Both offspring are at camp this week. Andrew continues counseling in Louisiana and by all accounts is enjoying it greatly. Last weekend he and several others even took their off time to go to a church in Texas to do a youth activity. I predict that this coming weekend he will be very tired, after not really getting any relaxation between the two weeks of camp. But then, he's young, and in middle age I'm probably not remembering well how much energy reserve twenty-somethings have.
ML has gone to the Wilds teen camp for the last time. I remember well how, nine years ago, she was very nervous about going to camp for a full week for the first time. Andrew was going to the Bill Rice Ranch for the second year, and there was room for her to go - but she was just not sure if she wanted to go along yet or not. The idea was tantalizing but, after all, she was only going into the fourth grade--and she had had a negative experience at a shorter church-related camp, close by, the year before. We didn't pressure her but left the decision up to her. On the last day she decided - yes, she was going to go. Even then, she boarded the bus that Sunday morning with a little apprehension.
All week, I was concerned that maybe she was homesick and unhappy. I knew there were good people from our church who would take care of her, but a mother just doesn't rest easy if she's not sure about her kid.
The following Saturday, the bus pulled back into the church parking lot, and ML was crying - because she had to come home.
After that, she went to the Ranch for, if I remember right, three more summers in a row. Then she went to the Wilds several times and Southland a couple of times also. Camp has just been part of her summer experience year after year. So this week marks the end of an era; I trust an era of growth and edification in her life. She's come a long way for a girl who that first year wasn't sure if she even wanted to go to camp at all.