The Long Camp Trail for Gayle

Hey, Camp Fans!

Happy to receive roughly 30 entries for the ‘Share Your Camp Story’ Contest we put on here at Everything Summer Camp. And now we’re eager to share each one right here on the Blog! After seven lucky winners of larger prizes, all other submissions got a $15 gift certificate to our online shop! Today we have a submission from Gayle S., who wrote in to tell us about her experience saying goodbye to her daughter for her camp stay at Camp Longhorn. Camp Longhorn may very well be the camp for you. Check it out.

When I agreed to sign my oldest daughter up for the same camp that her dad attended, I was hesitant because I couldn’t imagine sending my 9-year-old away for two weeks. Two weeks without her mom or dad to hug her good night. Two weeks without her brother and sisters to play with. Two weeks of sleeping with a room full of girls instead of being in her own bed in her own room. I was certain she would be home sick and cry herself to sleep at least once, but camp wasn’t until the last two weeks of summer and that seemed so far off so I just didn’t think about it.
          lThe summer flew by as it tends to do each year, only this time we found ourselves ordering a teal trunk, labeling clothes and shopping for a battery-operated fan and stationery. We spent hours filling her trunk, lid organizer, and glide trays making sure that she knew where all her necessities would be. I hid notes of love and encouragement in a few strategic places. I wanted to make her first time at camp as easy as possible.
          lDropping her off at camp was quick and easy. Just jump out of the car, unload that pretty teal trunk, and hand it—and our daughter—off to the smiling counselors who were overflowing with excitement for the experience to come. I stopped the whole process to grab one last hug and a quick family photo and then drove away with minimal tears in my own eyes. The next two weeks we received a few letters from our daughter who was loving every minute of Camp Longhorn. We heard about finding arrowheads, zipping into the water on a trolley, new friends, and new experiences. We saw photos the camp posted each day and saw our daughter bouncing on a blob, dancing, and having fun with her cabin mates.
           lFinally V-Day arrived and while we were met with huge hugs, there were no tears. Instead we had introductions to new friends, a guided tour of her favorite camp places, a taste of some daily camp rituals, and we added a bunny from the petting zoo to our household. She had thought of us often and missed us a little, but the nights didn’t end with her crying, instead she was lulled to sleep by cicadas. She had a room full of new sisters and will miss them terribly until they are reunited next summer. I realized that this experience wasn’t depriving me of my daughter for two weeks, but instead it was giving her safe place to grow in new ways. She embraced the same traditions and experiences that her dad had many years ago, and I often overhear her telling her younger sister, ‘Next year at camp, you are going to absolutely love…’ Attawaytogo Camp Longhorn! Thank you for making me and my daughter part of your family.

I’m glad you made your peace with summer camp and that it was such a blast for your daughter, Gayle! We hope that next year is just as good for her and for your younger daughter too! You can check out Camp Longhorn for yourself right here and, as always, thanks for reading!

- John

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