June 8, 2013

Field Trip- Summer Camp

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A Look Back


When I was a young girl, I wanted to go to Summer Camp.
Really, Really, Bad!
One summer I read the book, Laura's Luck by Marilyn Sachs.
It's a story about a girl named Laura, who went to summer camp.
Oh, how I had wanted to be Laura....and have the same experiences she had had at camp..
I wanted to go to summer camp and experience all that summer camp had to offer.

Field Trip: Summer Camp

I had a childhood friend who went to camp every summer. She went to a camp called: Camp Tekawitha. It's a Catholic Youth Camp for Children of all Faiths and it's located on Loon Lake in Shawano County.* Camp Tekawitha has provided fun-filled, positive summer experiences to thousands of children for more than 80 years.* Oh, how I wanted to go to Camp Tekawitha!

In my family, there were 5 girls and one boy. My parents couldn't afford to send me to camp. There just wasn't enough money and the answer was simply, no. I was heart broken, but I knew it was just the way it had to be. Once my mom let me ride along with my friend when her mom drove her the 2 hour drive to Camp Tekawitha...it was the first and last time I ever drove along. My mom must have sensed how broken hearted I was when I arrived home... It was the one thing my mom regretted, she said to me years later, not sending me to camp.

So I lived threw Laura and read and re-read the book Laura's Luck, and went to summer camp through her. Soon my dream of going to summer camp became a distant memory and I grew up, but deep down inside me, there will always be that 12 year old girl, who wants to go to summer camp:)

When my daughter was 11 years old, she had a chance to go to summer camp with some girls from her girl scout troop. I thought it would be a wonderful experience for her.
I was a single mom, working full time so I knew it wasn't going to be easy to send her to camp but I was determined to save enough money so she could go. I was so very excited for her but she on the other hand, wasn't quite as thrilled. The night before she was to leave for summer camp, and I was  writing her first and last name on her tennis shoes, I could tell something was wrong, she seemed "funny"...not her bubbly self.

First she said she had a stomachache, then a headache....I didn't really listen to her and figured it was the going away from home jitters plus......I was to busy talking about all the "Summer Camp Fun" she was going to have...... singing around the camp fire, canoeing, making s'mores, swimming, sleeping in a cabin........At one point, I think I even said to her, "Who knows, maybe you'll learn how to weave a basket, won't that be fun!"....she rolled her eyes at me.

The next morning we were up at 6:00 am and by 7:00 am she was on the bus and on her way to Summer Camp! As I stood waving to her, I think I might have had a twinge of jealousy..... after all she was going to summer camp, just like Laura from the book Laura's Luck...and something I never had a chance to do.

After a week at camp, she was on her way home. I was sitting at the kitchen table waiting to hear all about her fun filled week at camp. When she walked in the back door, her face was sun-burned, she was sweaty, her hair was a mess and her arms and legs were full of mosquito bites and scraps. She looked like she had gotten lost in the woods and walked all the way home.

I put a huge smile on my face and said, "So, how was camp?" She dropped her duffle bag on the kitchen floor with a thump. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Summer Camp was your dream mom, not mine." She turned around and walked out the door, heading to her friends house. I sat at the kitchen table dumbfounded! It has been 18 years since I sent my daughter to summer camp and she still hasn't forgiven me:)

*The opinions/views/thoughts written here are my own. I haven't been asked to write this review by anyone associated with Camp Tekawitha or the author of Laura's Luck.

*Camp Tekawitha Laura's Luck
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