internet Video Monitoring ---------------------------------Music, Spanish, Computer & Gymnastics/Dance ---------------------------------Best Playground in Birmingham ---------------------------------LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE. FOR CHILDREN 6 WEEKS THROUGH 3rd GRADE





C A L L A N D S C H E D U L E Y O U R O N S I T E T O U R T O D AY I N V E R N ESS C A M PUS: 20 5 -9 91- 0 039 TR ACE CROSSINGS C AMPUS: 205-988-8829

W W W.O DY S S E Y E A R LY S C H O O L .CO M 16 | birminghamparent | february 2018 education/ Dates: June and July Ages: 4-18 RMTC has many fun camps including favorites Broadway Bootcamp and All Aboard the Hogwarts Express. Camps take place in June & July. Visit www. for more details! ​ Space One Eleven 2409 Second Ave. N Birmingham, AL 35203-3809 205-328-0553 Camp Dates: June 4-8 (grades 6-12) June 11-15 (grades 6-12) June 18-22 (grades 2-5) June 25-29 (grades 2-5) July 9-13 (grades 6-12) July 16-20 (grades 6-12) July 23-27 (grades 2-5) SOE offers weeklong art camps in a variety of mediums from drawing and painting to motion graphics. Taught by professional

artists, SOE’s camps will spark the imaginations of young artists in grades 2 through 12. St. Francis Music Academy 3545 Cahaba Valley Rd. Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-988-4371 Dates: June & July Ages: All ages St. Francis Music Academy offers the highest quality music instruction and performance opportunities to students of all ages by providing creative and inspiring musical activities and educational programs in a safe Christian environment. Summer@Springs 190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-332-0579 Dates: May 30–July 27 Ages: Rising 4th graders through high school Offering a wide range of academ-

ic enrichment courses—ACT Prep, Wetlands Ecology, Leadership Development, Summer Social Entrepreneurship Institute and more. Taught by accomplished educators, courses are designed to be fun, adventurous, and enriching. The Academy of the Arts at Samford University 1939 South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-2739 • Art Studio for Teens Grades 6-8 June 4-8 • Bulldog Art Camp Grades 1-5 June 25-29 • Adventures in Music Grades 1-12 • Session I: Piano June 11-15 • Session II: Piano & Voice July 9-13 • Music and Art for Minis Ages 4-6 July 16-20

• Writing Camp for Teens & Tweens Ages 11–15 Session I: June 18-22 Session II: July 23-27 Samford University Academy of the Arts offers camps for art, music and writing. Register NOW! For more information on each camp, visit our website at go/aota Tiger Rock Martial Arts 5426 US-280 Birmingham Al. 35242 205-981-7777 Tiger Rock Martial Arts - teaching life skills and personal development. Try our $38 Intro Course: 3 trial lessons and a training uniform. UAB Rec Center Summer Camp 1501 University Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35294 Dates: May 29-August 10 Ages: 5-12 continued on page 18

Pre-K - 8th Grade


Your children will have fun this summer while learning something new and exciting! Whether they choose our hands-on,mind-challenging, and body-stretching SummerSolstice classes or our traditional full-day Panther Camp, each week will be a new adventure!

COME A ! h MAKE Splas

Advent Episcopal School 2019 6th Avenue North Downtown Birmingham (205) 252-2535 | 17

BIRMINGHAM PARENT'S 2018 SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY Our same great summer camp program with a variety of new weekly themes and activities! Age-appropriate programming groups and all campers will experience games, rock wall, swimming, craft activities, on-campus field trips and much more! YMCA Birmingham PRESENTING SPONSOR Day Camps • Alabaster - 663.7240 • Camp Cosby - 1.800.85COSBY • Greystone - 981.0144 • Hargis Retreat - 678.6512 • Hoover - 682.1399 • Mountain Brook - 870.0144 • Northeast - 833.7616 • Pelham - 664.9622 • Shades Valley - 870.9622 • Trussville - 655.2224 • Vestavia - 823.0144 • Youth Center - 324.1643 There’s no place like Y Day Camp. A home away-from home where children laugh, learn, explore and grow. Over 1900 kids in the Birmingham area attend our camps - to belong, achieve and build relationships.

Overnight Camps Barrier Island Explorer 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, Alabama 36608 Ages: Rising 5th-6th graders Dates: June 3-6, June 10-13, or July 8-11 In this three-night camp campers will experience many of the wonders of the Gulf Coast region, in a fun and unique sleep-away setting. Stay in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria, make great friends and enjoy evening fun with your counselors. Baylor Summers 171 Baylor School Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37405 June & July Residential ages: 7-15 Our different camps specialize in: FUN/Sports (general), Boarding School Sampler, Outdoors, Sports (specific), Business & Reading/ Writing. Camp Juliette Low 321 Camp Juliette Low Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 770-428-1062

Dates: 1& 2 wk. sessions June 3-July 28 Ages: girls 7-17 Platform tents, outdoor adventure, traditional camping, fun and friendship since 1922! An independent, residential camp for girls that fosters self-confidence, independence, teamwork, & leadership on Lookout Mountain, just 2 hours north of Birmingham. Camp Maranatha 1091 Jeffery Rd Scottsboro, AL 35769 256-574-4539 Maranatha exists to connect people to God through his creation so that they may be transformed for God’s purpose in their lives. Camp Marymount 1318 Fairview Blvd. Fairview, TN 37062 615-799-0410 Camp Marymount provides a unique experience based in nature, simplicity, and community while allowing a child to play outdoors and develop relationships the way God intended when he created “friends.” Camp of the Rising Son 444 Lake Rd. French Camp, MS 39745 662-547-6169 Dates: June 10 – July 21 Ages: 6-17 Campers ages 6-17 come to have fun, unplug, engage creation hands on, make new friends and experience the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Gulf Island Journey 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, Alabama 36608 Ages: Rising 7th-9th grades Dates: June 3-8, June 24-29, July 1-6, or July 22-27 This week-long residential camp is geared toward rising 7th through 9th graders. Campers will learn about the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Mobile Bay from experienced marine science educators, while immersing themselves in a variety of hands-on and in-the-field activities.

18 | birminghamparent | february 2018

Helen Keller School of Alabama Summer Assessment Camp 1101 Fort Lashley Ave. Talladega, AL 35160 256-761-3251 Dates: June 10-June 15 Ages: 3-19 This no-cost, six-day, life-skills camp is designed for students who are sensory impaired, multi-disabled, functioning significantly below grade level, and interested in potential enrollment at HKS. Limited spaces available. Lyman Ward Military Academy Adventure Camp & Military Leadership Camp 174 Ward Circle Camp Hill, AL 36850 800-789-9151 Do you possess the necessary skills too survive a Zombie Apocalypse? Check out our schedule of exciting camps at www.lwma. org - under Summer Programs! Marine DeTECHtives 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, Alabama 36608 Ages: Rising 6th-8th grade Dates: June 20-22 Calling all technology sleuths! If you are interested in robotics and engineering then this camp is for you! In this 3-day, 2-night camp students will bring out their inner deTECHtive to discover ‘what is technology?’ Marine Science High School Course 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, Alabama 36608 Ages: Current 9th-12th grade Dates: June 10 - July 6 The Marine Science Course is an intense 4-week academic class which introduces high school students to the marine environment. The course gives students a better understanding and appreciation of the various fields in marine science. Ponderosa Bible Camp 1018 Co. Rd. 734 Mentone, AL 35984 256-634-4397 256-634-3087 (fax) June 10-15 (ages 7-12) June 17-22 (ages 7-12) June 24-29 (ages 11-13) July 1-6 (Teens 13-19) Ponderosa offers affordable, weeklong overnight summer camps. Sessions are available by age groups, starting at age 7. Ponderosa’s purpose is to help boys and girls know the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior. Riverview Camp for Girls P.O. Box 299 Mentone, AL 35984 256-634-4043 Dates: May 27- July 27 Ages: Girls 6-16 Riverview is located 1½ hours north of Birmingham on top of breathtaking Lookout Mountain. With over 20 activities choices and recreational opportunities, campers and parents will be pleased with the quality of our program. Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp 606 Valley View Ranch Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 706-862-2231 Dates: June 3- August 3 Ages: Girls 8-17 Horse lovers’ paradise since 1954! A’top Lookout Mountain, for 50 girls; English, Western, Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. Spend 4-6 hours daily with your OWN camp horse. WinShape Overnight Camp in North Georgia Mountains WinShape Camp for Boys Truett-McConnell College 100 Alumni Drive Cleveland, GA 30528 WinShape Camp for Girls Young Harris College 1 College St. Young Harris, GA 30582 1-844-WS-CAMPS http:/ Sessions: 8 Dates: June 4- July 28 Boys: completed 1st- 6th grade Girls: completed 1st- 8th grade Created by the Founder of Chick-fil-A, WinShape Camps are 1-week overnight camps that provide campers to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually through activities such as outdoor adventure, performing & visual arts, science, sports, and worship.


