In July Taylor attended her first overnight camp without a family member being a chaperone. She was surrounded by children, away from home and was determined to cause trouble. This is something I always wanted to do when I was a kid. I dreamed of meeting my twin just like in the original Parent Trap movie. I also fantasized about forming strong friendships and bonds. Sneaking out of our cabins and playing pranks on other bunks and having adventures. I was never able to experience this though. My mother was the epitome of an over-protective helicopter parent.
So when Tay showed interest in attending an overnight summer camp I jumped on board and rode with her enthusiasm. Believe me when I say I was both excited and nervous. This marked yet another milestone of my baby growing up. We signed her up for two sleep-away camps this summer. The first being three days with the Wisconsin Army Nation Guard and the second being a week through Girl Scouts.
The day before she was set to leave the nerves set in. Honestly I was surprised they didn’t come sooner. We sent a phone with her to call home before bed, hoping to help with the transition. The first evening and into the night I probably checked my phone every fifteen minutes to double check it had signal and the ringer was on. I was sure she would call. Then:
- 8 pm – no call
- 8:30 pm – no call
- 9 pm – no call
- 9:15 pm – I called her cell and it went straight to voicemail
- 9:30 pm – no call
- 10 pm – no call
- 10:10 pm – I figured she was not going to call and that was a good sign
- 10:15 pm – call
I panicked thinking that it was late so she must not be able to fall asleep. I immediately answered and was met with a whirlwind. An enthusiastic speed talker blasted through the speaker of my phone. It went something like this:
Hi mom!! I just wanted to call and say good night so you wouldn’t worry! But we are not going to bed yet! Okay?! I love you!! BYE! – Click.
Less than 10 seconds later I was trying to figure out what just happened. It was clearly a good sign. She was having fun and causing trouble just like I told her to do. I tried to slip in an I love you at the end of the call. I am not even sure if she heard me.
The next night ended up being a little different. She called at 9:30 pm and sounded tired and sad. When I asked her what was going on she calmly explained that “they” were making their bunk get ready for bed even though lights out wasn’t until 10 pm. This sounded reasonable to me, so I asked her why this bothered her. She explained that last night was more fun because they stayed up until 12:47 am (very specific). Then it all clicked. I chuckled and told her to rest up.
Sunday when we picked her up the group of kids showed off their marching skills and Taylor was in charge of holding / carrying a flag. Pretty exciting stuff if you ask me. On the way home she passed out. Here are some pictures we took and the camp took.