Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Time at REAL Girl Scout Camp

The milestone was reached last week:  Bluebird attended her first overnight event by herself.  (We did a trial run of staying away from home earlier in the month when she and Penguin stayed a weekend at Grandma's house in Idaho.)

Knowing that this was the first year that she could attemp camp, Bluebird sold cookies like a fanatic this past March and earned enough money to pay for all but $20 of her 3-day, 2-night camp fee.  She could not wait to go!

I drove her up to Trefoil Ranch for her check-in at 10 am.  The gate to the camp is closed until exactly 10 am, and when they open it you have to drive through one at a time and check-in with a counselor at the gate before proceeding to drop off your child at the main campgrounds.  When we stopped before our turn to check-in with the gate counselor, my resolve to not cry came crumbling down.  I hurriedly wiped away my tears as we pulled up to the counselor; and, as I pulled into the campgrounds, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the mom in the car behind us brushing away tears.  It made me feel a little better.

The real check-in included taking her temperature and a lice check.  I helped her unroll her sleeping bag in the bunkhouse and escorted her out to her counselor, and then I was told I could leave.  (They're not kidding when they say check-in is from 10:00 am to 10:15 am...go away Mom!)  So I left, stealing backwards glances at my little seven year old, who was excitedly chattering away with her new camp mates.  When did that little baby I nervously brought home from the hospital suddenly become old enough to just leave at camp?

She was at camp for the rest of that day, the entire next day and Michael picked her up on the morning of the third day.  (I had accidentally scheduled a choir rehearsal to take place at the same time, so I couldn't go.)  I missed her terribly.  I prayed constantly that she was safe and that she was making good decisions.

She cried almost the entire way home because she didn't want to leave camp.  I suppose that's better than the opposite.  She's told me that next year she wants to go for an entire week.  She kept the letters I had delivered to her at camp and I've caught her re-reading them before hiding them again in her nightstand.  She's growing up, but she's still my little girl.

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