Day & Overnight Camps

Alabama School of Math and Science 1255 Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 251-441-2152 Dates: June 4-8, June 11-15, & June 18-22 Ages: Students entering the 6-10 grades Learn while you have fun! Kayak Mobile Bay. Build a smart phone app. Prepare for the ACT. Program a robot. Launch a rocket…and much more! Applications, more information, and course descriptions are online at WWW.ASMS.NET

continued on page 20 Birmingham Locations: Riverchase Galleria / The Summit Cahaba Village / The Shops at GrandRiver / Avondale Auburn • Huntsville • Nashville • Atlanta • Tuscaloosa Mountain High Outfitters has a variety of products for the everyday lifestyle, the latest sporting activity, or your next adventure. We offer footwear, apparel, accessories, and gear from well-known brands such as Patagonia, The North Face, True Grit, Birkenstock, Barbour, Filson, Chaco, Mountain, Khaki, Rayban, Arc'teryx, Z Supply, On Shoes, Keen, Osprey, Black Diamond, and many more. Mountain High Outfitters is more than a traditional outdoor retailer. Upon entering any store, you will notice a vast array of products and brands that create a compelling story for any patron. The selection of gear and footwear is just as pronounced as apparel, with products for activities like camping, climbing, biking, yoga, skiing, trail running, paddle boarding, as well as trips to the lake, beach, or just the coffee shop. MHO can outfit kids and teens that might be preparing for summer camps, activities, hikes, or group trips. For Back to School items, your kiddos will find the latest school daypacks, lunch boxes, school uniforms, and great looking outfits to wear. Our large variety of products for such a wide range of activities gives the customer, and their entire family, more than a great shopping trip… it is an in-store cultural experience!

chorus • gymnastics • Dance • canoeing • tennis • GOLF

Recognized as one of the South’s favorite Christian summer camps for girls! Welcome to an award winning camp experience…


Just off DeSoto Parkway on top of Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama…nestled in a bend of Little River. Adventure, inspiration, character & confidence-building are just a few of the benefits that go hand-in-hand with the activity choices. Riverview’s Christian emphasis & exciting programs are appreciated by both parents & campers! Call 800-882-0722 or visit for a FREE DVD & Information packet

Only 2 short hours from Birmingham 1 & 2 week sessions! Mother-Daughter Weekends also Available

Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors Donna Bares, Assistant Director Accredited by American Camping Association Members of Christian Camping Conference Asso.

Check us out online at

swimming • beach volleyball • archery • riding • basketball • golf • much more!

Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama 105 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 800-734-4541 RESIDENT CAMPS • Camp Coleman, Trussville June 18-22 June 25-29 • Kanwahala Program Center, Chelsea July 22-27 • Camp Trico, Lake Guntersville July 8-13 July 15-20 DAY CAMP • Camp Coleman, Trussville June 4-8 June 11-15 June 18-22 June 25-29 Offering day camp for boys & girls ages 5-12 and overnight camp for girls ages 5-16. Camp Coleman, Camp Trico, and Kanwahala Program Center provide the perfect combination of progressive instructional activities and freestyle schedule.

Auburn Soccer Camp Auburn University, AL 334-844-9637 soccer • Goalkeeper & Striker Camp, co-ed, 11-18 -June 8-9 • June Residental Camp, girls 9-18, June 1-13 • July Day Camp, co-ed, 5-12, July 9-12 • July Elite Camp, girls 13-18, July 13-15 • July Residential camp, co-ed, ages 9-15, July 15-18 All camps held on Auburn University campus and directed by Karen Hoppa, Ben Madsen & James Armstrong. Camp Fletcher 5150 Fletcher Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-428-1059 Dates: May 29– August 3 (Closed the week of July 4) Ages: 1st-12th grade Resident, day & leadership camps include quality programs with activities for all ages, genders & interests. Carefully chosen staff -affordable sessions-ACA accredited. Located in McCalla, AL. Camp Straight Street At Shades Mountain Community Church 2281 Old Tyler Rd. Birmingham, AL 35226 205-978-6000 Dates: June 4- August 3 Ages: K3-K5 & 1st-8th Grade ​Nine weeks of award winning Day Camp on beautiful wooded campus in Bluff Park. 9:00 am-4:00 pm daily with early & late options. One week of Overnight Camp at the YMCA Hargis Retreat (grades 3rd-8th). YMCA Camp Chandler 1240 Jordan Dam Rd. Wetumpka, AL 36092 334-300-4243 334-699-7516 camp Camp Chandler is an overnight and day camp that serves ages 5-15. Our camp’s

cheerleading • ropes course • ARTS & CRAFTS • soccer • sports • nature • drama

YMCA Camp Cosby 2290 Paul Bear Bryant Rd. Alpine, AL 35014 252-268-2007 Dates: June 3- July 28th Ages: 6-15 Camp Cosby offers a traditional overnight summer camp. Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins with highly-trained camp counselors. Activities include archery, canoeing, horseback riding, water-skiing, arts and crafts.

Exciting Traditional Camp for girls ages 6 to 16! | 19

BIRMINGHAM PARENT'S 2018 SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY highly dedicated and caring staff ensures that campers have a fun and safe experience through building character and making a difference.

Things for Camp & Camping Applause Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-STEP Largest selection of dancewear in the Southeast. Clothing, shoes and accessories for all types of dance to fit toddler to plus size, teams and individuals. Camping World CAMP EXPO SPONSOR 730 George Roy Pkwy. Calera, AL 35040 888-710-6513 Come visit our 10 acre dealership with over 350 units to choose from and see why we are the #1 Motorized RV and #1 Travel Trailer dealership in Alabama. The Lice Place Birmingham 1201 Lake Dr. SE #101 Bessemer, AL 35022 205-424-5165

Our Lice Removal Services will provide your family with the safest and most affordable lice treatment solutions that come with a 30-day guarantee and 90 days of free head checks. Call today to learn more. Mountain High Outfitters CAMP EXPO SPONSOR Hwy 280, next to Whole Foods 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza #250 Birmingham Al. 25243 205-985-3215 An active ,outdoor and lifestyle boutique offering apparel, footwear and gear for the everyday lifestyle and outdoor pursuits. 5 Birmingham locations, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville, Nashville and Atlanta. Once Upon A Sleepover 205-530-5711 Let’s Go Glamping!! Make your child’s slumber parties more fun and exciting when you turn to

Once Upon A Sleepover! We are an event service provider that plans and executes themed sleepover parties. Southern Breeze Travel 256-513-9874 Planning the best vacation sometimes can be a lot of hard work.I specialize in cruise travel, resort travel, honeymoons, and family vacations. Let me help you to create vacation memories to last a lifetime.

Local Attractions/ Field Trips Vulcan Park and Museum 1701 Valley View Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-933-1409 Birmingham’s beloved icon, Vulcan, is the world’s largest cast iron statue. Featuring breathtaking views of the city, an interactive history museum and a beautiful public park.

Beaches® resorts is the ultimate get-together getaway for families. Where anything’s possible because everything’s included. Pristine beaches and calm, turquoise waters perfect for unlimited water sports, including scuba diving for certified divers; the Caribbean’s best waterparks with thrilling slides; fun and games with Sesame Street ® characters; unlimited play at the Xbox Play Lounge; complimentary nannies for kids and infants; family-sized rooms for every size family; and up to 21 gourmet restaurants (including premium spirits for adults and unlimited beverages for the kids). It’s no wonder Beaches was voted the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort Brand!

Southern Breeze Travel 256-513-9874 . Sandra@SouthernBreeze.Vacations www.SouthernBreeze.Vacations

20 | birminghamparent | february 2018


Swimming, Arts, Sports, Hiking, Golfing, Boating, Archery, Outdoor Playgrounds & countless activities for campers 5 to 13 years old. Oak Mountain State Park Located in the Oak Lodge & Pavilion on the Lake May 29th - August 3rd $145 a week CHOOSE ONLY THE WEEKS YOU NEED SUMMER CAMP SAVE 10% ON 3+ WEEKS WHEN YOU BUILD YOUR OWN SUMMER SESSIONS BEFORE MAY 9TH. Highest Quality Programming & Care Kid’s Choice Curriculum | Extended Hours 7a - 6p Multi Child Discounts | Build Your Own Summer Sessions | 2 Convenient Drop Off Locations at front of park & 119 Making Summer Camps rock for over 44 Years LEARN MORE & REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! 877.4KIDCAM | 21


How to Make Your Food-Allergic Kid a Happy Camper By Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

Attending summer day camp is often a rite of passage for kids. But when you have a child with life-threatening food allergies, camp is more complicated than filling out forms and dropping your kid off each morning. But with planning, cooperation and communication, day camp can be a great experience for food-allergic children. Many camps are willing to accommodate food allergies. Of course, each child’s medical condition is different, so check with your allergist first. Once you have chosen a camp, research the camp’s policies on food allergies. If there is no written policy in place, pick up the phone and talk personally with the director. “Be proactive,” says Tom Madeyski, executive director/vice president of YMCA San Diego county camps. “Don’t be shy, ask a lot of questions.” If you find that the director is willing to accommodate your child, here are some questions to ask. Peanut allergy will be used as an example in these questions, but you can easily substitute wheat, dairy, etc. 22 | birminghamparent | february 2018

● Do campers bring a sack lunch? If so, is there a safe place for your child to eat, such as a nut- free table, away from any foods he or she is allergic to? ● Is there a policy in place for other kids to wash or wipe their hands and faces after eating foods that contain peanuts? ● If meals are prepared at the camp, ask if any of the foods contain peanuts. If not, is there any possibility of cross-contact with peanuts either in the kitchen or before the food arrives? If camp meals aren’t safe for your child, can you send in “safe” food? ● Will there be any craft projects using peanuts, such as bird feeders made with peanut butter? If so, can a substitution be made? Crafts using allergenic materials are often overlooked when thinking about food allergies. But even if it is not meant to be eaten, allergenic materials can get into the eyes, nose or mouth during crafting and cause an allergic reaction.

