Hello, folks. It’s me… your friendly neighborhood guest blogger. While this would normally be my “I was at Sing last night crying, and my children were crying, and everyone was crying” post, I’m not able to work that ol’ chestnut this year. As with everything over the past 17 months, this year’s Color War Sing was different, and guests were not able to make the journey to the foothills of the Pocono Mountains for the evening. Luckily, technology saved the day, and we were all able to see our children’s faces and hear them sing their hearts out this year. That was such a special surprise, and an excellent way to spend an evening, in my humble opinion. Thank you, technology. Thank you, whoever decided to live stream Sing. Thank you, Mindy Davidoff, for your Oscar-worthy work behind (and in front of) the camera.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I woke up with a pit in my stomach this morning. Not my usual “back-to-work Monday blahs” pit, but the “I cannot believe it’s the last week of camp” pit. My morning email to my kids was equal parts practical parenting (“Do not bring home gross, dirty, socks. Throw them out. I do not want to smell them.”) and spiritual camp sherpa wisdom (“Pick your favorite spot in camp and sit there for a while. Breathe in the camp air. Hug your friends tightly. Get a second helping of meatballs at Cabaret dinner.”). Writing that email each summer makes me so incredibly sad. Not because I’m not excited to have my kids home–I cannot wait to kiss and hug them, smell their heads (post-shower), and talk to them about each and every facet of their summers. It makes me sad because I know that THEY are sad to be leaving their happy place in 5 days. That they will be thrilled to see us (but mostly the dog), take nice long showers, and sleep in their beds for a few nights. But after the novelty has worn off, they’ll want to be back at camp. I’ll want them to be back at camp. I’ve already started lobbying for CGL to open a boarding school, where our kids can remain in their bubble and continue to live normal lives. I will be more than happy to teach at said school, perhaps something along the lines of AP CGL History. Also on the schedule: Canteen Economics. Creative (Color War Song) Writing. Lake Unami Marine Biology. The curriculum will translate quite well in the real world, I suspect, and colleges will be recruiting from within the arches.
But I digress….
After the school year(s) they’ve just been through, the fact that our kids have been inside a safe bubble for 7 weeks is, well, everything. They finally got to take their masks off. Hug their friends. Have an incredibly long sleepover party. Eat indoors. The burden of worry was lifted from their little shoulders. They weren’t listening to the news or being bombarded with statistics constantly. They weren’t sitting on their electronics, scrolling through other people’s lives. They were living their best lives with their best friends. I just had a sleepover party with three of my best camp friends (35 years and counting) and all we did was talk, eat and laugh. We were living our best lives and we didn’t need anything but each other to do it, which is exactly what camp is all about. The people. The quality time. The laughs. The nothing special and makes everything special. I would rather do absolutely nothing with my camp friends, than something with anyone else.
Coming home from camp is always hard. This year it will be even harder with uncertainty, seemingly, still around every corner. But they shall, once again, persevere and June will be here before they know it. Until then, they’ll use the memories of an amazing summer to keep themselves warm through the winter.
Enjoy the next five days of pics and videos of your smiling campers’ faces, camp fam. Then it’s smelly sock time.
Yours in Camping,
Robin Stern Raskin