Summer means beach trips. Lounging by the pool. Cooking out and watermelon, fireflies and fireworks. It’s also the time that my baby bird spreads her wings and flies off to summer camp. (Her brother-not so much. He begged to not go this year.)
This will be her 7th summer. You’d think it would get easier. Nope. You see, this time, she’s going for 2 weeks. Two different sessions where she has 2 distinct experiences-canoeing and equestrian. I am thrilled for her and totally on board. But I’d be lying if I said it also makes me a bit crazy to go that long without hearing from her. We’ve developed the saying when family travels and you can’t communicate during the trip: No news is good news. Yeah, now that saying is going to bite me in the butt. 😉
But when I put aside my feelings of just missing her, I have to admit: I am amazed at how she has blossomed during the past 7 years after each camp experience. So as much as I’m moaning and groaning about her being gone, that is just me being selfish because I love spending time with my girlie. I didn’t do camp as a kid, so there was a learning curve for me at the parent who didn’t have camp as part of her summer memories.
So if you’re gonna do camp, you gotta do it right, so here at the Boswell house, we’ve come up with some goals for making the most out of your camping time.
Rules for Summer Camp:
Don’t worry so much about winning or losing, how great you do on a particular activity, or keeping score. Just go have a blast.
Some years, Taylor has known one or 2 friends going, but that has been the exception rather than the rule. I am so impressed that she is willing to walk in alone, and put herself out there without a safety net of friends.
Embrace the experience.
You are free from Mom and Dad for 2 weeks. Yes, there are still rules, but this is a chance to test your independence. Find your voice. Show your true colors. You seemed to have kicked it up a notch after trying our an Adventure week last year. Offsite for 3 days, sleeping in tents (sometimes in rain), being responsible for toting what you needed—these were all life experiences that shape you. Grab them!
Try new things.
This shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for our adventure week girl who tried whitewater duckies, zip lining, and whose favorite food is sushi. But it still makes me feel better if I say it.
Write your family.
Your mom may or may not scour the camp website every day for photos of you. During your adventure week, you aren’t in many photos since you are offsite, so take pity on your neurotic mother and throw her a bone by writing, mkay?
Try not to lose your retainers.
Newest addition to the list. I will be totally impressed if both retainers make it home.
Make sure you triple check your packing because you’ll be there for 2 weeks!
Translation: Don’t forget your towels. (Apparently they didn’t make the cut last year). Well, this was a before you go rule, but VERY important nonetheless! And no laundry service so what you take has to last.
Grow with God.
Her camp couldn’t have a more stunning chapel on the side of a mountain that is often the site of weddings. Surrounded by God’s majesty, in the woods, stables, on packout–He is all around. Hiking, caneoing, swimming, even just the simple act of breathing fresh air. I pray she realizes the gift of it all and that she grows every stronger in her love and relationship with Him.