Happy Camper

Wouldn’t you like to spend two weeks here?

This afternoon we are driving to New Hampshire to drop off our son at sleepaway camp for two weeks. This is his first experience at: a) at an overnight camp, and, b) away from us for more than a few days (and that was with grandma, who is a super fun, no-nag version of me).

He’s excited – three of his friends will also be at the same camp – but also a little apprehensive (“What if the other kids aren’t nice?”). To alleviate his anxiety, we’ve been talking up all the great stuff he’ll experience: Non-stop sports! Sleeping in bunks! Nights spent making s’mores around the campfire! Staying up late! So I think he’ll be in pretty good shape, but we won’t know until the camp trunk is out of the car and we say our goodbyes…I suspect there will be tears (probably mine, must remember to bring oversize shades).

I have similar feelings of excitement (He’s going to have a great experience!) and apprehension (What if no one tells him to brush along the gum line? Will they remind him to wash his hair in the shower? Do they do TICK CHECKS??). Friends who have been sending their children to sleepaway camp for years have assured me that he will come back a different kid – more independent and confident. And, being an only child, he will see what it’s like to live with other people and have to adapt to their habits and quirks. They tell me that he will be bonded to his new friends in a unique way and will plead to return to camp next year – this time for four weeks. Plus, they add, you’ll have two whole weeks CHILD FREE!

That last part leaves me a little stunned. Two weeks free of kid-free activities. Floors free of sports equipment, Lego blocks, and dirty socks. No arguments about video games, bed times, or violin practice. No lights left on in empty rooms, open doors when the air conditioning is running full blast, or finding “surprises” in the toilet when he forgot to flush. What the hell am I going to do with all that free time? Catch up on work, spend a little time with the hubs, and take-in a movie or two that doesn’t involve robots or animated characters…and probably miss my little guy like crazy.






7 thoughts on “Happy Camper

  1. How funny is it that my twins are 13 months old and when I read the first sentence of this to my husband, we both looked at each other and smiled that “can’t wait!!” smile. I know I’ll be a mess when it happens but holy moly, 2 weeks!!!!

  2. I loved camp too! Well, after the first teary day. My dad still jokes that I would write him an “I hate it here. Come get me!” letter and then next day he would get the “come as late as possible to pick me up, I never want to leave” letter. Great memories and friends were made.

  3. Ann- i LOVED summer camp!! I started going in middle school, kept it up until high school, and then was hired as a camp counselor. I have to say my best summer memories are from Camp! I went to Camp Asto Wamah in Columbia, Connecticut, and it was just the most amazing experience. I still keep in touch with my cabin mates, and will be giving mine the option of going there, too! Oh, and getting letters from home was such a highlight of my day!

  4. He will have so much fun. I actually was in the wedding of one of my friends from “camp” when she got married. My only regret is we lost contact and I cannot find her now I keep trying and just want her to know I finally married my husband after 10 years apart. We made many memories at camp and after camp! He will have a blast and so will you!

    1. Thanks, Heather! I never went to sleep away camp, so this is new territory for us! Our friends who have gone said that it’s an amazing experience and you make lifelong friends – good to know that this is so true!! I hope you find your buddy!!

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