camp list

July 21, 2021

Anyone prepping kids for overnight camp knows it’s a weeks long project. Our basement is a sea of bug jackets, life jackets, tennis rackets and camping gear. There’s the practical side to packing; follow the list, and Marie Kondo your way to two tightly packed duffels. And then there’s the emotional side. Always much harder. Will someone comment on her Grandmother’s old comforter? Will she want to shave her armpit fuzz when she sees other girls doing it? What if she gets her period? Does she have enough stamps? And what about him; will he change his underpants? Will he be warm enough with that old blanket? Is a pink sleeping bag an invitation for bullies? Sending a child to camp is an exercise in surrendering control. In that heap of fleece and Gortex and triple layered masks sits every parent’s inner most worries for their child. No wonder parents fret so much about packing; it’s the only thing we can control. Fourteen pairs of underwear, check. One pair of wellies, check. The most important things –– confidence, resilience, courage, kindness, flexibility –– we all know, aren’t packable. And no amount of bandaids or sunscreen will stave of homesickness. So we make a list, check it 42 times, and hope for the best.

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