Yesterday was visiting day at the kids’ camp. This is the only sleepaway camp my kids have ever gone to (this is their third year), so this is the only kind of visiting day I know. I have no experience with this kind. I can’t imagine why a camp would possibly set things up in such a way that you had to prove how much you missed your kids by how fast you can run to them. And the gifts? Crazy. Maybe it’s because my kids’ camp doesn’t skimp on the candy bars, but all Jake asked for were some Tootsie Rolls. (I had sent them care packages of Cheez-Its and Pringles earlier in the week – there may be something weird about a camp where you can get Snickers bars and Coke, but not crackers. But I digress.)
There is no running to find your camper as though there are bulls chasing you. There’s no race to set up a tent (a tent!) or a blanket in the best spot. The kids are not gathered in one place anxiously awaiting their parents, making it obvious who isn’t loved because their parents hit traffic.
No, visiting day at our camp looks like this:
A long, slow line of cars. Everybody finds a parking spot in an orderly fashion. Last year Omer and I split up – he went to find Fiona, I went to find Jake. But since Fiona had been at camp two weeks longer this time and was missing us terribly we went together to find her. Then the three of us went to find Jake.
We had a great day. We took the kids “off campus” to lunch, then for ice cream.
They told us all about what they’d been doing. Fiona showed off her swim bracelet, meaning she’d passed her swim test and was allowed to go in the lake. She told us how she made a box for Jake in wood shop and saved up Hershey Bars and M&Ms from her allotted snacks and gave it all to Jake for his birthday. Jake told us about playing Ga Ga (it’s kind-of like dodgeball, but with your feet), and how the camp band he plays drums in is called Exit Interview (awesome name!).
Back at camp, the kids showed off their archery and tetherball skills.
Fiona showed us how she aims a rifle.
And they did the kind of brother/sister stuff that makes us glad we get a little break from them each summer.
It was a relaxing day. There was no pressure, no schedule we had to follow, no competition for who could bring the best gifts or hug their kids the hardest (we’d have won that one anyway).
In the last half hour, Fiona got a little sad. But once she got back to her cabin and her friends she was fine.
Jake wanted us to stay and play Ga Ga, but by then it was 4:00 and visiting day was over. And off we went to a casino, because we still have two kid-free weeks left, and we’d be crazy not to take advantage of that!
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