● Who handles medical care at the camp? Is there a nurse or first-aid person on site? If so, are they trained to use an epinephrine auto-injector such as an EpiPen? Who substitutes for the medical staff if they are away? Sitting down personally with the medical staff person and describing your child’s typical allergic signs and symptoms is best. If the staff hasn’t ever used an epinephrine auto-injector, teach them how. You should have a clear, written, allergy action plan with a picture of your child attached. Make your own or download a template at http://www.foodallergy. org/files/FAAP.pdf. “Err on the side of too much information, especially on written medical forms,” Madeyski says. Even if there is medical staff on site, train the adult who will spend the day with your child how to recognize an allergic reaction as well. He or she will be the person who will need to get your child help. Ideally, every adult who will be in contact with your child should be aware of the allergy and know what to do if a reaction occurs.

New and improved summer camps at the Birmingham Zoo! • Animals • Science • Nature Play• Conservation • FUN!

For day campers, it’s always a good idea to go in each morning with your child. This way you can see if the staff has changed or a new volunteer is present, and you can make sure that they are informed of your child’s needs. ● Who will carry your child’s medicine? Make sure that person knows the correct temperature to store epinephrine. EpiPens shouldn’t be left out in the sun or in a hot car. Refer to the instructions in your own epinephrine auto-injector or talk to your pharmacist for storage requirements. ● How far away is the nearest hospital or clinic? What is the response time? ● Will there be field trips away from the main campsite? If so, are the driver and leader trained to handle your child’s allergy? Will they have cell phones or two-way radios to communicate should an emergency occur? This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a jumping-off point to get you started. Every child is different, and food allergies vary in severity. Always discuss your child’s individual needs with his or her medical provider in deciding if it is safe for your child to go to camp. And once your child is cleared for camp, prepare everyone so that he or she can have a happy camping experience.

205.397.3877 • •

Camp Life Is the Best Life! This summer, camp #LikeAGirlScout.

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Camp Coleman, Trussville Kanawahala Program Center, Chelsea Camp Trico, Lake Guntersville

You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to come to Camp! Registration begins February 9, 2018 800-734-4541


JUNE 4-JULY 27 No camp the week of July 4th.


Check out our CIT (Counselor-in-Training) Program Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a freelance writer and the mother of three children, including one who has peanut and tree nut allergies. Read more of her writing at

Contact Gabe McCool at or (205) 956-9731 ext 105 Located on Old Leeds Rd. (I-459 exit at Grants Mill Rd) | 23


The truth is that most camps are well-prepared to help kids with this common childhood issue, and camp staff are committed to making sure every child has a great experience.

How to Handle Bedwetting at Sleep Away Camp By Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

Sleep away camp is a childhood ritual that every child should be able to enjoy. But for children who wet the bed, sleeping away from home can be a scary prospect. Kids who suffer from this condition are often worried that other campers will discover their secret, or that camp staff won’t be supportive. But the truth is that most camps are well-prepared to help kids with this common childhood issue, and camp staff are committed to making sure every child has a great experience. Bedwetting beyond the average age of toilet training is called nocturnal enuresis. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 3 percent of boys and 2 percent of girls still wet at night by age 10. Some kids won’t be dry at night until they are into their teens. The good news is that with some planning and preparation, kids who wet the bed can enjoy sleepaway camp just like their peers. Read on for tips for preparing camp staff and your child for camp: 24 | birminghamparent | february 2018

Before camp – find the right gear There are a variety of disposable nighttime pants on the market. For smaller children, there are Pull-Ups, which can be pulled on and off like underwear. For bigger kids, a product called GoodNites offers disposable bedtime pants for kids who weigh up to 125 pounds. Pull-Ups or GoodNites are best for heavy wetters and kids who wet every night. GoodNites also makes disposable absorbent mats which are placed on the fitted sheet. These have adhesive tabs to keep the mat in place during sleep. GoodNites Bed Mats are good as a “backup” for kids who wet only rarely, or for those who sometimes leak out of nighttime pants. Another product by Goodnites is Tru-Fit underwear. These are cloth underwear that have a pocket inside. You place a disposable pad inside the pocket to catch the urine. The pad gets thrown away and the underwear can be machine washed. These work for kids who wet rarely and don’t flood the bed when they do wet. Although

the above products are listed by brand name, there are many equivalent generic products on the market as well. With any of these products, try them at home before camp to figure out what works best for your child.

Get a doctor’s advice

There are medications that can help children stay dry. If your child’s doctor recommends trying medication, do a trial run at home before camp to make sure it works – these do not work for all kids.

Call ahead

Call the camp ahead of your child’s session to discuss the problem and to ask about procedures the camp may already have in place. You will most likely find that camps are well prepared for bedwetting. If the camp doesn’t have a plan, create one together. “Camp staff are really well trained, not only in keeping kids safe, but in building

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self-esteem,” says Alex, assistant camp director for a Washington State camp. “All it takes is one direct phone call to the camp director. They will either already have a plan in place, or you can make a plan together.”

Choose the right pajamas


“Let’s Go Glamping” THEMED SLEEPOVER PARTIES Dorthea.elridge@

Choose sleepwear wisely so that the bulk of disposable bedtime pants aren’t visible under the clothing. Pair loose sweat or pajama pants with an oversized shirt that hangs low, to cover the bum area.

Pack plenty

Pack extra PJ pants, in case the camp isn’t able to launder clothing for campers. While discussing laundry, ask if the sleeping bag can be washed if necessary. Some will do this for you. Ask about sending an extra sleeping bag. This can be placed on the bunk while the wet bag is in the wash, so other kids won’t notice your child’s sleeping bag missing from his bed. Consider packing a package of wet wipes for your child to clean up with after taking off the pull up in the morning.

Get your kid on board

Discuss the plan with your child and make sure they are comfortable. Reiterate that they are not the only kid with this condition and that camp staff is there to help.

At drop off

Even if you have made a plan with the camp director, it is a good idea to directly speak with the counselor who will be in charge of your child. Pull them aside for a quick private conversation to make sure they are aware of the situation, just in case. This is also a good time to show your camper which staff are available if they need help.

During camp

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174 Hill, WardAL Circle Camp 36850 LYMAN WARD ADVENTURE CAMP Camp Hill, AL 36850 1-800-789-9151 SUMMER Phone: SCHOOL (JULY 1-28) Phone: 1-800-789-9151 Email: Email:

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There are plenty of ways to keep putting on and taking off bedwetting garments a private task. One way is to change in the bathroom. At bedtime, go into a stall and put on the disposable pants under PJ’s. In the morning, change in the stall again. You could even pack plastic bags for the child to wrap the disposable pants in before tossing in the garbage, so that kids don’t see the soaked pants in the trash can. Some counselors will wake your child up a few minutes earlier than the rest of their cabin, so the child can get to the bathroom first and clean up unobserved. Another is to hide disposable underpants inside the sleeping bag. You can easily fit a week’s worth in the foot of a sleeping bag! After the child climbs into their sleeping bag at bedtime, they can shimmy into the disposable underwear inside the bag, so no one is the wiser. In the morning, take it off in the same way, leaving it inside the bag for a counselor to dispose of later. If your child is a heavy wetter who often leaks out of a pull up, or wets very rarely, try disposable bed mats. Before camp, adhere the mat inside the sleeping bag, then roll up as usual for bringing to camp. Pack extras in case they need replacing, and make sure you have a plan for your child or the counselor to take away the wet mat and replace it with a new one.

Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a freelance writer and the mother of three children, including one who has peanut and tree nut allergies. Read more of her writing at 26 | birminghamparent | february 2018

Summer@Springs offers students in grades 4–12 a wide range of academic enrichment courses. Make the most of your summer at Springs!

