Rightfully named “hump day”, this point in the session usually begins the downhill stretch for a lot of of our girls experiencing the “homesick hump”. Campers have had two full days under their belts and are starting to figure out their activities, their cabin mates, the camp lingo, and they are gaining a little more confidence throughout their daily routine. It’s pretty typical that a first, or second (or third or fourth) year camper feels some of the homesick blues throughout this session. But the best part about this is that getting through those tough feelings leads to tremendous growth and confidence. It’s really the toughest on you all, parents- there is nothing worse than seeing a photo of your girl looking “off” or getting that homesick letter featuring a tear stain plea to “come get me now!” Cue the gut-wrenching worry and anxious thoughts.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been here. Last year my now 8 year old son, Brooks, headed off to camp for the first time. Mid-way through the session I got a sad letter that said “Everyone in my cabin is mean to me” with a very sad frowny face with big sobby tears. It took major restraint not to send a 911 text to the director right that second! I held off, prayed a lot and reminded myself why I believe in camp…fast forward to the end of the session, I picked up a smiling kiddo gushing about his activities, the camp food, and his new buds. I asked him about the letter and after a pause, he said, “Yea we had fights..phew it was hard sometimes, but we got through it.” The reflection made me smile and was enough to remind me why I will force (if needed) him to go to camp for the next ten years at least. It’s important to advocate for our kids, but equally as important is trusting that they are capable of SO MUCH and letting them experience struggle and discomfort, as we watch them overcome it on the sidelines. That’s key! This will lead to resilience and confidence- things we all need to have a happy and fulfilling life.
Parents, you all are doing good work in trusting the process, and taking brave steps to be without your kiddos for two weeks! Trust that they are gaining so much from being away from you, even through some struggle. Remember, ideally we don’t want them living in our basements after college…right?!
Now onto the day…I could smell this morning’s biscuits from my house across camp and it definitely helped me roll out of bed! The “rolling” is a little more present these days as I’m pushing 30 weeks, expecting a baby boy in October. That being said, food has been a big motivator so for those un-interested in the Dining Hall fare, you can skim ahead. Sausage patties, scrambled eggs, granola, oatmeal, and hard boiled eggs accompanied the biscuits. Lunch was a fan favorite- pizza and juicy watermelon! I’m talking the best I’ve had all summer…sweet, cold and crisp. Dessert were push-pops. We rounded out the day with Wednesday’s tradition- Bag Supper. The girls bring their crazy creeks for a picnic on the driveway, feasting on sandwich fixins’, pasta salad, orange slices, and a candy bar of their choosing for dessert.
We had a lot going on in activities today! Cabins 13,14, 29, and 30 were on the beanstalk today and Becky (our local Trips leader) led a group of girls on a waterfall hike in DuPont, and a climbing trip to the nose of Looking Glass. I sampled a delicious cooking creation that camper, Hannah, shared with me. The class made mini apple pies with a homemade crumble on top. The tennis and pickleball camper/counselor tournament started today! The courts have been hoppin and the competition will really start to pick up. Arts and Crafts made postcards, and Painting was busy at work painting each other’s “dream houses”. I got a visual tour of an impressive Tree House!
We just wrapped up Air-Band, which was full of some show stopping performances. Cabins one and two did an Encanto rendition, and cabin 18 nailed a Parent Trap performance. There was a lot of Justin Bieber, and some old school classics like “It’s Raining Men”.
Taps just played and the hills are quiet! I know these campers are going to sleep well after the full three days we’ve had. Thanks for reading, Illahee family!