My daughter is off to summer camp today. We are taking her right after church. Summer camp….so nostalgic. She is going with Girl Scouts (not the whole troop, just a few of her friends) and she will spend the week outside. I am so excited for her. It has all of the traditional stuff of summer camp; swimming, canoes, hiking, arts and crafts, but this one is special it is a horseback riding camp. Everyday she will spend time taking care, learning about and riding horses. My daughter LOVES horses. She is excited for her.
Yesterday when we started packing it became apparent she was getting a little nervous. She talked about missing me, and her parakeet ,and the dog, (not her brother) and everything else. 🙂 We talked about it; being away, missing people and things. She has spent time away from home but it has always been with family, a grandparent or something. We talked about adrenaline and stress and how her thoughts can make that a good and fun experience, like a roller coaster or a bad and scary experience. We talked about how she can decide what to think.
Then we spent time talking about when I went away to camp. I think there were two a girl scout camp and an asthma camp. I told her about how fun it was and what I did. It was good conversation with a 9-year-old.
After she finally went to sleep I sat thinking about camp. The experiences, the learning, the adventure. I am so excited for her to be having this experience. To step just a little further out into the world on her own. I am glad there is a place for her that is (mostly) computer free (they do let us send email back and forth). I’m glad she will have nights to giggle and cook over a fire. I’m glad she will learn some skills. I’m glad she will grow in confidence.
Summer camp can be a magical place an experience that every child should have. I am grateful I can provide this to her. Anyone else sending a child to camp this year? Did you camp as a kid?