Monday, July 9, 2012
Sleep Away Camp...FTW!
In the next few weeks 3 out of 4 of our kids will be heading off to summer camps. There is no stronger or fonder memory of my early years that I have than heading off to camp.
According to an article in MacLean's it turns out it was good for me!
The oldest one went to camp once when she was about 9, she did not like it. As she went without knowing anyone and being shy, it wasn't a positive experience. She's old enough now that she's working and has turned out fine, but I wish she had the experience that I did. I think it might have built a stronger confidence in herself had she had a longer, better experience with it.
I adored a week each year at camp, meeting new friends, connecting with old ones. My spouse also attended the same camp I did and his experience was similar. Each summer was geared to the camp dates and counting the days to getting there. The songs were familiar, the food was not our favorite but we recall it fondly as the memories have lasted forever.
Every year at the end of camp we had dreams, and promises and a special independence that came with going into that unknown world without the armour of our comfort zone. It prepared us for endings and good-byes; for new beginnings and coping with the unknown.
I believe it has helped give me the strength of my convictions, the ability to adapt, and the sense of humor to know where to hang my hat and when to just throw my head back and laugh.
And while camp is somewhat of a financial hardship to our family when you have 3 kids going in a very short time span, I believe with all my heart, that the investment is priceless to building them into the people they are so wonderfully becoming.
Years later as I occasionally connect with friends who went to camp with me, we reminisce with great fondness about those carefree days of hot days, river raft floating, camp outs, fireside singing and friendship that still holds today.