Blog post by Maine Camp Experience Guide, Laurie Kaiden
As the car speedometer hit high speeds, my husband told me to slow down – we’d get to camp Visiting Day in plenty of time. I don’t think I meant to drive that fast, but I was focused on getting to my girl. The aura of Visiting Day is electric, and the excitement and anticipation are palpable.
Once we parked and checked in, we toted our goods and waited in the holding area. Chatting with other parents was the pre-game and when the gate opened … it was go time! Parents and siblings were giddy as we walk-ran to our kids’ cabins to be met by kids running and jumping into our awaiting arms. The next few minutes are a blur as our questions poured out, and we took pictures, met counselors and saw bunkmates reuniting with their families. My daughter Julia’s hair was longer and blonder – and who had made that cool braid on the side?
I loved seeing the bunk and how the girls live – where they sleep and brush their teeth, the jobs on the work wheel, and the cubbies. I could not believe how neatly Julia’s clothes were arranged (she told me they had spent a double period on clean up for Visiting Day prep). She liked the stuff we brought – especially the candy (which they have until the next day to consume).
It was the perfect Maine day for our first Visiting Day – full of sunshine, clear skies and beautiful surroundings. Over the next several hours, Julia took us around her camp. As friends and I have discussed, it’s so interesting to see camp through their eyes and see them as part of the camp fabric – different from when we toured camps last summer.
That transformation from prospective to camp family translated for both of us. While Julia became ingrained as a camper, we had joined the community of Maine camp families. Throughout the weekend – at the airport, at the hotel, at the restaurants (eating lots of lobster) and beyond – it was so nice to speak with families with kids at many different Maine camps who were all enjoying the Visiting Day weekend.
At camp, we got to see Julia’s favorite activity areas, play a little tennis, have lunch, and swim in the lake. I got to meet more friends, counselors, and her camp big sister.
When it was time to say goodbye – she was sad. However, she was swooped up by counselors and friends. And … as she headed back down the hill – she didn’t look back – only ahead – at the beautiful Maine lake and what the remaining three great weeks have in store.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Camp Guide, about choosing the right camp for your child.