Sleep away camp drop-off

Yesterday was a big day for us, but it was not Father’s Day. We actually celebrated the special Daddy day on Saturday, because yesterday was camp drop-off day for us! Both our girls went to a sleep away camp. Each one to a different camp. My younger one went to a camp in the mountains and the older one to a surfing camp.

The anticipation was huge and super exciting and even the packing and pre-camp shopping went really well. Last Tuesday we did a trip to Costco, Target and Sports Basement and were done. I even name-tagged almost all clothing of my lil’ girl, but didn’t bother for my teenager, since the surf camp only has about 20 participants while the Mountain Camp has about 200-250 kids each week. Both girls used the packing list provided by the Mountain Camp and it was really helpful.

My husband and I were super excited for the girls, but the closer Sunday came, the more nervous I got. Yes, I have to admit that I’m probably more of a momma bear than I’d like to be, but that’s ok.

We drove to Palo Alto to drop off the 10-year old and her bestie at the bus to camp. She got pretty quite in the car and probably realized that good-bye was close. We were some of the first ones there, which was nice because she got to meet the counsellors without a rush and one-on-one. Things like that are often crucial. Her stuff was already loaded in the bus when her friend arrived and we had plenty of time to take pictures, give lots of hugs and to say good-bye about three times!

For some kids the good-bye is tough. 

There was one girl about the same age like ours, who was the last kid standing in front of the bus. You could clearly see that see was super nervous and anxious to get on the bus and say good-bye to her parents. Since she was the one everyone was waiting for, the parents were obviously under pressure and struggled to handle the situation. The mom just wanted to leave, but the dad tried to pull the girl on the bus. It was tough to watch and I felt bad for all of them. Everyone else was watching, waiting for the bus to leave. There were tears and a bit of yelling and finally the parents just left, which they should have probably done much earlier. It was sad that they had to deal with this kind of good-bye.

But the bus finally drove off and we could see our girls waving excitedly through the tinted windows. Fun, here we come!

Here is a good article about summer camp drop-off:

The Atlantic: A Summer Camp Lesson: Good-bye, and Go Away, Thank you very much  

The next good-bye was even easier.

Well, she’s 13 years old. And she was SO excited about this camp. After dropping off the first daughter, we stopped shortly at home. We walked to 7/11 to get batteries and my daughter bought herself some candies to get through the week. Then we packed stuff for the beach and drove over the hill toward Santa Cruz.

Before the camp drop-off, we had a very relaxed time at the beach. My husband went out and caught some waves, we took selfies and my daughter played in the sand. I absolutely love that our teenager still likes building sand castles and dams!

Then we walked back up to the group campsite and met our daughter’s friend and her parents. The girls signed in, got an O’Neill hat and shades and after a fun speech from the surf camp leader, the girls even agreed to give up their phones. Yay! No electronic devices for neither my 10-year, nor my 13-year old! Good-bye, hugs and kisses and off we were. Awesome.

Now we have one week to ourselves and it felt a bit strange today. 

It’s one thing to go away with your husband and leave your kids with your parents or really good friends, but it is a different story to let your girls go away and be “home alone”! I got a bit sentimental yesterday night. Our girls are growing up. They are cutting the umbilical cord. Which is great and exactly what they’re supposed to do. I am so happy and excited for them and I’m so looking forward to hearing all their stories!

And it’s good to have some alone and some couple’s time. I got lots of work done this morning and in the afternoon I finally finished an arts project with a friend that I’ve been postponing for weeks. My husband and I had a nice relaxed dinner and hung up my paintings together. Tomorrow we’ll meet friends for dinner. Good times for kids and adults!

Send your kids to sleep away camp!

I can tell you, sleep away camps can be pretty expensive here, but this was a special treat for our girls this year. We are not going to Germany and we wanted them to have a lifelong Californian memory. You can find a wide variety of sleep away camps in California on the websites on the bottom of this post. Some of the camps actually offer scholarships.

I’m 100% sure that our kids will have the time of their lives this week. They are outdoors most of the time and aren’t using any devices. They are learning new skills and making new friends. They have to take care of themselves and hence will become more independent. It is absolutely worth it.

Here you can read 5 good reasons to send your kids to sleep away camp.

Bay Area Parent: California Sleep Away Camps 

Northern California Overnight Camp Guide (2017)


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