I remember back to the days of summer camp when you packed your bag and headed off for a week or two away from your home, parents and siblings. The first time away was always nerve-wracking to go to a new place with new people and sleep in a cabin with your bunkmates.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
I remember that saying being told to me numerous times throughout my life because being a girl drama seemed to follow me. I never heard that saying more than when I was preparing for summer camp. I'm thankful I took the advice and tried new things because it is those childhood experiences that gave me the courage to be independent and strong willed.
Some of the things we did at the camp were:
- Crafts, using lots of recycled stuff like paper rolls, egg cartons and macaroni
- Red Rover
- Pogs – playing and trading
- Rigged up playing cards to hit our bike spokes to make that “cool” sound
- Snuck out to play pranks on the boys
- Kick the can in the dark
- Tackle football
- Kitchen duty – dishes, cooking, cleaning
- Sneaking candy into our bunks at night
All of these things were fun, and we never got hurt that I can remember. I have to admit sneaking out what the most fun out of everything but I think they knew we were hiding out it wasn't as secret as we thought. Oh, and listening to cassette tapes on an old tape player, the fun! It reminds me of the summer camp activities at Chateaugay.
It was incredible the fun, memories and being cut off from the real world.
Now the kids go to DAY camps, not the summer camp and these camps go from 9-12 or if you're lucky 9-3, which isn't even enough time to run home and take a nap. And you can pay extra to drop your kids off early and pick them up late, the part I like is they make it sound like this is an incredible privilege.
All I want from a summer camp is to drop the kids off and go home to relax in silence, as I'm sure my Mom did. I find it humorous how much changes over the years.
I want to go back to the days of tacky crafts, red rover and kids having to make their food and serve each other. I know the kitchen duty always made me realize how much work my parents did at home every day and it was a good lesson to learn. I want my kids to have that same independent experience and be challenged, so they come home more respectful and know how to disconnect from their electronics.
Next summer things will be different I'll find the hidden gem of a camp that the kids can enjoy the same experiences I did!
What differences do you see in summer camps?