I just got here at camp, and I thought I’d write and see how you’re doing. Truth is I know how you’re doing. I know you’re probably worried sick since I’ve never been away from home overnight before. You’re probably waiting by the phone for a call telling you that I’ve been eaten by a bear or I’ve gone native and changed my name to something like Sparky McWilderson. Stop stressing, Mom. Sure, you have some real concerns, but don’t let worry keep you from enjoying this time with me out of the house.
I know what you’re thinking.
“What if you get sick or hurt and need medical attention?”
Remember all those forms you had to fill out when you registered me for camp? A lot of those were forms to give the camp personnel my medical information and allow them to have me treated just in case I decide to play Tarzan and fall out of a tree. You were careful to include all my medical conditions, allergies, and current medications as well as our insurance information. So if I make myself sick on Sour Apple Slurpies at the commissary, I’ll be able to get the medical attention I need quickly.
“But what if you get lost or separated from your group?”
These camp counselors have had lots of training and certifications to make sure they keep campers safe. I’ll be carefully supervised and thoroughly informed of the safety rules. Paths here are clearly marked, and I’m sure we’ll be instructed about the importance of staying on the paths at all times. If I somehow manage to get distracted (imagine that) and find myself separated from my group, I’ll remember the safety talk we had before I left about staying put until someone comes to get me. I know I’ll be harder to find if I keep wandering.
“What if you don’t find activities you like?”
We went over this together, Mom, remember? We looked over the camp brochures and browsed the website to find fun and adventurous stuff for me to do. You encouraged me to try some new things. I’m not really into the vigorous athletic activities like flag-football or canoeing, so I’ve chosen horseback riding and archery. Those are things I’ve never done before, and they’ll be exciting without making me feel stressed or overwhelmed.
“What if you have a hard time fitting in?”
Looking around, there are all kinds of kids here, so I’m sure I’ll find someone I can connect with. You’ve told me how important it is to get involved with group activities in order to meet people, so that’s what I’m going to do. Tomorrow I’m taking a wood-working class and then I’m going on a nature hike. Who knows? I may meet my next BFF!
“What if you hate camp and want to come home?”
I’ll be honest, Mom. Tonight I’ll probably be a little homesick. However, it’ll probably make things worse if you call me. If you simply must know how I’m doing, call a camp supervisor or my counselor for an update. I know you programmed all their numbers into your phone before I even got on the camp bus.
If I call you and ask to come I know you’ll probably encourage me to “stick it out” for one more day. Chances are, I’ll find a friend, group, or activity I like and you won’t be able to drag me away from this place. If that’s not the case and I still want to come home, try not to be too disappointed. I may just not be ready. Come get me or have me brought home without a big fuss. We can try again next year.
Mom, relax. You did your homework and made sure I was prepared for this awesome adventure. Now go read a book or get a manicure or do whatever moms do when they don’t have kids around. I’ll be home in a few days and I’ll be bringing with me a mountain of soggy, smelly laundry, so rest up while you can.
Article written by community member Amy Bennett.