Sophie went to camp last week. Her first time away from home by herself, other than staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Pretty big stuff for an 8 year old.
She went to the church camp that I grew up going to. King Solomon Christian Camp. I went there as a camper for 10 years, I think? And was a counselor for 4 years. I have so many fun memories from my time here! (and it has changed so much! They have bathrooms in the rooms now! And air conditioning!)
Sophie was so excited to go to camp... until the morning we left. Then the nerves started up. But when you're with your best friend, you can handle pretty much anything, right? (It didn't help that it was storming pretty good the morning we drove them up there. Rain, lightning, thunder, hail. Just what every first time camper wants to experience.)
I sent her with my teddy bear, Honey Jo. I told her he had spent 10 years sleeping at this camp, so he would help her feel better.
I so wanted to spend time wandering around looking at all the bunk beds. I know my name must be written on several of them!
These girls were excited, but really, really nervous. They knew no one except each other. Most of the kids who come here come with their youth group and many have people from their churches who come as counselors. They knew no one. (But the director is the music minister at my parents church, so he was at least a somewhat familiar face to Sophie. And he promised to keep an eye out for them.)
We pulled a couple Sharpies out of our purses and did our own little version of "The Kissing Hand." We promised them they would be safe, they would have fun and that we would pick them up the next day. (Camp lasted all of 27 hours. It was a perfect way to start them out!)
Thankfully, it stopped raining shortly after we got there. We sent our girls off, confident that they were going to be okay... hoping and praying that they would have fun.
Then we snuck back up to their bunks and left happy little notes on their beds...
The storms let up... they got to go swimming... they made new friends... they slept well... they loved the food... and they had fun! We picked up two very happy, very silly girls the next afternoon.
They've commented about "next time" more than once, so we'll see what happens next summer. Camp for 3rd graders is 2 nights/3 days. =)
We loved so much that these girls had fun, but the ride home with 2 silly, slap happy little girls wasn't near as enjoyable as the drive with just Danielle and I. We decided next time we should send the daddies to pick them up. =)