I’m shipping out S, my 8yo, to Girl Scout camp this August. When I first asked her about it she was super excited to go but as the weeks progressed she started getting nervous. There were nights she couldn’t sleep and would wander out and find me and ask me a question.
– How will we take a shower?
– Where will the adults sleep?
– What will happen if we need something?
– What if I don’t want to do something?
It’s a little sad seeing her upset over the prospect of going to summer camp. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be waving to her on the bus while she will be sitting waving back with really sad eyes. That will suck. On the other hand, this is what I want to happen. I want her to be nervous and figure out she can handle her stuff away from Mom & Dad. I want her to be homesick and then figure out how to make the best of where she is at. I want her to figure out how to negotiate all the weird kid stuff you are forced to face up to when you are out of your element.
I just read this article at the HuffPo and it covers so much that I’m excited to have happen. Resilience, teamwork, trying new things, and just growing up. We have a big summer which includes a lot of traveling (with and without Mom – but with Grandma!) and then going off to summer camp. We are so lucky that we are able to travel with our kids so much. I feel like it will help them so much in the long run, the familiarity of going out and exploring new places. I always loved the idea of traveling to Europe after collage or high school and I think that it would be exciting if she did that.
With summer camp, we have actually been to the campgrounds twice in the last year. She has seen her bunk. She knows how everything works at camp. So it’s very familiar. Still, pretty scary for her. Luckily I already paid for it. She hasn’t asked to not go but she is still wavering along the line of ‘this is scary’. I’m glad I caught her at a brave time initially when I first asked her. A bunch of her friends said ‘no way’ when their parents asked if they wanted to go. If Sam had not wanted to go when I first asked her, I would have not pressed it. Since she did, I’m capitalizing on it.
I’m also trying to get her ready to take a plane flight by herself next year to go visit Grandpa. I flew on planes alone when I was 5yo and even though ‘times are different’, I still think it’s fine, very safe, and a good learning experience. I would actually send the kids together so they would have a buddy. We shall see.