When I was a babysitter (back in the Stone Age), nobody had ever heard of babysitting camp. Apparently, if you were a tween or a teen with good grades, siblings and well thought of, intelligent parents, it was assumed you knew how to take care of other people's kids.

What a weird assumption! I think I was amazingly lucky. There were never any food allergy problems, no incidents requiring CPR knowledge, no accidents involving dialing 911 and trips to a hospital. But there could have been, and how I would have handled all that, who knows.

In any case, young people now have the opportunity to truly get an education about and hands-on experience with the job of babysitting. EmBe Avera Downtown, at 300 W. 11th Street is offering their next babysitting camp over the Christmas break, December 27 and 28.

They partner with the nationally recognized "Smart Kids: Babysitting 101" course. It is for boys and girls ages 10 to 14. They learn how to keep children safe, how to diaper babies, age-appropriate food and toy choices, basic infant and child CPR and first aid and more.

They'll be training in the EmBe childcare center, so they'll be interacting with children as they learn new skills. Registration is open online now for the December camp. Call Jennifer Swenson at 605-336-3660 for more information.


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