Sunday, July 27, 2008

Visiting Day

My son who was just bar mitzvahed 6 weeks ago is experiencing his first time at sleepover camp...SLEEPAWAY camp to you Americans.

My husband and I are living vicariously through Avi because neither one of us has experienced overnight camp before. Although Avi is primarily with classmates from his school, there are campers from NY, Montreal, Ottawa, other U.S. states, including California.

Today was visiting day. It worked out well because Avi had come home for Shabbos with two friends so they could attend a close friend's bar mitzvah, so we were simply driving him back to camp.

And what is visiting day at camp?** Half-hour 'display' sessions and sessions for separate swimming, and an entire hour and a half geared to registering kids for the Summer 2009 season, which happens to also be the camp's 50th anniversary.

Visiting day is also like going to your kids' school or going to shul: shmoozing with other parents, making small talk, comparing life notes, etc. The truth is I'm not too good at that -- or even comfortable with that -- in any setting! But it's truly not me that counts this time. It's our son Avi...who just happens to be having a great time.

And for that we're grateful. Okay, so what if he's not trying every activity? Okay, so what if he's not caught in too many camp photos? Okay, so what if he's only written a note or two to us?

He's having a good time, and that's what matters.

And we've already opened the discussion re. the possibility of my daughter going next summer -- her bat mitzvah year...

Perhaps I'll be writing a blog post next mid-July for Visiting day 2009...!

**And what is Visiting day at camp...aside from parents portaging coolers and hampers, lawn chairs and knapsacks, barbecues and pizza boxes, blankets and cameras all the way from their vehicles in the parking area to park themselves and their campers or staff members somewhere and have mini feasts. (Jews and food... isn't that what life's all about?)