Yesterday morning, we picked Edie up from camp. Three weeks ago, that amount of time seemed so long. Somehow, it flew by. I didn’t get everything accomplished that I wanted to, but I also knew that it was quite likely that was going to be the case. There were roadtrips to be taken (3 in one week), concerts to be attended (2, with a third being turned down), friends to be visited with, a house to be cleaned, canning and sewing to be done and much quality time to be spent with my husband.
We knew when we decided to send her that this would be a really great experience for her. As an only child, she spends a good bit of time alone during the summer. She goes to various day camps, but she still has a sizable amount of unstructured time on her hands. Summers are tough and I think they are even tougher for an only child. She generally is bored to tears by the beginning of August and so the last 3 weeks before school starts are brutal around here. Most of the fun, creative day camps are over with the end of July and it seems everyone clears out on vacation. It’s her & us. And it’s hot. By the time the first day of school rolls around, she’s so happy to see the big yellow angel, she’s singing Hallelujah.
Her first letter from camp said she was having an
okay good time. She asked us to please send candy and she included specific instructions as to how this was to be packaged and sent. Over the course of the 3 weeks she was gone, we got exactly 5 letters from her. Each one sounded like she was having more fun than the last one. I kept hearing how it was good we weren’t hearing from her – that meant she was doing well. She wrote about how she was enjoying archery. We got a letter from her counselor, telling us what a joy she was to have and how she was doing well with riflery. I immediately started thinking that she was going to take care of that little squirrel problem we’ve been having.
When we arrived at camp yesterday, she ran out to meet us and burst into tears. She later told us it was not entirely because she was happy to see us, but rather because she wasn’t quite sure she wanted to go home. Our already sweet, way cool, confident girl had blossomed. Oh yeah, she likes to shoot things. She’s a little bit good at it too and is willing to consider some target practice on the squirrels that have been giving me trouble. She gave us a tour of camp and showed us where they did yoga. Her dad, who’s been doing yoga with her since she was a wee one asked very excitedly, “Did you do yoga?” She shrugged and gave us a very nonchalant, “oh yeah”. Later, during closing ceremony, when she was recognized for her excellence in yoga (as well as crafts and drama), we giggled about her coolness.
That’s the inside of the ‘craft’ cabin at camp. It seems our sweet gal not only learned how to shoot things, but also got to play, supervised, with power tools. And in her own, very cool way, is taking it all in stride. There is a whole list of things she learned to do, not just shooting things, but horseback riding, how to play tennis, how to deal with outhouses and pond bathing for 3 weeks. She grew on both the outside AND the inside. She definitely has a new, bigger perspective on life that is amazing to see.
Will told us we’d get sick of camp stories around December. We’re on day 2 of camp stories and already Daddy is rolling his eyes….we only have 11 more months of hearing them before we can drop her off again. Because yes, she’s already waiting for next year.
And quite frankly, I’m looking forward to another 3 weeks with my husband.
Summer camp may be the best thing ever invented.