June 23, 2008

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda***

Well, it is done.

Yesterday I loaded up the ten and eight year old Llama-ettes and drove them out to Where-The-Hell-Am-I?, Pennsylvania, there to deposit them at summer camp for two weeks. (If not longer. I got lost twice finding my way in and out.)

I never went to camp when I was a kid, but this place struck me as exactly what "camp" ought to be: lakeside cabins with screens but no glass in the windows, six bunkbeds to a cabin, swing ropes and ziplines and climbing walls and whatnot all over the place. Oh, and this is a church-based operation, so there is some pretty intensive Bible-study involved. I reckon the churchin' will be good for the gels' character. And so long as they don't come home muttering about HMC being the Whore of Babylon, I've got no ecumenical problems.

As soon as we got there, we were swarmed by mobs of enthusiastic counselors who made it very clear that they had things well in hand and that Mom & Dad could skeedaddle, thank you very much. See you on the 4th. Hot-house kids and helicopter parents need not apply to this place, I think.

We had arranged for the younger Llama-ette to share a cabin with a friend of hers from home who is also going for the first time. They seemed to settle right in. The elder Llama-ette, however, was considerably more apprehensive. She is not fond of change and new situations (wonder where she got that trait, he said), and spent a good bit of time standing on one foot and looking worried. It turned out that the girl who has the bunk above her was also there for the first time and that girl's mother, overhearing me talking to the Llama-ette, diplomatically suggested that maybe they should be buddies and help each other get adjusted, a suggestion with which I heartily agreed. When I found the gel a bit later to say goodbye, she and her new friend were busy cross-examining one of the counselors about all the things they were going to do.

I didn't loiter very long once I helped the gels unpack. As I say, the counselors seemed eager to get rid of us. Plus, I had to get back to Orgle Manor to pack for a trip of my own. Of course, I expect there was a good bit of home-sickness and upset last night, especially as I'm pretty sure a thunderstorm rolled in not long after I left. But you know, there comes a time where a parent simply has to close his eyes and push. From all the accounts I've heard, once they get over the shock, the gels ought to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

We shall see.

UPDATE: Of course, it was all something of a shock to me as well. And as I drove off, I couldn't help feeling a bit of a lump in my throat on behalf of both myself and the gels. That is, until I got back to the highway and spent the next four hours stewing over the horrid traffic. Goddam Pennsylvania Turnpike. Goddam I-70. Goddam 270-Spur. But at least it kept my mind off things.

***I reckon from the apparent demographic of our readers that most of you will get this one.

Posted by Robert at June 23, 2008 10:14 AM | TrackBack

If you left any treats behind with the girls in their cabins, I hope they were left behind in Coleman coolers. Only treats left behind in Coolers will survive the first night at camp with the marauding bands of raccoons (who have their their marauding young ones in tow). The raccoons show up after midnight and you know what? It's terrifying. They come in underneath the cabins(or climb the screens, and don't leave until they emptied the cabin of every Cheez Doodle, Dipsy Doodle, and Chips Ahoy they can get smell. Only the seasoned campers with mothers who were even more seasoned knew to bring the Colemans had their treats survive.

I hate camp. It's hell.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at June 23, 2008 02:24 PM

And just what are you sayin' about my demographic?

Talkin' 'bout my demographic/My demographic, baybee ....

Posted by: keysunset at June 23, 2008 03:39 PM

The first letter our 2nd son sent us from Scout camp:
Dear Mom and Dad,
The last three days have been a horror.

It went downhill from there...
Just thinking about it still makes me laugh!

Posted by: Babs at June 23, 2008 06:15 PM

I always think of the movie "Meatballs" when ever anyone brings up camp. (I don't think you can really get that movie unless you have been at camp.)

I never went to camp that young, but they are usually structured to keep kids too busy to be home sick.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at June 23, 2008 09:52 PM

While growing up I can only remember my mother buying two records: "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda" and "They're Coming to Take Me Away". These are the cornerstones of my musikal edgikation.

Posted by: Paul Phillips at June 24, 2008 06:51 AM