The years… they go by.

So in about an hour, I’m taking my precious baby girl to her first week of camp as a camper.  She is not scared.  She is so excited she can barely eat.   I’m not scared.  Well…. not really.  I know she will have a great time, because she’s going with a few friends, plus she’s never met a challenge not worth taking on.

I know she will experience teaching, worship, and community like she never has before, because it’s tailored to her and she’s there without us.  And finally, I know that about 75% of what we packed in her suitcase won’t make it home. On account of she’s prone to losing things.  Here’s the reeeeally scary part for me. I’m now a Camper’s Mom.  

For five years (one week a summer), my husband and I led worship at this very camp, along with a band made up of mostly high school students.  Those experiences were awesome; very intense, high energy sessions…. 300 or so responsive kids (except for the inevitable row of 6th grade boys in the back who were, you know, too cool for everything)…. working with talented student musicians.  I learned a lot about leading worship in those venues, and I have amazing memories of our times with the kids.  I was good friends with the camp director at the time, so always had an inner view of the workings of the camp, the incredible counselor training, the plight of a camp nurse trying to cure homesickness, and the existence of the Overprotective Camper’s Mom (OCM). The demanding moms who fight for everything to be perfect for their kids… who dis-trust everyone except themselves… and who hover.  Like helicopters, except you want to swat them. 

I will not be an OCM. This is only the second year we’ve not gone to this camp. When my husband left youth ministry, we made the decision to pull out of all summer camp staffing, which ended his 10 year run as co-director of a junior high camp, ended the worship leading at the junior camp my daughter is going to, and our involvement in worship and counseling at senior high camp.  It has been an adjustment, but it’s been GREAT to have summers that stretch out at home. Plus also, when I realized the kids coming to junior camp belonged to parents we hang out with, it seemed as though possibly I was getting to ‘that age’ where I would cease to be cool enough to jump around and lead ‘recreational worship’. I’m sure my daughter is grateful for that decision.

So now… I must take her to camp… meet the 16 year old counselor in whom I will have complete faith… deal with emotional girl-ness if all the right people aren’t in her group… and NOT BE an OCM.  But seriously?  THIS is how young the campers were all those years?  Young enough to worry it might storm during camp? Young enough to fret over which stuffed animal to take, so as to not hurt the feelings of those left behind? My girl will do fine.  She has 8 years of camp experience under her belt (as daughter of camp director), and an unquenchable thirst for adventure.  Plus, she’s only taking sporty clothes, won’t ever care what her hair looks like, and is hopeful that they will have very few activities with the boys.   I suppose those things are only a matter of time as well.


13 thoughts on “The years… they go by.

  1. Tee… I think I did ok. It helps that I know and trust the folks in charge. :)matt… my oh my how my voice misses that particular 20 minutes of screaming….

  2. Tam – haha. yeah, sort of…no not really. I’m The Daddy’s very -older separated -at- birth -sister, and friend of the ever gracious Kimbo who is gracious evough to associate with someone out of her league years- wise, and buddy to Gma Kathy, and audience for The Boy and The Girl. They need an audience. and I need the entertainment. Also, I can see when they come and go from across the lake. Not that I ever look.

  3. granny…. great idea, the camera(s). I briefly thought about something like that, but decided that I’d not clutter her week with trying to remember to have the camera at all the right times. One of her counselors is from our church, so maybe she’ll take some pics. You really do need to meet Tam. :)

  4. Hey Kimmy, did you give her a (disposable) camera …or several for the losing thing… for the week? She’s an artsy sort of tomboy; she could take some great pics. and to tam…HI TAM, MY NAME IS NANCY, NICE TO MEET YOU…you are spot- on about the writing…this kid could be a dynamite writer. Actually, I could see her running the daily paper at next year’s camp.

  5. KRYSTA!!! So good to hear from you. I’m going to try to keep The Daddy from seeing your comments… no telling what he would do after reading the words ‘holding hands’ and ‘kissing’ as related to something having to do with The Girl. But deep down inside we know you’re right… just hoping your second comment is true as well. So far, seems like we’re on that trajectory. tam… that’s a great idea, having her write about it. She writes quite often, so I bet she’ll be up for it. And down time…. well…. I’m sending child #2 to grandma’s for 2 days so I can do the Great Kid Clutter Clean-Out. I’ve been looking forward to that for months. We’ll see how it goes….

  6. aawwww…i’m feeling you Kim! i was like that the first few years i sent my kids. it’s much harder on us, as are most things, than it ever is on them.It would be really cool if your daughter would write about her experience when she gets home…or write it for her. i’d love to read it from her perspective.have a great week and enjoy some down time. wait. this doesn’t mean we have down time huh? oops.

  7. oh … and if she’s anything like me … she’ll scare the boys off because she’s strong, independent and ultimately intimidating. so you should be good to go :)

  8. too cute :) those of us on the honduras trip who grew up christians, talked about “camp memories” as we were hiking through the rain forest. fun times! don’t worry … holding hands at camp didn’t start until high school … and kissing during capture the flag didn’t commence until …ooo … well, you have at least two years. ;)

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