Tag Archives: camp

My Separation Anxiety

My boy is going to a sleep-away camp this Summer for the first time and I’m a wreck.  I don’t know why, though.  I’ve never had separation anxiety before, never had a problem being away from him for hours or even days.  In fact, when the hubs and I go out alone together, he’ll ask a few times, “I wonder what he’s doing now,” or say “I miss him,” and my response is always, “Who? Oh, right, we have a son…”

I’m not worried he’s going to have a bad time.  He’s going to have so much fun with all the activities available to him and he’s going to be there with several of his friends.  I’m so excited for him to go and experience this!  I never went to sleep away camp, but the hubs did and has many fond memories and friendships that lasted for decades afterward.

B is convinced that he’s never going to college and I’m sure that going to camp is going to change his mind.  The freedom (i.e. no mom or dad correcting him, pick his own activities, get himself to where he needs to be) in a controlled environment (i.e. counselors in charge and there for help, curfews, bunkhouses and dining halls provided, etc.) is somewhat similar to college and and see that going away is fun and maturing.  This is a big positive to me of him going.

I’ve left him with friends, family and even strangers (Sunday school, Summer day camps) for years and haven’t had any problems once I met them, talked to them about his allergies, found out who will be holding his epi-pens and their knowledge and comfortability with administering them.

Over lunch this afternoon, we talked about the things that he needs to stay on top of that can be hit or miss at home without being reminded: putting on his deodorant, wearing underwear daily, wearing clean underwear.  I let him know about the number of people per room and that they will share one bathroom.  I asked if he had any questions or concerns at this time and he didn’t.  I told him I did: him getting sunburned and mosquito bites.  He replied, “Yeah, you’re right.  I’ll bring sunscreen and bug spray with me.”  “That’s a good idea, but you can’t just bring it; you have to use it.”  “Oooo-kaaay, Ma.”  I give him credit for not physically rolling his eyes, but I heard it in his voice.  ;o)

I also told him that I was worried about ticks.  So many people where we live have Lyme disease and we have been lucky so far.  I told him that we’ll go over thoroughly checking himself and give him a hand mirror to look at places not easy to see (armpits and manly bits).  I was asking him to think about whether or not he felt comfortable asking his friend who is rooming with him if he could check B’s hair for ticks at night and B would check his friend’s hair when I lost it.  I just started blubbering!  What is wrong with me!

Is it that this is another milestone that drives home, once again, how quickly he is growing up?  I don’t know how I’m going to handle not talking to him every day!  He’s not allowed to take his phone.  If they find out he has one it will be confiscated.  Do they have pay phones the kids can use? Can I send him with a calling card so he can call if he wants to?

We both need this and I hope all my blubbering and worrying ends once he’s down there.  Although, the drive home after we drop him off will be the worst!

Turning Fear Over to God

7:00 am. When I climbed into bed last night, everything that had to be done today ran through my head.  I started to panic.  B is attending a camp this week that includes swimming in a public pool everyday.  Although I’ve been just as excited as he is to go to Summer camps up to this point, my imagination went wild in the dark of our bedroom.  The pool is indoors and the only light is from limited windows.  How are the lifeguards able to keep an eye on everyone?  The pool will be packed with so many bodies, how with the lifeguards be able to tell if anyone goes and stays under?  What if there are kids who are not so nice or roughhousing and push B under the water?  What if he does his Tazmania Devil – he’s so excited about an activity that he just keeps going and going at full speed until he drops –  in the water and then just slips under when he runs out of steam?

I know this kind of panic is strange, even crazy, to others, but not for us. B’s not replaceable.  He’s our one and only.  It took 6 years and lots of effort, poking & prodding, tests, biopsies, tears and prayers to have him.  And in the 11 years since his birth, we haven’t been able to conceive another child.  So he is IT.  I, we, cannot lose him.  So, I started praying.

“Lord, your favor has always been on this child. He has the best of me and the best of the hubs in him.  Everywhere he goes, everyone he comes in contact with, sees You through him.  He is a shining example of You, Jesus – in his openness, his friendliness, his kindness, his thoughtfulness to others.

“This boy is destined for great things, Lord!  You and his dad and I know this and can’t wait to see his destiny fulfilled in Your honor!

“So I am trusting You to keep our boy safe.  Watch over him; protect him from harm and let’s all marvel as this boy turns into the man You have planned.”

My prayer started out desperate, frantic – a plea.  But as I prayed, the fear and panic slipped away and peace replaced it.  I fell asleep immediately after.

