They Survived (And THRIVED) at Summer Camp!
I just picked my kids up a few days ago from the summer camp busses. My house was quiet and clean for three glorious weeks. I came and went as I pleased, watched what I wanted on TV, tackled a little to-do list and emptied more than a couple bottles of wine. When people asked where my kids were and I replied that they were at summer camp for three weeks, I got a mix of reactions, ranging from people who couldn't believe I could be without my kids for three whole weeks and people who thought it was amazing that they could be away from home for that long!
Camp Walden at Sunset
Let me start with why I love sending my girls to summer camp. I went to camp a few times as a kid and I loved it. When I became Mama to two outgoing little girls, I knew I wanted to send them to camp as well. You gain confidence and try new things, meet new friends and learn about yourself. My girls went to a great camp for one week a couple summers ago and came home saying that they wanted to stay longer than just one week. This particular camp did not offer longer sessions, so I started to research other camps with longer sessions. I came across Camp Walden on my search and had a phone chat with the Camp Director and discovered that they had a 3 week session that may be a great fit for Izzy and Delilah. He invited us to the Camp Office in Toronto for a meet and greet to have the girls learn about life at Camp Walden. The girls decided they wanted to go and they had an amazing time last summer for their first summer at Camp Walden.
Izzy met a new friend named Shayne, who became her Camp Bestie and even though she lives in Toronto, we made an effort to get the girls together several times throughout the year. Camp friends can be lifelong friends, but if there is distance involved, obviously a bit of an effort needs to be made. I will never forget the time we surprised Shayne with Izzy showing up early for her birthday party, so they could have a little play before the rest of the girls got there. We rang the doorbell and Shayne answered and burst into tears when she saw Izzy! The girls hugged and cried and were so happy to see each other. (I may have shed a tear myself, not going to lie....)
Shayne & Izzy together again, summer 2019!
Shayne, Izzy and Ashley, summer 2019
Camp Walden is just outside of Bancroft, on an absolutely gorgeous lake. Seeing the scenic photos posted of this camp makes me want to go myself for adult summer camp. (Gosh I wish there was such a thing!?) They have every kind of activity you can imagine for these kids. Archery, rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, arts & crafts, singalongs, colour wars, Walden Games, theatre productions, dance, camp fires....they even had a giant inflatable beaver race down the river! They are so well entertained at camp, but they do also have rest time for writing letters to home. Izzy was so excited to tell me about her cabin going skinny dipping one night, which I found absolutely hilarious and I know that will be a memory she will carry with her for life. Delilah made it to the top of the rock climbing wall after telling me that last year she couldn't make it up even halfway. I encouraged her to try again and was so excited when I saw a picture on the Camp Facebook Page of her all the way at the top. I just love that they try all these new things and gain confidence in themselves. Over the three weeks that they were away, they make their own choices and decisions and come home with a glow that can only partially be thanks to the sunshine and time spent in the great outdoors. Summer camp changes my girls and in a way that can only be described as magical.
Captain Delilah on a sail
Izzy showing off her kayak skills
Izzy just a Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay....
Delilah, my rock climbing Goddess
I do miss them while they are gone and they miss home too. I got some great letters that made me laugh but also a few that made me sad, if they were talking about being homesick. When they got home they immediately started talking about camp next summer, so I do know they love it. As long as they continue to love going, I will keep sending them. One day maybe the girls will be counselors and find little girls that love them as much as my girls loved their counselors. Camp is officially all cleaned up, the laundry has been done and their camp bins have been re-packed for next year. School is about to start and the girls are left with just memories of their 2019 summer session at Camp Walden. But oh what sweet memories they are. And I am left with just memories of the clean and quiet house....but having them home with me is pretty sweet too!
Here are some more camp photos for you to enjoy! For more info on Camp Walden, please visit www.campwalden.ca
The first session at Camp Walden, 50 years ago!
Izzy and Delilah are doing some yoga with friends
Fun in Arts & Crafts!
Delilah with her cabin friends
They grabbed a photographer for a picture of them together "to make Mom happy!"
Classed under Mom Hips-Parenting & Family Life
Writing an "About Me" is not easy. How do I pick and choose the pieces of my life that molded me into the person I am or deem the milestones and memories as important enough to tell you about in this little "About Me"...Well, I often joke that I have Read more about me...