Camp — Ok

Laura K. Silver

By Laura K. Silver

Our eight year olds left for overnight camp earlier this week. This is their first time going away and it’s an adjustment for all of us. Since their departure, my husband and I have been asked countless times, “Are you sad? Are you okay? Are you surviving?” You’ll be pleased to know, we’re doing just fine. We even went out twice midweek—just because.

The way I see it, we are lucky. We are blessed to have two healthy children who we can send off without worrying beyond the usual, basic worries. We are fortunate that our only concern is whether they are having fun and making new friends, or whether they are adjusting to having a top bunk when they’d really rather have a bottom one. 

I’ve visited Camp Rainbow — an overnight camp for children with cancer and other blood disorders — and seen the smiles on campers who are given the same opportunity as my own children — to live a little independently in a camp setting. These brave parents send their kids to summer camp, knowing that their children are seriously ill. They have worries every day that exceed mine a millionfold. Yet, they allow their kids to go — because they know how fun it is to be a camper.

I have friends who are unable to send their kids to camp. Some can’t send them for financial reasons. Some have children who are cognitively unable to care for themselves. Some have kids who are too physically ill to attend. They will never know the joy, and yes, anxiety, of sending their kids away. This is a cause for sadness, not me.


Of course I miss my kids and eagerly await their return. But in the scheme of life, I’m one of the lucky ones. I have confident, independent, healthy kids who are ready for an adventure and get to have it. The real pity would be if my kids couldn’t have this experience, and I hope never to lose sight of that.