Why Summer Camp is Fun for Moms…


Summer means two things… the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, and the kids at sleep away camp. Two separate topics…but both great! If sleep away camp is something you can’t identify with, then let us describe it.

As the hectic school year winds down, we start buying (and buying and buying) supplies, labeling belongings and packing our children to leave for their (and our) summer of fun. While some may attempt to follow the suggested camp packing list, most of us get carried away. Although laundry is done on a weekly basis at camp, enough clothing is packed for several seasons. This may seem pointless since no child will ever wear any of his or her own clothing, but that doesn’t matter because all of their friends (both boys and girls) will. In addition to an arsenal of attire, the camp trunks (i.e. body bags) are filled with fans, flashlights, stationary, bedding, batteries, games, towels, toiletries, iPods and anything else you can imagine to keep our precious children comfortable. Some pack enough food and snacks that an entire family couldn’t consume (even though this is considered contraband at many camps). At the end of June, our children leave their homes, families and animals to go away for seven weeks (it used to be eight but they cut the days and increased the cost). You should know that servicemen going off to war have received lesser send-offs.

Then the fun begins. Not theirs…ours. As moms, we write to our kids every day telling of the monotony of our days (if we tell them how much fun we have without them around they may not leave again), and may e-mail them, but in most cases we leave that to the dads. We check the camp web sites for pictures of our kids (not an easy task unless you have a red head), and if we do not see them in at least several dozen photos, we, of course, assume something is wrong. Many of you, we’re sure, are chuckling and shaking your heads in agreement. We make daily pilgrimages to the post office to send care packages and more contraband. Oh how lucky those parents are whose camps do not allow packages. We continue shopping, because halfway through the summer us parents descend upon the camps for visiting day looking as though we’re moving in. We bring our children’s favorite foods, enough candy and junk to give them a mouth full of cavities, and wagons full of “stuff” (a.k.a. expensive junk). Do we do this because they might be missing something, or do we do it to assuage our guilt over how sad we are that the summer is already half over and we don’t want it to end? Does it matter?

Nothing matters during the summer; we are in a kid-free and stress-free zone. We love our children, and we do miss them, but while the kids are away, we get to play! And of course, we anxiously await the annual Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale.

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