Use the summer to explore! ACT Prep Wetlands Ecology Black & White Photography Driver’s Education Leadership Development Social Entrepreneurship Institute Civil Rights Immersion Travel Study Algebra/Geometry Boot Camp Cooking (Intro & Advanced) Improving Your Writing Intro to Faith Traditions



If your child is passionate about virtual realities, camp is the perfect motivation to get off the couch and get moving.

The Well-rounded Camper:

14+ Life Skills Kids Build While Away From Home By Christina Katz

Feeling anxious about sending your child away to camp this summer? Fret no more. This list of life skills reminds you of all the reasons to send kids to camp in the first place. Remember, being away from the comforts of home offers your camper growth opportunities in a wide variety of competencies. Best of all, once kids are safely dropped off at camp, parents can sit back, relax and enjoy some much-needed down time, knowing kids will return home transformed by their experiences. Here are 14+ skills to remind parents why camp is always a good idea:

Physical Skills

Fitness. If your child is passionate about virtual realities, camp is the perfect motivation to get off the couch and get moving. You will be pleased when your child returns home tan, fit and inspired to keep moving. 28 | birminghamparent | february 2018

Proficiency. Does your child complain of boredom? Exposure to skill-building activities can convert complaining into pride. Aptitude, discipline and confidence come from doing new things. Safety awareness. Do you find yourself fretting about your child's well-being? Then send her to camp to learn about first aid, water safety, and other safety protocols that go hand in hand with learning new things. When she gets home, she can teach you a thing or two about safety awareness. Eye-hand coordination. Concerned your child may be a tiny bit klutzy? Send him to camp to participate in activities that encourage process mastery like archery, horseback riding or rowing. Having to learn an ordered series helps dreamy kids focus and execute tasks.

Healthy risk-taking. Is your child an adrenalin junkie? Do you worry that she will go too far testing the limits of what's humanly possible? Camp is the perfect place to wear out a child with excess energy. Counselors can help campers channel a zest for risks into safe outlets while honoring camp rules.

Intellectual Skills

Decision-making. Does your child waffle when making decisions, take polls of other people's opinions or go along with the crowd too easily? Then camp is the perfect practice ground to determine what he wants and needs on a regular basis. Choosing is a crucial ability for creating satisfaction in life. Accountability. Do you wonder if you do too much for your child? Whether she has to pack her own backpack for an overnight hiking trip

or show up wearing activity-appropriate shoes, being prepared for what's coming next in life is important. When it comes to accountability, daily practice is always on tap at camp. Time management. If your child is often running late, camp is a great place to learn timeliness. Your child will swiftly master punctuality when engaged in activities she enjoys. And this proactive habit can carry over into everyday life during the rest of the year. Tolerance. Kids sometimes live in homogeneous rather than diverse environments. If all the other kids are the same race, class and social status where you live, how will your child learn to be open-minded? Camp is a great place to immerse kids in diversity so tolerance can take root. Assertiveness. When kids’ lives are scheduled from morning to night year-round, they miss out on opportunities to speak up for what they think, need and desire. Camp offers kids opportunities to practice healthy communication all day long because no one is smoothing the path before them.

Navigating a new environment with unfamiliar people helps kids learn to trust their intuition and honor their instincts. Listening. Do you get weary of nagging and feel your child just doesn't listen anymore? Kids can certainly develop listening fatigue with parents and other everyday authority figures. But after tuning in closely to some new-to-them camp leaders, they just might bring better listening abilities back home. Playfulness. Got a perfectionist kid on your hands? Sometimes within the rush and rigors of daily life, families forget how to relax and enjoy life to the fullest. Camp is a great place to remember how to lighten up and enjoy the day. Grit. This trendy term means the combination of courage and resolve. If your child does not bounce back quickly from disappointments, camp is a great place to learn tenacity, conflict resolution and problem solving.

Remember, being away from the comforts of home offers your camper growth opportunities in a wide variety of competencies. Best of all, once kids are safely dropped off at camp, parents can sit back, relax and enjoy some much-needed down time, knowing kids will return home transformed by their experiences.

Emotional Skills

Self-care. Kids can't learn to take care of their needs unless they learn to pay attention to them. Going to camp puts self-care muscles to the test.

Christina Katz has written hundreds of articles and columns for publication since 1999.

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Sleep-away camp can be an exciting, empowering adventure for kids who are mature enough to handle the expectations. However, overnight camp may not be a perfect fit for your family this year and there is no shame in that. If you are waiting for the right time for overnight camp, why not take a more customized approach to summer fun and meet the needs of kids locally? Chances are good you can find day camps, classes, workshops and activities in your area that will keep smiles on your kids’ faces all summer long. Ink Year-round Commitments. You may already have school-year activities that extend into summer like scouting or 4-H. Be sure to get these commitments on your child’s schedule first, so you don’t inadvertently overbook. If your child participates in a sport or another competitive activity, training camps may be required during summer. These can be enriching because kids who train over the summer often rejoin their teams playing at a higher level than the prior season. Ask For Referrals. Chances are good that parents who have lived in your area for several years have the scoop on the best day camps and summer programs. Poll your friends individually or post a question on social media to gather information. Check Local Resources. Schools, libraries and community centers are great resources for summer activities. Be sure to track down any printed or online guides they may offer. Also check towns near where you live to see if they offer programs that may interest your child. Consider Your Child’s Needs. Sometimes a kid-centric focus is part of an activity's allure. But if you know your child flourishes in a structured environment with adult leadership, trust your instincts. If your child is hesitant about trying new activities, see if school friends would like to try a new activity together. Go Your Own Way. Sometimes you want your child to benefit from the experience of trying a new experience without school friends. So go ahead and enroll in activities where enthusiasm for the topic will trump any first-day butterflies. Do not cave to peer pressure if all of the other kids are doing an activity that is not a good match for your child. Don’t Overlook A Summer Reading Challenge. Signing your child up for a summer reading challenge at the beginning of summer is a great way to build downtime into any schedule. On busy days, reading will provide a welcome reprieve from social activity. And on lazy days, having a daily book-reading commitment can get an unscheduled day off to a good start.

Author, journalist and writing coach Christina Katz has learned that seeing kids as the individuals they truly are always pays off in the long run. 30 | birminghamparent | february 2018

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As with any milestone, taking your child for his first visit to the dentist is monumental. It’s necessary for good health, but for many parents it can be a bit daunting. The good news is that there are many ways to make that first visit a great one. Pediatric dentists in our area weighed in on the best way to prepare for that first big visit, and how to ensure that future visits go well, too. In fact, according to Dr. Sory “Chuck” Shannon, DMD of Birmingham, pediatric dental staff can be more personal and comfortable with young children, making the experience better from the get-go.


Q: When should a child see the dentist for the first time?

Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz, owner of Steinmetz Pediatric Dentistry in Vestavia Hills and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, says the AAPD recommends a child see the dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than her first birthday. Dr. Olga M. Sanchez-Hernandez, D.M.D., M.S., M.S. of McCalla Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry says this might seem early, but starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health.

Q: Does the dentist have to be a pediatric dentist? What are the benefits?

According to the AAPD, pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school, and limits his/her practice to treating infants, children and young adults. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. However, Dr. Clark Thomas, owner of Thomas Pediatric Dentistry, says a child’s dentist doesn’t have to be a pediatric dentist; that there are many dentists who are wonderful with kids. “It is important for the dentist to make the experience fun and inviting,” he explains. “The benefits to a pediatric dentist are usually an office setting geared towards children. There are also some procedures that a specialist in children is used to performing more often than a general dentist.” Dr. Angelica Rohner, owner of Dr. Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry, says parents should look for a board-certified pediatric dentist. These dentists have completed a pediatric dental residency after dental school and has gone through rigorous examination processes within the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). “The ABPD only certifies pediatric dentists based on standards of excellence that lead to high quality oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special health care needs,” she says. “Certification provides assurance that a pediatric dentist has successfully completed accredited training and a voluntary two-part exam designed to continually test the knowledge, skills and experience requisite to the delivery of quality patient care.” Dr. Michael Anglin, D.D.S., PC Pediatric Dentistry says it is best for the child and parent to start with a pediatric certified dentist. “Pediatric dentists have special training in the growth and development of young children’s anatomy and psychological development,” he explains. “This enables the pediatric dentist to better understand dental problems early and deal with each child at their own developmental stage. Their offices 34 | birminghamparent | february 2018


are set up for children, in a fun and entertaining environment. The pediatric dentist and his staff have a love for children and will treat them in a caring and compassionate manner making a trip to the dentist a fun, happy experience.”

Q: How can a parent prepare a child for the first visit? What are some of the “don’ts?”

