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Camp Bleachers

Camp Bleachers

This month, my view from the bleachers has me experiencing a variety of camp excitement from the comfort of my “typing chair” under the ceiling fan while reading parent posts on Facebook that run the gamut from “I miss my kid” to “Sheesh! Is it Friday already?” 

Whether you have sent the kids off to “Camp Grandparents”, VBS, Church Camp, the traditional summer camp, or some other version, camp is a coming-of-age experience. We know this because at 11:05 on a Wednesday night we got the “I miss you” phone call from one of the kids last month. Gone are the days of hiding beneath the covers with your flashlight reading comics to pass the hours spent missing your family. Today’s kid has the advantage of technology never leaving their hands. Or is that really an advantage? 

Camp is designed to foster independence in a reasonably safe environment where you make new friends and engage in new experiences. Having a lifeline home at the young camper’s disposal sort of takes away the element of independence. Don’t get me wrong, there is something comforting about hearing one of the kid’s voices after a long absence, but I had to think about what he might be missing. Maybe nothing. Perhaps it’s a matter of baby steps and to each his own. They won’t be dragging us along to college Malcolm in the Middle-style. (Netflix it…very funny stuff). 

In any case, what we learned was that he did put the technogadget away. He heard the hum of cicadas, enjoyed some “interesting” food, and did all the normal campy things along with kids from other places. He made new friends and instead of exchanging snail-mail addresses, they left with promises to see one another in the virtual world where they will play each other in a variety of games…sort of like…camp.