Sending my daughter off to sleep-away camp was something I never questioned. It is what I did, and my sisters, and all of my cousins. It was the best time in my year and I learned half of what I know from my summers away. I can start a fire, put up a tent, canoe, sail, water ski, be independent, be a friend, a leader, a follower, and push myself to do something embarrassing. Most important, I learned to deal with people who I may not always like. Our head counselor, Helene Lebowitz, used to say “Girls, you don’t have to like each other, but you have to get along.” Helene taught me one of my most valuable lessons. I never forgot her or the lesson. I wanted my kids to have the same experience.
Basking in the glowing memories of my camp experience, it never occurred to me that I would be at home suffering and desperately missing my daughter. I wonder if she is getting any sleep. Did she make friends? Is she eating anything healthy? Did she find her toothbrush? Is she changing out of her bathing suit when it’s wet? Is she using a clean towel for the shower and not the yucky one from the lake? Did she get up on skies? What is she doing right now? How about now? What about now? You get the point.
To make my obsession even more voracious, the camps post photos of the kids. Parents pour over these photos waiting for a glimpse of a happy camper. This cartoon really makes me laugh because it is so true. Anyone who has sent their kids off to sleep-away camp can relate. Enjoy and try to laugh.