Saturday, July 26, 2008

Camp Post-Mortem

Well, my boys are home safe and sound. Mr. Rix made the 10 hour round-trip drive to bring them home. He left at 3:36 AM and arrived home just before 4 this afternoon. He was proud that he did it in less time than last year!

I called just as he was getting the boys and he handed the phone to Sam, saying "Someone would like to talk to you". Sam informed me that "That letter wasn't a joke. I really was homesick." But he went on to tell me that the rest of the week went really well.

So, of course, for the next 5 hours (the time it took to drive back) I was feeling like the most awful mother in the world for thinking my kid was joking.

Nat (#2) could not have had more fun. He swam across the lake, canoed...and still can't remember everything they did he had such a blast.

Now they are home. Their suitcases smell like dead bodies. As Mr. Rix went through the clothes to put in the laundry, it appears that they wore the same clothes all week. Or at least the same underwear and socks.

I'm so proud of #2 (Nat) for whom this was the first full-week camp experience. The campers all have a letter that they bring home written by one of their counselors (usually the medical student) and Nat's was so awesome. I know that this week increased his self-confidence and independence. He's already talking about next year.

Sam, well, he's basically a house cat. He loves being home. He worries about the animals and us when he's gone. But his letter was wonderful, also. He's mature beyond his years and for years his counselors have mentioned his leadership skills. He got his "Polar Bear Swim" t-shirt for the first time this year...since 1969 this camp has had an early morning swim for the campers...if they complete swims all week, they get an extra special t-shirt. He was wearing it when he came home and seemed most proud of that accomplishment. (Which is pretty cool since he hates getting up in the morning). I think that he will probably sit camp out next year. When I told him that I was worried that by sitting out one year he'd decide he didn't want to ever go again or be a counselor himself, he said "No, no, no...I'm going to be a counselor, I just want a break" I understood.

Nat? Oh, he'll be back next year for sure. And it will be a wonderful experience for him to go and do something without his big brother. He did say he was ready to come home, but not until last night.

Such different boys. Nat came in, took a shower and headed across the way to see what his BFF was up to. Sam? Took a shower, but his pajama pants on and grabbed "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

I should mention again, Camp Bold Eagle is a camp for children with bleeding disorders and their siblings. Most of the kids have spent very little time with others who have bleeding disorders. It's an exceptional, outstanding, phenomenal, world class experience. Anne Henler, the staff at the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan and the volunteer counselors, medical students, medical staff have a camp that is simply amazing.

Man. I'm glad they're home.

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