I am heading up to Summer Camp on Saturday for a week with my family.
Getting ready for camp got me thinking about my first experience going to “Sleep-Away Camp” without my parents.
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My first trip to “camp” was when I was only a few weeks old. My father was the speaker and my parents’ friend flew my mom with her brand new twin babies up to the island. Yes, for our family, camp was a part of life – and we loved it!
My father was a minister and he loved to speak to youth – even long after his days of “youth ministry” were over. So, every summer my parents volunteered for a week at senior teens’ Bible camp.
My dad was the camp director and my mom worked in the kitchen. My siblings and I were “worker’s kids” roaming the camp, hanging out with campers and having fun. It was the highlight of our year.
As I grew older, I became a camper, then a dish crew worker, and then a counselor.
I even met my husband at camp! And we have carried on the tradition of volunteering every summer at this same camp that has been so important to us. In fact, this summer will be my eight year old son’s ninth year going to camp.
My son loves it and counts the months until July when we get on the boat and head to the island.
And he can’t wait until he can attend camp on his own, as a camper at Junior Boys camp.
But, when I first attended camp without my parents it was not the fun, carefree experience I had going to camp with my family.
No, my twin sister, Susan, and I suffered from extreme separation anxiety when we were away from our mother. We couldn’t even handle going to day camp without feeling sick to our stomachs.
But, since we loved camp and our older sister would be there as one of the lifeguards, we decided to try.
It did not go well…
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