For many, many, many years the start of summer meant packing a huge duffle bag (a hockey bag to be exact and probably because I am a Canadian girl with a hockey player dad!) and heading off into the wilderness that is summer camp.
I started going to camp when I was quite young. It all started with Girl Guide camp, Summer Outdoors day camp, horse camp, church camp, tennis camp, french camp, Jewish camp....whew, that's a lot of camp. I loved pretty much every minute of everyday I have every spent at camp. I bet to a lot of people that know me know this would be a huge surprise because I don't really give off the aura of an outdoorsy girl. But when you really think about it there is so much more to summer camp.
Summer camp is many things to many people, but to me it's...
- learning how to be away from home
- learning how to live in one room, cabin, tent with more people than you've ever lived with
- it's eating food your mom didn't cook
- it's waiting everyday for a letter to come from home
- it's sleeping through thunderstorms
- it's trying things that terrify you
- it's swimming in ponds and lakes with way too much seaweed
- it's doing lap after lap after lap in the attempt to earn that summer's swim badge
- it's shovelling 59 horses' worht of poop and actually having fun
- it's getting up at 6 am for early morning feed, or polar bear dip, or to run the camp road
- it's more face paint and apache fire challenges than most people ever encounter in their lifetime
- it's fun
- it's portaging a canoe in the dead heat of summer
- it's meeting your lifelong friends and maybe even your soulmate
- it's smiles, and giggles, and laughs, and crying, and everything in between
- it's campfires and singsong
- it's made me who I am today.
At the very young age of 15 I became a camp counselor and didn't stop until I was 25 and I still miss it every summer. My best friend, who I met at camp, asked me earlier this summer if I would send Avery to camp and my answer in absolutely....if she wants to go.
Now the summers are without summer camp..why don't they have summer camp for moms? What a great idea! But the summers do have the cottage and that's where my family and I are headed tomorrow for two glorious weeks of relaxing, beaching, shopping, eating and resting.
It's not summer camp, but I'll take it. See you when I get back!