Tomorrow is Saturday, but more importantly, Precious comes home from 3 weeks at camp.
She spent her first two weeks in a leadership training program and the third week she was a regular camper. Her last chance to be a camper at the most wonderful place on earth. Next year, after 2 more weeks of training she may be offered a position as a counselor. A dream 9 years in the making.
The counselor training program is quite rigorous, exhausting and fun. Not only do they learn all about how to keep campers safe, teach them important skills like sailing and making silver clouds on a campfire, but she has to be there to meet their needs in the middle of the night. That moment when you are 7 and realize that you are in a cabin in the woods of Maine, and your mom is back at your house and you won’t see her for a week. You spend two weeks living in close quarters, smelly, dirty and possibly buggy, with the other CILT girls, forming bonds and making memories that only you will understand.
I mentioned it is the most wonderful place on earth, this camp, in the woods, on a hill, beside a lake, in Maine. I’m not exaggerating. I have sent my girls off to this haven for the last 10 years for a week or 2 or more and each year, crying on my way home, worried about my babies. Knowing they will have the time of their lives, shooting arrow and bullets, sailing, kayaking, singing silly songs and laughing 24 hours a day, I’m not sure why I cry, maybe it is the middle of the night when you wake up and realize you are a mom at home and your child is sleeping in a cabin in the woods of Maine.
This camp is the only camp of it’s kind in New England. First of all only girls attend this camp. This means the girls can get as dirty and grungy as they want, be as silly and tough as they want, make as many fires and go on as many swamp walks as they want without thinking for a moment about boys. There are other all girls camps in NE but New England Camp Cedarbrook is the only one that is Christ focused. The girls come to a place of retreat, where they can discover and question, who God is. Some have never been to church in their lives, others find their faith to like breathing. No matter where they are at, they have the chance to see God in the nature, in the all out fun He intended us to have, and through the times set aside for worship and exploration of His word. Without exception, my girls have always counted down to the first day of camp.
So Precious comes home tomorrow. She will be stinky and exhausted. She will come back home where nothing ever happens, after continuous days of activity. She will see her newly painted room, exclaim over the newly painted furniture and deposit pounds of camp laundry in the basement. She will facebook friend a dozen new friends she has met and text Boyscout to say she is back. It is none too soon for me.
I have missed her constant singing. I have missed her summer morning question of the day, “Where are we going today?”. I have even missed the hum of her texting.
This next week she will be my ally as we pack up Firstborn for college and try to imagine our life as a near family of three. Is she ready for the intense scrutiny she will be under as the only child at home? Who knows.?
Mostly, I am excited that she will be here again in our house, sharing her life with us, giving us her point of view on everything, making us roll our eyes at her crazy schemes and adventures and just being Precious.