The Big Drop Off

It’s seven o’clock in the morning. I’ve been up since quarter of six. Today is a big day. Today I bring my youngest son, my ten-year-old, to Camp Billings for two weeks. This will be his first extended stay away from home and first real experience with summer camp.

It’s a trip down memory lane for me. I am a seasoned camper having spent nearly every summer of my childhood at day camp. It’s what you do when your mother is the camp director. I can still picture her with a lanyard of keys, a whistle around her neck and a clipboard in hand. It was impressive to watch her lead a staff of thirty and an enrollment of two hundred. Her dedication gave girls from Lowell a safe and fun place to spend hot summer days.

But day camp wasn’t my only camp. Each summer I also attended an overnight camp. I started going to Camp Runels, a Girl Scout camp, at the tender age of eight. I was terribly homesick and didn’t really like Camp Runels but continued to go for five straight summers until I realized that my brother was having a far better time at Camp Billings.

Camp Billings was awesome and boasted some nice upgrades from Camp Runels; toilets instead of latrines, no mosquitos, more free time, and activities like tennis, basketball, competitive swimming and water skiing. But most noticeably it was co-ed, which meant  weekend dances and that type of goofy entertainment that only boys bring to the table. It was a blast.

Fast forward thirty years and now I’m delivering my son to that same camp. I can’t wait to walk around and stir up forgotten memories. This time I’ll get to venture into the boy’s side of camp and go into one of their cabins!

I’m so proud of my boy. He’s shown no hesitation. He’s helped pack his things and is eager to go. I’m looking forward to our drive up together just the two of us. I want him to have the time of his life. What will his experience be? Will he be homesick? Will he build lasting friendships and more confidence? While today is the big drop-off, in two weeks it’s an even bigger pick-up.

To be continued……

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