Yesterday we road tripped to my childhood summer camp to take advantage of their open house. My husband has been wanting to visit since he didn’t go there and we wanted to give the kids a visual feast that would amp up their excitement levels about future attendance. It was a beautiful day for it – sunny, low 60’s, chilly in the shade and definitely the first time I’ve been there wearing a jacket. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as the open house layout and itinerary. There wasn’t a strict schedule for anyone, more like pairing a couple families together with a guide and taking a leisurely walking tour.
I loved seeing what’s been upgraded, what’s the same. I had a few hardcore dejavu moments and the memory floodgates opened wide. It made me wish I had attended longer – I stopped going when I started babysitting during the summer. It made me wish I had been a counselor. Can they have a grown-up camp session? Please? I call top bunk!
We were touring with a family that lived much closer to camp and our guide was a former camper/counselor and has now been working there for 11 years. The other family’s 10-year old son was interested in the day camp, but his parents wanted him to see all the cool bonuses to living there for two weeks. His mom was thrilled with me and my stories and memories of being a camper. My two boys really enjoyed seeing the cabins, riflery range, ropes course and water activity area. The camp is parked on 100(ish) acres with over a mile of lakefront shoreline. The wide range of land AND water sports is a huge draw and my oldest definitely got the twinkle in his eye while we explored and asked questions.
I need to look at our summer schedule and see what weeks we would be free for him to attend and see if we can make it happen. I think the freedom from parents, the access to the sports and activities the camp offers, and being able to learn about social cues from peers and mentor counselors is a huge plus for kids both on the social and educational scale. Plus, if he loves it he can probably talk little brother into it next summer and continue attending until he is eligible counselor age.
We parlayed our road trip into an afternoon play date and dinner with some dear friends who live in that area. It was a perfect family Sunday, and I’m so happy the weather cooperated!
Happy First Day of Spring, y’all!