My daughter is about to enjoy her last summer at Camp Alleghany as a camper.
Yes, she’s reached that age — 16 next week — when she only has this one last summer left to bask in the complete splendor of “just” being a camper.
Our baby’s growing up!
Sure, 16s have responsibilities, too, like being Hoppers (serving in the dining hall) and being an Upstart (which includes a short getaway to town and watching over a brood of Upstartlings from time-to-time). But mostly she’s still under the care and programming of life as a camper.
Knowing it’s her last summer has made the promise of a summer at camp (she’s going full term) even sweeter for Chloë. It has its advantages for us, too (means she’ll not be around to push for driving lessons, keeping our aging nerves from enduring too much pressure!) 🙂
But for all her years at camp, and many more to come (she hopes for more as a JC and Counselor), I’ve still not mastered the fine art of preparing her for camp within a reasonable period of time.
Will mom grow up, too?
Why is it, I wonder, do I wait until camp is 48 hours away to ask, “Where can I get some of those camp labels right now?” This is usually followed by, “What do you mean I can’t get custom printed labels done and sent to me by this afternoon?” I jest, but thoughts like this do tumble around my ill-prepared head.
But not this year! NO!
Determined to be organized, proactive, and as Martha Stewartesque as a mom can be, I’m ordering those labels today(!) 88 days before camp opens. I can now comfortably forget rush delivery. I can even let them sit in the envelope unopened for a week…or two…before checking “labels’”off my camp to-do list.
I feel better just thinking about it. But there’s more…
Even though spring is more like “winter-lite” right now, I’ve mustered the willpower to dig through the packed-away clothes from last year to determine which of her blue and whites still fit and are in good enough shape to use for another summer. With that number under my belt, I now know how many shorts and shirts to add to the camp shopping list.
Round about now I can also dig through and gather a years’ worth of mini shampoos, conditioners, and soaps from various hotel stays (I like to recycle!) They’ll make up her bath kit with the gap going on the shopping list.
On my mental “watch for” list I’ll look out for stationery finds in various locations, from church tag sales to discount outlets to her birthday list when relatives ask, “What should I get?” Chloë loves to write, so equipping her for a full six weeks worth of paper, envelopes and stamps is a must-do!
Now that she’s almost 16 I can hope — HOPE — that her feet have stopped growing and that she can fit into those Crocs and Wellies and sneaks from last year. But those are the things on the “last week” list — there’s no sense in gambling on feet!
She doesn’t know it yet but we got her some fabulous new sheets with guitars all over them for her upcoming sweet 16 — they ought to be a hit at home and at camp, making her bed truly her own.
It only took me 16 years — 18 if you count my other daughter — but I think I’m getting this mom thing down!
–Lindsay Curren, Parent, Camp Alleghany for Girls