The hubs just called and said, “I’m worried about this camp.  I don’t want anything to happen to him.”  “I know,” I replied.  “I felt the same way last night.  I panicked and then I prayed.”  I started to cry and then I repeated my prayer to the hubs.  I reassured him.

As I typed my prayer out here, it wasn’t peace I felt; it was determination, strength, assurance…

3:00pm.  A couple of times today, once before dropping B off at camp and once afterward, I thought about worrying.  “How come I forgot that I have something huge to worry about today?  I should be fretting!  How come I’m not?  Well, I should start now, right?”  Then a calm, paternal voice in my head said, No. I got him. 

8:00pm.  The hubs picked B up from camp on his way home from work.  When they got home, B breezed in, dropped his bag full of wet things from the pool and his empty lunchbox, went right out the back door and over to the neighbor’s house to see if the kids could play.

Me: Did he have a good time?

The hubs: Yup.  He made a friend, but he can’t remember his name.  He loved everything about camp except for the locker room.  But none of the other boys liked the locker room, either.  It’s that age.

Me: Did you meet the lady with the curly blonde hair and freckles when you signed him out?

The hubs: Yup.

Me: She made me feel good about leaving him there.

The hubs: Me, too.

“Thank you, Lord, for looking after our boy and for angels with curly blonde hair and freckles.”


Why Had I Never Heard of Apple Camp Before?

Did you know that Apple retail stores offered a free movie making camp to kids ages 8 – 12 during the Summer??  Neither did I!  That is, until I saw a post about it in June on one of my favorite mommy blogs, Money Saving Mom.  I immediately clicked on the link in her post and was taken to a detailed description of the camp on Apple’s website.  I knew this was right up B’s alley.  Not only would he enjoy learning how to film, edit and add music to his own movies, it was free.  Something for both B and me.  :o)  I signed him right up for a Monday/Tuesday/Saturday session.

During attendance on day one of Apple Camp, the camp counselors took down shirt sizes and within a few minutes, each child had a free Apple Camp t-shirt.  On the front is a constellation of a clapperboard surrounded by musical note stars.  On the back are the words, “Make movie magic.”  They also received a lanyard and  “pass” with their name on it.  The kids watched an example of what they’ll learn to create in the camp then worked independently at their own station with an iPad and their headphones.  B was able to draw his movie’s storyboard and create his own score using Garage Band.  The counselors were very engaging with the kids and made learning fun.

While the kids learned how to make movies, we parents received our own Apple lesson.  Our counselor navigated us through the Accessibility options in Settings and answered questions/solved problems that we were having with any of our personal Apple products.  I learned a lot, myself.

Day one ended with a homework assignment – all kids needed to create approximately 2 – 5 minutes of film to bring into Day 2 of camp, where they would edit down to a movie of no more than 90 seconds.  B was armed with his storyboard and knew just what his movie was going to be about.  “The Epic Battle” was filmed outside later that afternoon, with the help of the boys from next store.  B calls them his, “little brothers from another mother”.  ;o)

Day two got off to a rocky start.  When we arrived, some of the campers form the previous session were still there, working on their projects, so B’s session did not exactly start on time.  Plus, the number of counselors was cut in half, due to customer assistance needs in the store.  There were a lot of kids who didn’t know what they were doing and patience was hard to come by with all that excitement and eagerness to start editing.  But the counselors made sure they instructed each child and the kids helped each other out, as well.  Everyone from B’s session was finished with their movie by the end of day two.

Day three of camp wasn’t until Saturday, “a whole four days away, Mom!” and B just knew it would never come.  Thankfully, he was able to pass some of that time by creating more movies at home.  We arrived at the Apple store Saturday around 8:45am, B wearing his camp shirt and lanyard, and were let in at 9am.  After the kids were seated around the viewing monitors and we parents were standing behind them, one of the counselor gave a short talk.  He said the employees had a great time with the kids and there were definitely some JJ Abrams and George Lucases among the campers.  I was surprised to hear that all the sessions at this Apple location had filled up in two days!  I will start scouring Apple’s website next year for registration info by June 1st to make sure B gets in again.  There is so much to do in iMovie and he was not able to absorb it all.  Another year of this camp will teach him even more.

Then, each kid was called up front to introduce their movie and we all watched.  These kids amazed me with their imaginations and what they were able to film in an afternoon.  After each movie, the creator was presented with a certificate of completion, four apple camp patches and the bracelet shown above which contains a thumb drive with his or her own movie on it!  B has worn it every day since camp and offers to show his movie to everyone who happens to have a device with a USB port on it.  LOL

Free Apple Camp gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up from this mom!

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