By Laurie, the Campcierge™
You know the saying, “Don’t count the days; make the days count” – well … I will say that my kids were guilty all last week of counting the days as they peeled off, each bringing them one day closer to their summer camp home away from home in Maine. I’ll admit, it made me a little sad thinking about them leaving me, but happy knowing how much they love camp and how I’d stop running this harried race to get it all done. The kids are my world, but sometimes that world is a little too hectic.
Now that they’ve gone to camp I can actually have a moment to breathe because this has undoubtedly been the most frenetic spring I can ever remember. For me, it was a Bat Mitzvah that had been in the work for years, followed by six dance recitals, camp trunk packing, and then a slew of end-of-year celebrations. Maybe for you it was baseball playoffs, a piano recital, getting teachers gifts, and a school graduation. Doesn’t matter what the actual events were – it was just crazy! So crazy that when a broken circuit breaker rendered my bedroom powerless (no lights, TV, cell charger), I told my husband I couldn’t commit to being home for an electrician until six days later – once the kids would be at camp. I realize there’s a delineation – of BC (Before Camp) and AD (After Departure).
We know camp has countless benefits for the kids. They unplug from their phones and social media, they get outside in nature, they make new friends and strengthen bonds with existing camp friends, they learn new skills, they get time to hone their interests, they gain life skills, and confidence, and independence and more. But the benefits of camp aren’t just for the kids . . . there are so many benefits about kids being at camp for the parents too!
We need and get time to breathe and recharge. We take a break from the crazy carpool schedules that start early in the day with getting to school and end late at night. We get a break from homework (either helping our kids or losing our voices telling them to go do it). We have time to do what we need to do, which can include so many things from cleaning out closets and rooms, to catching up on work, to reconnecting with spouses and friends, to enjoying a little time playing golf or tennis or Mah Jongg or whatever it is we like to do. Many parents also enjoy traveling whether it’s to enjoy the sights and food in Maine (aka “Vacationland), or a beautiful beach or a great city in the US or abroad.
Now I won’t say that as I unwind a little that my kids are completely out of sight out of mind. On departure day each year, I wait patiently (and maybe a little anxiously) to know that my kids have arrived safely at camp. Then once I get the call to know they’re there, I do a victory dance and start the party. Well, not exactly! I do miss them a lot and I do spend time each day writing letters or emails to my kids, looking at camp pictures online at night, and thinking, hoping, and knowing that they’re safe and having a good time. I schedule my camper phone calls and make Visiting Day plans, but I also enjoy the balance of these calmer times by myself, with my dog, and with friends.
So … for the first-time camp parents and to the veteran camp parents – don’t count the days (or schedules or appointments and commitments); make the days count. Take time for you. Take some deep breaths and soak in the calmer pace while your campers are away. Enjoy a little less laundry and food shopping, and a bit more free time to do what you want to do. I wish you a summer of rejuvenation and hope to see many of you in Maine later this month.
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.