Dr. John Rose of Vital Smiles’ Center Point office says if a parent has an older child, it may be a good idea to schedule the children together. “The younger sibling can see how the older sibling behaves and follow their positive example,” he says. Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD of Pediatric Smiles in McCalla/Bessemer, says the best way to prepare a child for his first visit is to make it fun. “Try practicing with your child by brushing before bed and looking in their mouth,” she says. “Don’t allow your child to be scared by negative scary stories or phrases that make going to the dentist negative.” Whatever you do, don’t overstress, Shannon adds. "Watching a video or reading a children's book about the dentist is a great first introduction," says Dr. Lauten Johnson and Emily Rousso, pediatric dentists, at Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry in Hoover.






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First Visit to the Dentist continued

first visit because it is a new environment with a new person looking in their mouth. This is why it is important to establish a relationship early so that the child gets used to coming to the dentist.” While it’s common for kids to be fearful at first, Rohner says during a dental cleaning, nothing should be uncomfortable for you or your child. “The staff and doctor should always be friendly, caring and patient.”

Q: Are there any red flags that should concern a parent during that initial visit? What should the parent expect?

“One red flag would be if the hygienist says that there is a lot of plaque on the teeth,” Thomas says. “That just means that better brushing would be indicated so that future problems can be avoided. Another red flag would be if the dentist says your child has weak enamel. This also would be a reason to spend extra time with oral hygiene care.” Anglin says parents and children should be in a happy, friendly office with staff and doctors who take the time to make small talk with the children and educate the parent and the child in a fun but educational manner. “A parent should be aware of any cold “in and out” treatment,” he says. PHOTO COURTESY DR. ANGELICA ROHNER



Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD

4823 Promenade Pkwy., Suite 101 Bessemer, AL 35022 p 205-230-9000 f 205-230-0188 36 | birminghamparent | february 2018

Reading a child books about the first dental appointment is helpful, as well as “practicing” what will happen. Rose adds to make sure not to schedule an appointment close to naptime. Many parents with young children schedule appointments in the morning.

Q: What should a parent EXPECT from the first dental visit?

For infants and very young children, the parent or caregiver accompanies the child in the exam room, and sits in the parent’s lap for the exam, Steinmetz says. “This is primarily a teaching visit to identify children at risk for decay, and discuss any potential dental problems,” Steinmetz says. “Follow-up exams are based on the infant’s dental needs.” Parents should expect to spend time with the dentist and hygienist, Rose adds. “The dentist will have some basic oral health care questions to go over with the parent and educate the parent on adjusting some home behaviors where needed. The hygienist will clean the child’s teeth and review proper cleaning techniques with the parent.” Thomas agrees that the parent should expect an informative first visit of the best ways to care for their child’s teeth. A cleaning and exam are performed to establish a baseline for dental health. “This is also a great time for parents to ask questions if they have any,” he says. “It also is not unusual for a child to fuss or not love their

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add or comment on?

“The key to caring for your child’s teeth is to start early...Take your child to the dentist sooner than later, and give your dentist the opportunity to guide you in home hygiene and diet,” according to Johnson and Rousso. “Helping to create healthy habits for your child from the beginning sets them up for a lifetime of happy visits!” Rose stresses developing a relationship with the dentist as early as possible. “The growing-up child will inevitably have accidents which can be stressful for the child and parent,” he explains. “Already knowing the dentist and the rest of the dental team can help lower the stress level when accidents occur.” Anglin says it is very important to start routine dental appointments at an early age and maintain a regular six-month cleaning schedule. “Decay progresses quickly in baby teeth so they definitely need monitored regularly. That is why it should be considered an important reason if your child has to miss school to go to their check-up.” Gatrey adds that a parent should never leave a dentist’s office without getting all of their questions answered. “If you think of questions later, be sure to call the office so that they can contact you with the answers.”

Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.

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Valentine’s Day DATE NIGHT

Need a special place to celebrate Valentine’s Day – or any occasion? Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at The Summit in Birmingham is hard to top for elegant, yet casual and comfortable dining. My husband and I went recently for our 28th wedding anniversary and found it a wonderful experience from start to finish. The staff is very happy to answer any questions and help you create the perfect meal, along with the best wine for each course. The menu has a wide range of delicious choices. Appetizers include French onion soup, crab cakes, roasted Portobello mushroom ravioli and much more and range from $14 to $22. Entrees, which range from $39 to $47, include barbecue New Zealand salmon fillet, chicken, double-thick pork rib chops, king crab legs and lobster tails. And, of course, STEAKS. These steaks deserve the capital letters. The restaurant serves the finest USDA Prime beef, wet or dry-aged, and iron-crusted or broiled at 1,600 degrees. Choices, which range from $47 to $63, include petite filet mignon, Angus beef ribeye, New York strip and more. Delicious side dishes, crafted from scratch, include truffle-poached lobster, diablo shrimp and lump crabmeat. Especially yummy are small plates, ranging from $23 to $32. Choices include sliced filet mignon, seared ahi tuna, shrimp and sea scallops, lobster tempura and lamb chops. Salads ($12 to $13) are delicious as well and make a wonderful complement to the meal. If you wish with your entree, you can choose “sides to share,” which include four types of potatoes, including Fleming’s Potatoes, a house specialty with cream, jalapenos and cheddar cheese; onion

38 | birminghamparent | february 2018







rings, grilled asparagus, creamed spinach, crispy Brussels sprouts and bacon, sautéed mushrooms and chipotle cheddar macaroni and cheese. Don’t forget dessert! We had the New York cheesecake with blueberry sauce and white chocolate shavings, along with walnut turtle pie with caramel, walnuts and chocolate baked in a chocolate pie crust. Both were amazing and so delicious paired with fresh coffee. Other choices include premium ice cream and sorbet, carrot cake and chocolate lava cake. Desserts range from $11 to $15. While Fleming’s may be thought to be an adults-only establishment, it welcomes children of all ages. There is a kids menu, with several choices that include fresh sliced apples, a choice of steak and fries, chicken strips and fries or Fleming’s mac and cheese, a beverage and a choice of hot fudge sundae or fruit sorbet for $14.95. The staff is quite used to hosting children who come along with their parents for Mother’s Day and other special occasions, with high chairs available and other accommodations for families. Whether it’s a party of two or 20, it’s going to be a great experience. Most of all, you don’t have to have a special occasion to enjoy Fleming’s. Fleming’s has a “Friend of Fleming’s” program, which allows members to receive exclusive offers and email updates and more. Go to for reservations, menus and special savings or call 205-262-9463. And prepare for a memorable experience all around!

Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.













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Cancer Fighting Foods: What to Eat to Protect Your Skin By Dr. Corey Hartman

Have you ever wondered exactly how and why skin cancer begins? Well, when the sun instigates the formation of free radicals in the skin, it can set off a series of reactions in our cells that cause their development to go awry. As these abnormal cells accumulate in the skin, cancer sets in. We know that while protecting yourself from the sun can prevent the formation of free radicals, your diet can make an impact as well. As skilled specialists, we recommend you add the following foods to your regular mealtimes and snacks as a proactive measure to help keep UV-damage at bay.

GREEN TEA. While I was a resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, our department conducted research on the polyphenols in green tea and found that they protect our skin from the damage done by UV rays, reducing the changes made to our DNA by free radicals. There is also evidence that green tea can inhibit the multiplying of melanoma cells throughout the body. VITAMINS C & E. Studies have shown that antioxidants obtained through Vitamin C and Vitamin E offer protection from skin cancer by interacting with free radicals and neutralizing them. We recommend carrots, bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocado.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS. In addition to boosting your immunity to sun damage, Omega-3s also slow the buildup of plaque inside blood vessels and curb joint pain from arthritis. We advise our patients to obtain these goods fats by eating salmon, trout, edamame, walnuts or an omega-3 fish oil supplement. ORGANIC, NON-MODIFIED FOODS. Limit how much processed meat you eat and choose whole grains instead of refined grains. Focus on fruits and vegetables grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. Our research has shown that pesticides and trans fatty acids stimulate changes in the body that allow for the development of many different kinds of cancer.

Skin Wellness Center of Alabama will be providing great dermatologic info each month for Birmingham Parent. Send your questions to No personal replies will be sent. This column originally ran in the June 2017 issue of Birmingham Parent.




