The Miracle continues. Alex had a fantastic time at camp. His first overnight camp has been accomplished and it was marvelous. It has all come together so neatly. I was supposed to work while he was dropped off by his dad, but I was able to get out early and join them on the way to camp. We got there early, because his dad was in charge, and he was the first kid from his cabin to arrive. His best friend arrived shortly thereafter, and they were able to pick top bunks next to one another. What joy! Lucas had the bunk in the corner on the left, Alex was to his right. I could imagine from the start these little boys chatting with each other from bunk to bunk, trying to get to sleep at night, waking up in the morning light. Such adventure. They could not wait for their families to leave.
|Notice Yoda in on the bunk too. Lucas forgot any stuffed friends, but said, "I'll be all right."|
|Birch Cabin. Bunks and a fireplace. And boys, boys, boys.|
So leave we did. It was hard. Kevin had to just about drag me away. I wanted to stay, and spy, and be part of camp too. But I left. Took a deep breath, and left. You are supposed to let them fly, right?
And fly they did. Alex must have, by the smile on his face when we returned three days later. And dare I say, he stood a bit taller too. I don't know how easy or hard it was for him. But from the report from his counselor he did great, and Lucas did too. I may have to scan Alex's letter from his counselor in some day, it had so much good stuff in it. He participated in camp. He did all the activities and loved them all. He even rode a horse this time, and went on a trail ride through the woods. At day camp that was the one thing he refused. He finally did it, for 150 bravery points. He got up early every day to play field games, cleaned up in the dining room, sang all the songs, and even ate a hot dog. Somehow he kept track of all his stuff, never even lost his retainer, and got from place to place with out an aide. He even bought a Camp Miller sweatshirt with his birthday money at the camp store, all on his own. Let's not forget the swimming too, and kayaking as well. And most of his time paling around with his best friend. Activities all day, and big campfires at night with songs and s'mores. There is so much I don't know, but am taking it on faith that the staff was not just blowing sunshine, and he really did great. They both did. Alex did not hit the archery target yet, unlike Lucas, but he did not seem disheartened. The weather was beautiful. The bugs were minimal. He climbed the tower, and won a game of Ga-ga. And then the "week" was over. We came to pick him up, and have a closing picnic. He was whole, and healthy, and not traumatized a bit. Lucas was smiling, they remain fast friends.
It was a mini-camp, three nights and days, so the numbers were small and the campers were all young. The perfect size start. Lots of counselors in blue, and their T-shirts read "Professional Role Model" across the back. There was a camp fire to close with, of course, because that is what we do in Camp in America. Time for skits, songs, and awards.
|Preparing for the stage.|
|Birch Cabin got to do their skit "Pebbles".|
|Counselors singing a goofy song.|
|The crowd singing it back.|
|The Dynamic Duo with their First Year Camper ribbons.|
|Our happy Camper.|
Respect. Honesty. Responsibility. Caring. Those are the four core values at Camp, and he did well with all of them. He was sad one night, his first I think. Sad and homesick. Sad enough to bring in his day camp counselor from another cabin. I can imagine it. She was called in for rescue. She took him outside, and they walked, talked, sat down. He must have been exhausted, ready to run for home. But he didn't. She calmed him, and sent him to bed. And that was it. Our one bump in the road, and then back to camp as usual with his best friend. No special staffing. No extra support. One great friend, to whom I will be eternally grateful, and one great program. Half a week away from home. Under the big pines. On the water. Learning how to adventure, and learn, and laugh on his own. Having a good friend, being a good friend, and learning to slot in with a whole group of awesome people. If he can do this, what else might the future hold?