Lots of outdoor, electronic free time!
A chance to perform!
Many mom friends asked me whether I was nervous about sending Mina away for so many weeks solo. I've realized that the idea of sleep away camp is a bit foreign for most of the ex pats here.
I never did sleep away camp as a child, but for some kids, it was a summer ritual. Jeff recalls most of his friends in Brooklyn leaving for the summer, and I loved hearing stories Grandma H told of her summers away in camp. For upstate kids like me, camp was our backyard, so that was the end of it! It might be a city thing.
Obviously, you have to know your own child's maturity level to assess whether they are ready for the adjustment of being away for so long. Mina begged us let her go for the full summer, but I wasn't ready for that. So I compromised and gave her four weeks. This was also her second year of going to this camp, so i felt more comfortable knowing she was in great hands. She's also very self directed, social, and loves group activities. In other words, camp is a perfect fit for her!
My only concerns, and they remain so, are exposing her to kids that are much older than she is, and are also very Americanized.
Just to explain... Living here in BDA, the kids grow up with a very different sort of cultural environment. It's really one of my favorite parts of living here - the culture of politeness and respect and innocence that exists. It's very old school, in a sense.. The please, and thank you, and "good morning" greetings, the way children address grown ups, etc. I'm American, and very proud of it, thank you ... but I do worry a bit that kids grow up,way too fast back home. Here in BDA, they get to stay kids a lot longer. It's just a very different atmosphere.
At any rate, Mina survived, and had a fantastic time. Her counselors were like the big sisters she never had, and she loved her bunk mates. I missed her like crazy, and I counted down the days till I could get her back.
At the same time though, it was also a mini lesson for me in letting go. Isn't that the hardest job as a parent - trusting that you've taught your child how to behave and why, and letting them venture out in short doses?