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A Force to be Reckoned With –


Prayer Force United By Stephanie Rodda

It can be easy to become discouraged when listening to or reading news reports of crime in our area. We might find ourselves struggling with feelings of despair or even fear, as we grow concerned for the safety of our families and neighborhoods. Thankfully, things can improve and there is some good news to be shared that just might restore our hope and help us find our courage. Prayer Force United is a community effort that includes a variety of local churches, city leaders, law enforcement officers and other concerned citizens. In January it held its 9th annual government walk at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. Prayers for wisdom, protection and direction for local officials and law enforcement are among the requests included. It would be difficult to properly measure the total impact that has been made since the group was formed nearly a decade ago. Not only have neighborhoods been impacted, so have the people who participate in them. Prayer Force United is interested in more than a single day or event. It is their goal to strengthen and equip area leaders, churches and citizens so that long-term changes are realized, according to Stu Ensloe, the prayer ministry coordinator and member of the fourmember leader team of Prayer Force United. Unusual dynamics have resulted in unusual results. Areas around Birmingham with the highest crime rates are chosen each month as the location for the community prayer walks. Local law enforcement officials offer suggestions based upon present criminal activity and statistics as to which areas will hold the march on any particular month. The group’s goal is to hold 10 prayer walks a year, usually meeting the third Saturday of each month. Those participating gather together first for a corporate prayer meeting before the prayer walk begins. This prayer focuses on the safety and success of the event itself. A decade ago, reading in Forbes that Birmingham had been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in America, pastor Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands was inspired to do something about these concerning statistics. According to, although rating Birmingham as the fifth most dangerous city in America, the crime rate is down 40 percent overall since its highs in the 1990s. The ministry, now known as Prayer Force United, with the plan for community prayer walks, was originally founded by Eric Felty and Mark Hand in 2009, who both serve as PFU leaders. Ensloe, prayer coordinator and A.C. Roper, former Birmingham police chief, joined them to complete the four-member leadership team that exists today.


So, how can we know that the prayers actually make a difference? C.S. Lewis, the late author and theologian, is often quoted as saying, “You can’t know, you can only believe – or not.” I think he’s exactly right. After all, faith is choosing to believe and as for me, I believe that prayer matters and matters a lot. The many people who help to make the prayer walks happen also believe that prayer has the potential to change people and even communities. Ensloe shared that there is now also a monthly prayer walk held in Opelika as well as the Birmingham area and they hope to be able to expand into other areas in the future. “The prayer walks allow people to see the needs of areas that they would not normally be aware of,” Ensloe says. He noted that there has been an overall downward trend in the crime rate of areas where walks have been held. “Also, pastors, intercessors and city and neighborhood leaders have become united in their efforts. Together they can accomplish more than individually,” he explains. Increased awareness goes a long way towards making a difference. It is when people see real faces, hear real voices and witness real need that they better understand the plight of others who are facing difficult days and hard seasons. It might be tempting to quote statistics, but

statistics don’t inspire us. Quite the opposite, we may decide there’s nothing we can do that will make a real and lasting difference. While three to four churches are heavily and regularly involved, many other congregations participate in the ministry throughout the year. Many volunteers help with the organization including many community leaders. New participants are always welcome to become involved, Ensloe says. Safety is always a priority, and police are present at all walks. They not only help to insure the safety of those walking and praying, but also assist with traffic flow. “The police department, with their intimate knowledge of the city’s neighborhoods has been very instrumental in recommending areas that are in need of prayer and blessing,” Ensloe says. For more information as to how you might participate in a prayer walk, visit and find the dates and location of upcoming walks. It is a great opportunity to help make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. Stephanie Rodda lives in the Birmingham area with her husband and children. She is a freelance article writer, blogger and author of fiction and devotional writings. | 43


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Winter Blues: What Every Parent Should Know Is Your Child at Risk? Since 2007, the suicide rate in children ages 10-14 has nearly doubled By Marie Pittman, MD

WHAT IS DEPRESSION? Depression is defined as an illness that negatively affects how you feel, think and act for longer than two weeks. It can worsen during the winter. Statistics show one in five teenagers are affected by depression. The National Institutes of Health reports in 2016 alone, 3 million children ages 12-17 were affected by depression, with approximately 70 percent having a severe complication. IS MY CHILD DEPRESSED? The following can be signs of depression: • Increased sadness • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities your child once enjoyed – wanting to be alone or locking themselves in their room • Changes in appetite or weight • Trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively • Fatigue • Fidgety (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements • Feeling worthless or guilty • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions • Thoughts of death or suicide If you notice any of these signs, contact your child’s physician or have your child seen by a psychologist (counselor) or psychiatrist (can prescribe medications for treatment AND assist with counseling). If your child expresses thoughts of suicide, please seek medical attention immediately. You can go to the ER or call The Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255).

Recognizing depression in your child can be devastating and scary, but you’re not alone. This may be difficult to face, but your child is facing something that can be much worse.

IS MY CHILD GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE MEDICATIONS FOREVER? Depression is one of the most treatable mood conditions. Depression can be treated with counseling, medications or both depending on the severity of your child’s symptoms. Believe it or not, your child’s physician will not start medication unless they truly feel it will be beneficial. They will first look for other conditions that could be causing your child’s symptoms. Children are monitored frequently initially after starting a treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome. Usually after six months, your child will be re-assessed for the need of continued treatment. It is important not to make any changes without consulting your child’s physician first. There is never a one-size-fits-all option in managing depression. In other words, just because you, another sibling or family member responded well to a particular treatment, does not mean this is the best option for your child. Recognizing depression in your child can be devastating and scary, but you’re not alone. This may be difficult to face, but your child is facing something that can be much worse. Always seek help.

44 | birminghamparent | february 2018

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calendar highlights

February is a short month, but there’s much for families to learn, see and do. It’s Black History Month, with several programs at local libraries and other venues that highlight the accomplishments of African-Americans in


many areas. Make sure to remember your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Will the groundhog see his shadow on February 2? And, this month also marks a milestone for one of the most popular Birmingham Parent events – the 25th annual Camp Expo on February 24 at the new location, the McWane Science Center!


ROCKETRY AND BLACK HISTORY Don’t miss this unique program from 6-7:30pm at Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Science educators Winfield and Elinor Burks bring a hands-on approach to helping kids learn and enjoy science and history. Children third grade and above can sign up for this session, inspired by the true story behind the film Hidden Figures.




From 10am-3pm at McWane Science Center on February 24, enjoy a FREE, day-long exhibition where families can learn about summer camps and programs, travel, volunteer opportunities and more! Special performance area! The first 200 to register online this month will get into McWane Science Center FREE. Watch Birmingham Parent social media for the opportunity to win tickets, too. There will be a separate event entrance for those wanting to attend the expo only. Presented by YMCA of Greater Birmingham.

From February 1-8, drop in at the Homewood Library children’s department to make a Valentine for children in the hospital, or bring in your own from home. Items not allowed include food, candy, balloons, religious messages, rubber bands, tiny objects.



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GROUNDHOG DAY! 9am-10:30am, Birmingham Zoo. Will Birmingham Bill see his shadow or not? Play kid-friendly games, make a groundhog craft and more! In case of rain, the activities will be held at the Safari Peak.

01 THURSDAY UAB Faculty Brass Quintet Noon, UAB Hospital North Pavilion atrium. “First Thursday Pops” series. FREE. www.uab. edu/cas/music. Valentines for Children’s of Alabama February 1-8, Homewood Library children’s department. Help the library collect valentines for children in the hospital by stopping in to make a Valentine, or bring one from home. Items not allowed include food, candy, balloons, religious messages, rubber bands, tiny objects. UAB High School Honor Choir Concert 4:30pm, Alys Stephens Center. FREE. Birmingham Revealed 5:30pm reception, 6pm program, Vulcan Park. Written by playwright Lee Shackleford, Washington and DuBois: Two Opinions, One Goal compares the different philosophies of two early civil rights activists, Booker T. Washington and

W.E.B. DuBois, while showing how they came to respect one another. Tickets $10 non-Vulcan Park members, $8 members. 205-933-1409 x113, marketing@ Harry Potter Book Night 6:30pm, Homewood Library. Family night of wizarding fun, an annual celebration of the book series.


Groundhog Day Groundhog Day! 9am-10:30am, Birmingham Zoo. Will Birmingham Bill see his shadow or not? Play kid-friendly games, make a groundhog craft and more! In case of rain, the activities will be held at the Safari Peak. AHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championship Birmingham CrossPlex, 2331 Bessemer Road. Two-day event featuring the best athletes in the state. $10 per day. 205-2798900,

48 | birminghamparent | february 2018

“Love, Laughter and Inspiration” 6:30-7:30pm, Trinity United Methodist Church. New York Times best-selling author and creator of the Hands Free Mama blog Rachel Macy Stafford will speak. Tickets $25 with proceeds benefitting The Bell Center, Overflow Foundation, United Methodist Children’s Home, Community Furniture Bank, Firehouse Shelter and Family Promise. Tickets, 205-879-1737, adults/united-methodist-women.

