Does anyone else get that reference? You might do if you’re as old as me! And if I tell you that today I sent my youngest off on school camp for a week. I really hope her experience is better than the kid in the Camp Granada song!
A week seems like forever when you’re not allowed to have any contact at all. I’m so used to being able to stay in touch with my kids that I feel a little lost. But it will be good for her and I fully support and endorse the policy of strictly no devices which has been put into place for the kids. “But what will I do?” lamented Ms 11 when faced with a five hour train ride. She took a book, a deck of cards and a very large bag of lollies to share. I think she will be fine.
My kids are way more coddled and protected than I was. That’s partly a sign of the times of course but also partly due to the fact that I grew up in the country at a time when it kids still played cricket in the streets and we rode our bikes everywhere. We swam down at the lake in the summer and spent the day at the footy in the winter. My kids don’t do any of this and that’s why camp is such a great idea. Even if it does reduce me to a blubbering mess.
I remember having the time of my life on year 6 camp. It started badly when I was rejected from the tent I really wanted to be in but I was embraced by the girls in the next tent and I ended up being friends for many years with some of those girls. We had “fashion” parades and talked endlessly about boys and fell about laughing over the silliest things. It was fantastic. The greatest part of all was being away from home for a week, with no parental input. It felt a bit like being a grown up, the independence was a heady delight and I loved it.
It’s precisely because I am a little bit over protective (yes I am, I’ll own it) that I put on a brave face and fully supported my daughter to have a wonderful time on camp. When she got a bit wobbly I gave her a huge hug and told her she was about to have the time of her life, an experience that she would one day be able to share with her own daughter or son. I happily waved her off and managed to snap a brilliant photo of her laughing and looking confident and happy as she wheeled her suitcase off with her friends.
I’m so glad she’s experiencing this rite of passage. As for me, well I get to have some much needed one to one time with my eldest daughter who is relishing a week without having to share a bathroom or the house with a younger sibling.
And anyway, it’s not that long… just four sleeps until she’s home.