The first time my daughter Kyla attended girl scout summer camp, I was one of the volunteer chaperones who rode up to the mountains with the campers. It was a two-hour bouncy ride on an old yellow school bus, and my daughter clung to my side like a limpet.
Still, as soon as we arrived, she quickly said goodbye and lined up with her new cabin mates. However, that eagerness to begin a new adventure did not translate to a cheerful postcard home after her first day at camp.
My kid, who had never expressed a jot of homesickness during previous campouts with her scout troop, suddenly missed me with exclamation points.
- (√) made new friends
- (√) sang songs
- (√) played games, and
- (√) had lots of fun,
she definitely kept expectations firmly in check on her overall assessment of Camp Sherman.
Bypassing choices like “Is the best” or “Has lots to do,” Kyla wrote-in her own answer to describe the camp: “OK but I’ll tell you.”
My daughter even added a question mark after the pre-printed line “Well, I am off to have more fun,” just to let me know that she was reserving judgement. And then there’s her message on the card’s reverse…
Yet, for weeks after she returned home, Kyla regaled me with tales of cool counselors and the little frogs by the lake, and sang all the funny new songs that she had learned.
Maybe one’s first week at summer camp is an experience best enjoyed in retrospect. Does anyone have their own fond — or foul — memories of camp?