03 SATURDAY The Winter Market at Pepper Place 8am-noon, 2829 Second Ave. S, Cantina event space on 29th Street. AHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championship Birmingham CrossPlex, 2331 Bessemer Road, see February 2. Southeastern Outings Dayhike 9am, DeSoto State Park and Lost Falls. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children 9-up able to walk about five miles

welcome. Optional restaurant dinner together afterward. Depart 9am from Applebee’s Restaurant parking lot, Trussville. Dan Frederick, 205-6314680, BrickFair 10am-5pm, Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Twoday event! See cool stuff, do fun things! Tickets $15 at door; children 3-under, free. No strollers allowed. 800-745-3000, www. Beaker Bash: The Great Outdoors! 5-8pm, McWane Science Center. McWane’s annual family-friendly fundraiser invites visitors to discover the amazing science in their own backyard! Search the grass and soil for animal and insect habitats, make s’mores under the stars and plant your own garden! Tickets, 205-714-8414,

04 SUNDAY BrickFair 10am-5pm, Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, see February 3.


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Bald Eagles: Turtles are on the Menu 1:30pm refreshments, 2-4pm, program, Alabama Wildlife Center. Speaker: Andrew Coleman, Birmingham Audubon Science and Program Director discusses the eagle resurgence in Alabama and their intriguing ecological relationship with turtles. Weather permitting, an informal nature walk follows; bring camera, binoculars and field guides. FREE after paid admission to Oak Mountain State Park. 205-663-7930 x4, www. Special Siblings 3:30pm, Homewood Library. A support group for kids 5-18 to share ideas, experiences and the ever-changing needs of having a special needs sibling.

05 MONDAY Knight Chess Tournament 5:30-7pm, Homewood Library. A monthly chess tournament for preschool-12th grade to learn strategy and have fun!

06 TUESDAY ASFA Tuesday Tours 3:30-4:30pm, Alabama School of Fine Arts. An opportunity for prospective students and their families to take a tour and learn about the school. LEGO League 6-6:45pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Kids of all ages! Age 6-younger must be with an adult.

07 WEDNESDAY Family Flix 3:30pm, Homewood Library. Film: The Color of Friendship. When Mahree is chosen to spend a semester at the Dellums’ home, she doesn’t expect her host family will be black; nor do her hosts suspect she is not a black South African. Refreshments provided.

08 THURSDAY UAB Faculty Jazz Quintet Noon, UAB Hospital North Pavilion atrium. FREE. cas/music.

09 FRIDAY 17th Annual Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend Linn Park. A weekend of events (February 9-11) that raises millions of dollars for local charities. Information, registration,

10 SATURDAY The Winter Market at Pepper Place 8am-noon, 2829 Second Ave. S, Cantina event space on 29th Street. Southeastern Outings Dayhike 10am, Lake Guntersville State Park. Moderate 6-mile hike. Bring picnic lunch. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children 8-up welcome. Optional dinner afterward. No park admission charged. Depart 10am from the Floor and Décor Store on Green Springs Highway. Randall Adkins, 205-317-6969. Saturday Alive! Birds of Prey 1-2pm, Anniston Museum of Natural History. Meet raptors from all over the United States! Visitors will learn what makes birds of prey such incredible hunters, what makes these creatures different from each other, and how to deal with an injured bird of prey. FREE with paid museum admission; members free. 256-237-6766, www. BCT Presents Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott 2:30-4pm, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, BJCC. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Tickets, information, 205-4588181, Alabama Wildlife Center’s Wild About Chocolate! 7-10pm, The Harbert Center. This 14th annual fundraising event benefits the center and offers a variety of delicious chocolate and savory creations and beverages from Birmingham’s finest restaurants and caterers. Live music, silent and live auctions. Admission, information,

11 SUNDAY Southeastern Outings Dayhike 1pm, Oak Mountain State Park. Moderate 4-mile walk. Well-

behaved, properly supervised children 8-up welcome. Depart 1pm from the park office parking lot. Bring a drink. Park admission charged. Edd Spencer, 205-317-5868. BCT Presents Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott 2:30-4pm, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, BJCC, see February 10.

12 MONDAY Homeschool Happening – Chinese New Year 10-11am, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Celebrate the Year of the Dog. Kids in grades 1-12 can sign up. Children 6-younger must be with an adult.


Valentine’s Day

Woo at the Zoo 6-9pm, Birmingham Zoo. You’re invited to sip and stroll through the Birmingham Zoo’s Predator Building as you enjoy live music, animal encounters and keeper chats. Enjoy a sampling of wines by Cat-N-Bird Winery. Reservations also include hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and a souvenir champagne flute and photo. Advance tickets only – tickets are limited. This fun event for guests 21 and up is one you won’t want to miss! Member couple $80, non-member couple, $100.

15 THURSDAY Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike 8:30am, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Easy 3-mile hike. Bring water, wear good walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Depart 8:30am from the parking lot behind McDonald’s across

from the Riverchase Galleria. Park admission charged; optional lunch afterward. Christine Heckemeyer, 205-979-5730. Fairy Tale Festival 6:30pm, Homewood Library. Enjoy a Mad Hatter’s tea party! Join Alice and her friends for this third annual event. Treats and tea, crafts and games.

16 FRIDAY ASFA Theatre Arts and WBHM 90.3 FM present Woyzeck by Georg Buchner 7pm, ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. Woyzeck is a soldier whose cold, dehumanizing and fragmented world draws him down a path of alienation, betrayal and murder. Woyzeck is considered the first “modern” play. Tickets $10 adults, $5 students.

17 SATURDAY Black Heritage Festival 10am-3pm, Longleaf Botanical Gardens, Anniston Museum of Natural History. Children’s oration competition, music, and African-inspired vendors. Show your festival wristband at the front desk of Anniston Museum of Natural History and Berman Museum for free admission all day Saturday. Food available for purchase. Big Machines Day 10am-6pm, McWane Science Center. Get your motors running! Get close to big machines that work hard! The Winter Market at Pepper Place 8am-noon, 2829 Second Ave. S, Cantina event space on 29th Street. ASFA Theatre Arts and WBHM 90.3 FM present: Woyzeck by Georg Buchner 7pm, ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, see February 16. Birmingham Does Broadway 8pm, Samford University Wright Center. Birmingham’s best and brightest will join the Alabama Symphony Orchestra for a variety of Broadway hits! Christopher Confessore, conductor. Tickets, | 49


Sponsored by



6-7pm, Homewood Library. This informational workshop is geared toward high school students and parents overwhelmed with the college application process. Admission counselors from several local colleges and universities will be present to answer questions on a variety of topics. FREE and open to the public. 205-332-6622.

18 SUNDAY ASFA Theatre Arts and WBHM FM 90.3 present: Woyzeck by Georg Buchner 2pm, ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, see February 16.


Presidents Day The Road to College 6-7pm, Homewood Library. This informational workshop is geared toward high school students and parents overwhelmed with the college application process. Admission counselors from several local colleges and universities will be present to answer questions on a variety of topics. FREE and open to the public. 205-332-6622.

20 TUESDAY Rocketry and Black History 6-7:30pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Science educators Winfield and Elinor Burks return with their hands-on approach to helping kids learn and enjoy science and history. Children third grade and above can sign up for this session, inspired by the true story behind the film Hidden Figures.

UAB Wind Symphony and Symphony Band 7pm, Alys Stephens Center. Conductors Sean Murray and Cara Morantz. FREE. www.uab. edu/cas/music.

21 WEDNESDAY UAB Student Recital 12:20pm, Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall. Featuring advanced music department students. Chris Steele, pianist. FREE. LEGO Club 3:30pm, Homewood Library. For K-5th grade.

22 THURSDAY Personal Safety and Security 10-11:30am, Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest. Sgt. Eddie Crim, public liaison officer, Vestavia Hills Police Department, will speak. FREE. CPR and Basic First Aid Training 2pm, Homewood Library. The Homewood Fire and Rescue Service offers this free non-certified class. Suggested for ages 10-up. Online registration required. UAB Faculty Recital 7pm, Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall. Featuring Gene Fambrough, percussion. FREE. www.

23 FRIDAY American Girls Club 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Enter Addy’s world of 1864 by taking part in a reader’s theatre. No memorizing necessary. Addy, age 9, has escaped from slavery. There are six female roles and other girls can be in the audience with their dolls. Family members welcome. All children under 7 must be with an adult. ASFA Dance and WBHM 90.3 FM present Senior Choreography Project 7pm, ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater. Alabama School of Fine Arts dance seniors choreograph, produce and direct this annual show. Tickets $10 adults, $5 students.

24 SATURDAY The Winter Market at Pepper Place 8am-noon, 2829 Second Ave. S, Cantina event space on 29th Street. The 25th Annual Birmingham Parent Camp Expo 10am-3pm, McWane Science Center. Presented by YMCA of Greater Birmingham! A FREE, day-long exhibition where families can learn about summer camps and programs, travel, volunteer opportunities and more!

Special performance area! The first 200 to register online will get into McWane FREE. There is a separate event entrance for those not wishing to visit McWane. Sensory Storytime 10:30am, Homewood Library. All-ages storytime with stories and songs presented in a sensory-friendly atmosphere. ASFA Dance and WBHM 90.3 FM present Senior Choreography Project 7pm, ASFA Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, see February 24.

27 TUESDAY Family Time Tasty Tales: Chinese New Year 6pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Families can listen and learn about Chinese New Year through stories and snack on Chinese delicacies. Families with kids old enough to listen and eat Chinese food can sign up by February 26. All children must be with an adult.

