This post is a work of fiction sponsored by Camp Chateaugay
Eleven year old Kami tapped her pen against her lip, tilted her head, and pondered how she should describe the last two weeks in her journal. When her parents had told her that she would be going to an Adirondack Camp she hadn’t been thrilled. Which was probably why her mom had waited until the last possible moment to tell her! Literally! They were in the car driving into the mountains when her mom had turned around and asked her to watch a video on her iPad. Kami had sighed dramatically, removed her earbuds, and accepted the iPad from her mother’s hand. The video was a montage of kids at summer camp, playing, laughing, swimming, crafting, etc. It looked fun enough but she had no clue why her mother insisted on making her watch the thing!
Her mother stopped her. “Kami, wait. We need to talk.” She glanced nervously at Kami’s dad who kept his eyes focused on the road ahead. Obviously no help was coming from there. “Kami, you know that we have wanted to send you to summer camp the last couple of years?”
“Yeah. I don’t want to. I like the city. I’m allergic to nature. I have enough friends.” Kami was enumerating the reasons that she had talked her parents out of shipping her off to camp until now. She was quite sure that she could avoid it again this year!
“Kami, your dad and I both loved summer camp when we were kids and it’s an experience that we really want you to have! It will be fun!” Her mother had sighed and then dropped her bombshell announcement. “I knew you would fight us again if we tried to talk you into going so we decided to just make the decision for you. You ARE going to camp!”
“No. I’m. Not.” Kami muttered.
That was when Dad decided to join the conversation. “Yes, young lady. You are! I wasn’t sure about springing it on you like this but … Your mom has packed everything you need and it’s all in the trunk. We’ll be at the camp in about 30 minutes.”
“You have got to be kidding me!” Kami exclaimed. Upon seeing her dad’s eyes in the rearview mirror she decided to switch tactics and try begging. “Daddy please. I don’t want to go to camp. Please take me home!”
“Not this time, K! We have let you talk us out of it the last couple of years but we truly believe that summer camp is an experience you should have. You are going and you will thank us for it later. Honest.”
Somehow Kami knew that they were serious and she wasn’t going to be able to convince them to cancel this plan but she tried one more tactic. “What about my ballet, art, and music lessons? I can’t afford to miss those. Besides … you already paid for them. They’re counting on me to be there!”
Mom responded this time, “I have spoken with all of those programs, Kami. They know that you are going to summer camp and will be back in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be fine!”
Kami had thrown herself back in the seat and began to cry. They were really going to make her do this and she was going to be miserable!
She laughed to herself as she thought about how silly she had been. The Adirondack Camp had been every bit as wonderful as her parents had promised and she had loved it! She had been assigned an older camper, Rebecca, as a “big sister” as soon as she got there. Rebecca had helped her settle in and had agreed with her that it was awful for her parents to sneak her up here the way they did. But then she told Kami that she did agree with them that she would love it here as long as she would relax and let herself have fun. Kami had agreed to try.