I get it, parents need a break in the Summer, and camp is what people do. I mean it is a childhood rite of passage is it not? Loads of movies and youth themed books are set at Summer Camp. It sounds ideal, but as in all things shiny, the reality isn’t all that perfect.
First of all, for those of us who aren’t raising our children with any religion, try finding a camp that isn’t put on by the local Baptists or Seventh Days or whatevers. I don’t want to send my kid away for a week and have him come back a Mormon.
Then, if you are lucky enough to find a camp that isn’t enforcing the Lord’s prayer over marshmallows, it is a theme of some sort. No seriously, there is Engineering camp, Computer Camp, Fat Camp, Theatre camp.. the “all horses all the time” camp was on the list. Look out for Band Camp – they aren’t blowing flutes. There is even a camp for annoying yoga chicks… oh no wait, that is the gym down the street that I don’t go to. Never mind.
Still on the hunt for “normal” camp I found a few promising options… then checked out the prices. Damn people, I didn’t expect you to give the kid a nose job and a master’s degree in that week… why so expensive?
Then the idea of putting a bunch of near teens all together in one place and teach them to sing Kumbaya… maybe. But then realizing that they do swimming and water sports out on a lake that smells more like a bog, being overseen by pimply and easily distracted teen counsellors? Even if I thought they could be trusted to keep my child safe, I worry about some of the other “adults” that are drawn to hanging out at camps. I read the news people…
Maybe camp is perfectly safe and somehow worth the money. Maybe my experience with bible camp was somehow unusual, but we had a lot of access to contraband – serious contraband for that week. There were also many couplings going on in the shrubbery and it wasn’t always the counsellors… mostly, but not always.
I think I will go with my gut on this one. No camp this Summer. Maybe not ever.
For more advice with a twist: www.magnoliaripkin.com
(Photo credit: Fundacioesplaigirona via Wikimedia Commons)