By Laurie the Campcierge™
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” was my mantra as I thought about the summer camp season 2017 coming to a close and campers heading home to reunite with parents and siblings. You know each Maine camp summer will be great, but until the kids have gone through it – it’s impossible to know how truly amazing it will be. With each summer, the friendships deepen, the fun and experiences are beyond imagination, and the camp truly becomes a second home.
Watching the kids say goodbye to their camp friends is surreal. I think what keeps them moving is their exhaustion (i.e., they don’t like to “waste” too much time sleeping the night before they have to leave camp and each other), excitement for their home comforts (e.g., shower, bed, food, pets), and especially . . . the knowledge that the countdown to Maine summer camp 2018 is already well underway. But, even though the camp friends are out of sight, they are far from out of mind. Out of habit, my kids called us by their camp friends’ names several times on that first day back.
The ride home was a great time to hear stories and reaffirm how happy and lucky our kids are to have these Maine camp experiences. They got to sail on a beautiful crystal clear lake daily, play a ton of land sports amidst the pines, enjoy incredible arts, take memorable out-of-camp trips, and be a part of fun and meaningful camp events and traditions. I know more stories will come out throughout the year, told directly to me or overheard during carpools as the kids share their favorite songs and memories with their home friends.
After their showers, my older daughter headed to her room. I thought she was going to catch up on Snapchat with home friends, but she actually spent several hours pulling photos and music to make a pretty awesome video montage with highlights from her camp summer. I was impressed. Not just by her skills, but also that she felt such passion, gratitude, enthusiasm, and excitement about her camp experiences.
Sending kids to overnight summer camp reminds me of the early days of sending them to pre-school. Children are well supervised and amongst peers where they learn to navigate new situations, build friendships, acquire skills, explore creativity, gain confidence, and much more. While I’m sure many campers actually do come home from camp physically taller, I’d say that their accomplishments also make them seem older and more mature than when they first left.
So, with a deep breath of amazement and contentment (and maybe a held back tear or two), I close this chapter with a smile that it happened.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.