This was written by Joy Pearson Schneck, a Camp Green Lane Camper/Staff member for 16 summers and now a Camp Parent.
With one more day to go, you are probably wondering how to act, talk and deal with thoughts of your child leaving for overnight camp for the summer…How do you send your child away for that long? This question has been asked by so many of our neighbors and friends.
1 more day and all of us in our house feel lots of mixed emotions — happiness, sadness, jealousy, and excitement all bundled up into one. You want your child to know he/she will have the best summer of their life while at the same time, making sure he/she knows you still love them more than anything in the world. My son made a bucket list before venturing into his 3rd summer at Camp Green Lane and I agreed to ensure that all those wishes were checked off before his summer began. Did his list include an outing to Kentucky Fried Chicken – yes, it did! Did we check it off the list — yes, we did! After a few more items checked off the list, I sat back and wondered, why? Why a bucket list before going to the best place on earth for the summer? A place I would call my home and would go back in a heartbeat, a place where the buckets are made full year after year.
We do all sorts of things for our children. We do these to make them happy. We do them to avoid confrontation. We do them to make sure they know we love them.
So, I sat back today observing my son swimming with 6 of his school friends and his little sister. I overheard some of the dialogue between them. They decided to play Water Polo because “That is what we do at camp,” he stated. I sat back today while my son chanted dining room cheers and heard him say, “That is what we do at camp.” I sat back today and overheard him talk about his bunk and playing basketball because “That is what we do at camp.” I sat back today while my son hugged his little sister and said, “Don’t be sad because you will be at camp next year.”
Although I realized after being at Camp Green Lane for 16 years myself, nothing is better than watching your child or children learn and experience the best things about camp…about life. So, when you worry about your child venturing off for the summer without you, you have to realize a few things: camp, in and of itself is a bucket list, that will be made full. Your child does not need to go anywhere, eat anything, say anything, or do anything. They need to get on that bus turning the corner to their summer home and know that they are entering their bucket list.
Their bucket list that will be full, not just for the summer, but for a lifetime. We all need to let our children go and experience the best things in life. Just sleep with the comfort of knowing your child will have a full bucket for the rest of their life!
Good night Camp Green Lane!
Joy Pearson Schneck