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Mom’s First Day at Camp

Mom’s First Day at Camp

Well, the school district has several days before the officially declared spring break where parents and teachers have conferences about the status of the child in the respective class. The conferences are not the problem. Hey, I love to hear what the teacher has to say about my child and how he is doing academically and socially. My problem is that there are no classes the days before spring break either. So as a working mom, I needed to find something safe and fun for my first grader. I decide to sign him up for camp. As a child I never attended camp so I only have Hollywood to tell me what camps could be like. I am thinking it’s about climbing up a rock wall, maybe taking a swim in a lake, and hiking. However, this year Iowa has been in a tundra condition and today the snow is melting but it still a cold.

This morning we woke up earlier than usual because I was not sure what to expect from my son. It is a change in his routine. Previous off days had been spent at day care, where the routine was breakfast, am snack, hot lunch, and pm snack. Day care providers were very conscious about letting kids go outside if there was a below than 50º F wind chill and if it was way too muddy. 

I decided to find the phone number for the headquarters camp site. The lady over the phone informed me that kids would receive an a.m. snack, lunch and they needed to bring $2 for p.m. snack. I panicked a little bit. My six year old has not lost his head because it is attached to his body. In other words, he has lost hats, mittens, jackets, and snow pants. The thought of giving him $2 was beyond me because I was thinking this was not a responsibility I had prepared him for. I admit I was being a little overprotective.

Regardless, I gave him the money; we got into the minivan and drove to the drop off site. At arrival the day seemed a little Friday the 13th for me. There was a thick fog, no sunlight, and the path to the cabin where I was to drop him off seemed abandoned. The door had a loud creaking sound and when I walked in there were two counselors and several kids. The kids were all wearing their hats, jackets, snow pants and mittens. I felt chilly inside. The counselors seemed very young but seemed friendly. I went up to one of the counselors and said I was dropping off my son. He asked me to complete the medical release form and I complied. Before leaving, I told my son to please make sure that he keep all his belongings inside his backpack so he would not lose anything. He looked at me like I was way too repetitious for his liking. I really wanted to kiss him goodbye but he seemed hesitant because there were too many other kids watching us. I speak Spanish to him and that already draws too much attention for his liking.

As I walked away from the cabin to get back into my car, I thought that my six year old was venturing out into another world that he did not know. However, he seemed unconcerned about it. To me it seemed that he was ready to do something different but I was not. I cannot wait until I go and pick him up to learn if he had a cool adventure and if I could live through him what my first day at camp would have been like.

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