…All of us actually.
Our outdoor time this year has been pretty limited due to the fact that my wife is 7 months pregnant and hot-natured. As pregnant as she is, she would still do anything to see to it that our babies are not deprived of childhood rites of passage, like going to summer camp.
Camp Widjiwagan is our local YMCA camp, and my wife was emphatic about our son’s attendance this year. He just finished kindergarten, and she wanted him to have fun this summer, so she enrolled him in their 2 week day camp. What I didn’t anticipate, however, is how much fun sending him to camp would be for all of us and what a profound affect it would have on our boy.
The camp invited everyone out the Sunday before our son’s session to tour the camp and take part in the pool, lake activities, and the archery range. I was a little irritated we had to go through all of this hullabaloo, but the Mrs. insisted that we attend. This was her baby after all. Forget the heat.
I’ve never been a big fan of water activities, but couldn’t resist the urge of the Wet Willy water slide (not me in the video). My son and I went down together the first time…and the second…then my ears couldn’t take anymore. He went down on his own 3 more times. This is the same boy who a year ago was afraid of the hand dryers in public restrooms. I guess he’s growing up.
We had a blast that day, and despite the heat, my wife still had a good time. There was a pool to lounge in after all.
Everything was great until…
I went to pick him up at the bus drop off site the first day and found him crying his eyes out. He had gotten confused about which stop along the route was his, and no amount of consolation from the counselors could help. I thought this was an indication of the week to come. I was wrong.
As the days went by, our boy got tanner, sweatier, and more talkative at each pick up. He told us about things he had done each day that I had never thought possible. We were more than astonished to find out our son (remember the hand dryers) had even scaled the Alpine Tower!
The first week went by like a flash, and Tuesday of the next week was Canoe With a Parent day. Parents were invited early in the morning to a breakfast followed by canoeing and kayaking on the lake. By this point, my son was an old pro at camp. Besides the half hour we spent together, just father and son, in the serenity of the lake in the early morning, all I could ever catch of him was his back side, leading the way!
The 2nd week was over in a flash, and whatever magical spell summer camp has on people had taken full force. It brought us together as a family, made us have fun in the sun, and helped our boy grow up just a little bit more. We were all sad to see it come to an end, but memories like this will last a lifetime…