Thursday, June 11, 2009

Off to Summer Camp!

The girls are at Girl Scout camp right now. It's a mini-session (two nights) since this is their first time going to camp, and we all felt nervous about committing to a full week. I'd never been to summer camp, so I couldn't wax glowingly about all the fabu fun they could expect. So when we arrived at the gate (after a 1.5 hour drive), all three of us had butterflies.

But then all our first experiences were good. Check-in was a breeze. Everyone was friendly and seemed genuinely glad to see the campers. We had requested that Tiny Girl and Miss Priss be in the same cabin, so after check-in we walked to their (air-conditioned??) cabin and met their cabin counselor (nicknamed Short Stack -- apparently they all have nicknames). I helped my girls put the sheets on their bunk beds. And that's when it happened.

Tiny Girl said, as she shoved her duffel bag into her cubby, "Okay, Mom, you can go now."

What? The brush-off? The wave-away I've heard other moms talk about?

Miss Priss had other ideas. "Not yet, Mama. Stay for a little longer." So I agreed.

Short Stack suggested the girls change into their swimsuits at the bath house and head up to the pool for their swimming evaluation. Another little girl whose parents had already hit the highway came along with us. I, along with some other parents, watched the evaluation, which was overseen by two lifeguard/counselors named Bluebell and Snow White. I am not making this up. The campers had to swim the length of the pool as best they could, then tread water in the deep end for one minute. They were given colored bracelets (like hospital bracelets) to wear for the duration of camp: almost every girl received an orange bracelet, which means they can swim everywhere except the roped-off deep end. Okay, I have to brag. My girls got the first green bracelets of the day. They can swim anywhere in the pool.

At the pool restroom, the girls changed back into their clothes and got read to walk back to their cabin. Tiny Girl said to me, "See you later, toots." (She cracks herself up.) Miss Priss felt more courageous, but was still a little unsure. So we had a quiet chat, hugs, and kisses, and she was ready to let me go. Tiny Girl deigned to give me a high five. I watched them and their new friend head up the path to their cabin for a moment and then walked back to my car, alone.

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