28 WEDNESDAY UAB Student Recital 12:20pm, Mary Culp Hulsey Recital Hall. Featuring advanced music students. Chris Steele, pianist. FREE. cas/music.

PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the March 2018 print issue is February 6. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to; or enter directly to the online calendar at Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information cannot be accepted over the phone. Birmingham Parent publishes a calendar 11 times a year. January events are included in the December issue. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail

50 | birminghamparent | february 2018

events & attractions

Sponsored by

n Aldridge Botanical Gardens 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019,

2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565,

n Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

n Birmingham Public Libraries

1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham. 205-254-2731,

Find a library near you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

n Alabama School of Fine Arts

n Birmingham Zoo

1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.

n Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 2150 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Birmingham. 323-6665,

n Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-663-7930.

n American Village Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535,

n Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205-298-9040,

n Birmingham Botanical Gardens When visiting the Gardens, be sure to download the treasure map to take with you! www. 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900,

n Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181,

n Birmingham Civil Rights Institute In addition to its regular schedule during the week, BCRI will be open on Mondays through February 29. 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696,

In-park Special Attractions: • Special Saturdays. On the second Saturday of each month from 10-11am for ages 8-up, the Birmingham Zoo and KultureCity will present a series of zoobased learning experiences for children and adolescents with cognitive or physical disabilities. Caregivers must attend all classes. FREE; space is limited to 10 students per class. Information, Roger Torbert, rtorbert@ 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409, www.

n Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435,

n Jefferson County Library Cooperative Find a library close to you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

n McWane Science Center • Backyard Adventures! From the biological interactions between plants and insects, and the zoology of nocturnal animals to the horticultural know-how that goes into growing giant vegetables, the mathematical genius needed to lay pavers and the feats of construction that can go on in the shed, the backyard is full of science.

n Birmingham Museum of Art

• Going Places. Planes! Trains! Rockets! Cars! Explore this exhibition and discover the technology of transportation. Fly a plane, ride a hovercraft, learn to fly an airship!

• Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am1pm. • Bart’s Books. A storytelling program for children ages 4-7.

• Member Mondays. Every Monday, McWane Science Center members receive extra perks while visiting! Includes a special gift for kids when checking in, 30 percent discount on gift shop purchases, $1 small popcorn at IMAX concession stand and

Birmingham Botanical Gardens a free members-only evening event each month. Also, on the second Monday of each month, McWane opens its doors from 5-8pm for its members.

n Oak Mountain State Park

IMAX Movies: • Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he meets Rey, a young woman who shows strong sign of the Force. Through February 15.

n Ruffner Mountain

• Dream Big. This movie showcases engineering’s impressive impact on our world and our lives. From Dubai’s record-high skyscrapers to bridges soaring through clouds, experience the massive scale and forces of nature that challenge engineers. Through March 22. • Journey to the South Pacific. Adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Through April 5. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300,

n Moss Rock Preserve Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141,

200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-620-2520,

Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264,

n Shelby County Public Libraries Find a library near you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

n Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226,

n Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. 205-477-5711,

n Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, | 51


Proper equipment is crucial when it comes to camping. Most important is a tent. A leaking tent can ruin your trip.

How to Make a Camping Trip

a Success By Yvonne Jasinski,

No doubt about it, camping is challenging. Packing and unpacking is brutal. Sleeping in a tent is uncomfortable. Bathroom cleanliness is questionable. Mosquitoes and flies are after us. Still, we challenge ourselves and Mother Nature and go, because being close to nature is healing. And because memories created during camping trips are priceless. Like with any trip, the key is the right preparation. Over the years, I developed helpful strategies to a successful camping trip.

Invest in your camping equipment Proper equipment is crucial when it comes to camping. Most important is a tent. A leaking tent can ruin your trip. I highly recommend 52 | birminghamparent | february 2018

the Eureka brand. It is not overly expensive but delivers high quality. I currently own four Eureka tents, from a light tiny tent for backpacking to a five person “lodge” for longer trips. None of them ever failed. In general, when buying a tent, make sure that it has a fly going down to the ground. It will provide extra protections against the rain and also it will provide heat and cold isolation.

Choose your location wisely and make your reservation early Make sure to make your camping reservation well in advance especially around long weekends. Some popular campgrounds are sold out almost a year in advance. Water front sites usually disappear on the first day they are available for booking. I suggest state parks over private campgrounds because a majority of them are located in unique areas. They deliver natural playgrounds with boulders to climb, river or lakes

to swim, waterfalls, hiking trails, and fishing. They offer nature program for kids, canoe and boat rentals, and large fields to play sports. My favorite campgrounds in the Northeast are both in New York: Wellesley Island State Park and Letchworth State Park. There are also many great parks in Pennsylvania ( that offer camping facilities. More expensive private campgrounds can also be fun because they offer organized activities for kids, pools, hay rides, movies etc. Before making reservation, especially for longer trips, make sure that there is at least limited grocery store nearby. Buying as you need will make your packing easier and make keeping food fresh less challenging. It is also a good idea to stay within a half an hour drive from some kind of town where you can take a little break from camping to go for a fresh pizza, ice cream, or even to see a movie a on rainy day.

Go over your packing list way before you actually start packing

There are so many items you need to take on a camping trip, it is easy to forget a few. I suggest following one of the camping packing lists widely available online and modify it to your family’s needs. You need to go over each item to make sure that you have them all at home. Most likely you’ll need batteries, fuel, flashlights, paper products, garbage and Ziploc bags. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a large number of Ziploc bags or Ziploc boxes in variety of sizes. They will keep your food relatively dry and separated in the cooler. If you go for a hike, they will keep your sandwiches and other foods organized. They will also keep your cameras dry if you get caught by the rain. In the same category, make sure that you have variety of garbage bags, including huge ones. They are perfect to keep your wood dry, to protect your belongings from elements on the boat, and often to pack wet tent for the way home. It is also essential to bring a canopy that could be placed over a picnic table. It will give you a shade from the sun and, in case of rain, a shelter to play a game of cards or eat your meal.

Let go of the rules you have at home

Let your children get dirty. You did not bring them to the spa. You brought them to the woods. They will not get any diseases from not taking a bath for a day or two, especially if they go swimming during the day. Let them be. Let them run wild. Let them remember this feeling of freedom far from electronics, TVs, and organized sports. If at night they are exhausted, it means they had a day full of adventures and go to bed happy. Let them stay up late if they want to sit by fire longer. They’ll remember those special moments of closeness with family and friends.

Keep your cooking simple

Bring food that is securely packed so the water in your cooler will not penetrate it. Nothing is less appealing than a floating hamburger! Bring potatoes, cereal, breads, granola bars. They do not need be refrigerated. Important to remember: keep those items in a car, otherwise you might not see them again. They are an invitation for a feast for animals. Hobo meals are a perfect solution for hot meals during camping. Get tinfoil and cut or tear it into decent size square sheets. Throw everything you think will taste good together into one square. For example, onions, sausage, potatoes, peppers, carrots and your favorite seasoning. Put another square on the top and fold up the ends to keep everything inside. Cook on the grill for 15-20 minutes. When done, eat straight from the foil. No plates required.

Know when it is time to quit

Photo courtesy Yvonne Jasinski

If it rains a few days in a row and everyone is miserable, pack and go home. Good thing you did not spend a fortune. No need to be brave if there is nothing left of enjoyment. Otherwise it could be your last camping trip.

A version of this story first appeared on, the leading family travel website.




BY BECKY The only voice in travel that MATTERS! Catch The Travel Voice by Becky on Saturday’s in Shelby County on FM 99.9 APH Radio at 11 a.m. and anytime on iHeart Radio! Great travel information, special deals, awesome guests, spectacular on location LIVE events and amazing giveaways!

Photo courtesy Yvonne Jasinski

For more information, visit | 53


What’s better than getting a Valentine? Giving a Valentine! And what’s the best Valentine to give? One you created yourself!

Here is a Valentine poem that I hope will inspire you to write one of your own! Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everything was opposite? Me too!

IF THE MOON ROSE IN THE MORNING If the moon rose in the morning And the sun came out at night, If the birds swam in the ocean And each fish became a kite, If the trees grew upside down And their roots soared toward the sky, If the mountains turned to valleys And the rivers all ran dry, If our hearts could hear the future And our eyes could hold the past, I would love you still forever, My first love – and my last. — © Charles Ghigna

Send us your poems and we will publish them here! Parents and teachers! Send us poems written by your children ages 4-14. Include the poet’s name & age and the name of person submitting the poem. Please include your relationship to the poet (parent, teacher, etc.). Send original poems to Father Goose at For information on “How to Write a Poem,” visit the Father Goose® website at 54 | birminghamparent | february 2018

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BECAUSE EVERYONE DESERVES TO FEEL AWESOME! The YMCA of Greater Birmingham believes that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, millions of youth today are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.


YMCA of Greater Birmingham

56 | birminghamparent | february 2018