Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Camp woes...

This week, on Sunday, we dropped C off at overnight girlscout camp by herself for 4 days.  It was the first time we left her with someone overnight who wasn't family.  I admit, I had reservations about leaving her anywhere without a parent to begin with, and then, we arrived at the camp where we made a few discoveries.

First off, remember that sweet little camp from The Original Parent Trap with Haley Mills?  With the sweet cabins in the woods and all the girls running around in cute little uniforms?  And the firm yet confused camp director who ran the camp with an iron fist?  Well, set that image aside, because the camp we're at, while probably built in that era, is nothing like it.  It could have been.  Oh yes, it could have been a great camp, but the director is a bit, well, for lack of a better word, I'm going with LAZY.  I believe I could run a camp better than she, and I have no experience in the area.  I know I could have set the parents minds at rest and sent them on their way feeling confident about leaving their most precious belonging behind.  

The first thing we learned that set my teeth on edge was that the "counselors" would not be sleeping the the cabin with the campers.  They would sleep in one "central" cabin while the girls slept in the outlying cabins.  Yea, it's in "" because by central, they meant, the first cabin in a row of 13, and by counselors they meant a bunch of girls who hardly even acknowledged my kid when she arrived.  Fortunately, my kid is the one who doesn't notice that sort of thing.  The next thing that irked me about the camp was that the girls were sleeping in cabins with windows slung wide open to allow air flow.  This sounds like a good idea, but two of the windows in C's cabin didn't have screens!  So, those pesky biting flies could come in and feast on the tender flesh of fourteen eight year olds.  And the last thing I noticed was that there were 14 bunks squeezed into an area designed for 12.  I think what this means is that they smushed the campers a bit so the counselors could stay in one cabin, OR the scary version is that they really had too many campers for the number of staff on hand.  Oh, and guess which cabin C's in?  The one farthest away from the counselors.  Sure, why not put the youngest group the farthest away?  Makes perfect sense.  

As we're unpacking Colleen and making her bed, she's off making new friends, singing camp songs in a field with the other 20 or so girls who've arrived.  At this point, I'm having serious reservations, and it's only by some unseen will that I was able to stop myself from throwing her over my shoulder and carrying her off the property.  H wasn't any more excited than I was at the prospect of leaving, so I went to her and said in a quiet voice, "C, you don't have to stay here, you can come home right now & we'll pay for you to go to a different camp.  A nicer camp with AC."  To which she replied in a hiss, "MOM!  Just go already.  GO!"  So, we did.

So today it's the end of camp, and we're off to pick her up.  I've hardly slept in 3 nights, and can't stand the idea of all the things that could have happened.  My most frequent neurosis is that we'll arrive and she won't be there, and no one will have missed her for the past 23 hours, and she'll have been lost in the woods...  breathe g, just breathe.

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