It is one of those things as a parent you both anticipate and dread. The camp experience is so important for kids. They, for a time, get to be completely independent of you, their parent. The dread comes as a parent because you have to let go. We, as parents seek always to make the world safe for our children. We childproofed our house. We research the safest car seats. We make sure they, our children, are not allergic. We nurture them and support them. Suddenly camp comes along, and we are told let them go. Release them into the wild and see what comes back. It is never the same, after that. Not that I miss the days of complete dependence. I don’t miss those days. It is something past that I am reminded of from time to time.
Each camping experience is helping the kids become more independent. First, our daughter wandered off to camp. Waycross was the camp for her. Funny, a few years before that Waycross was the camp for my wife. Then the twins, emboldened and prepared by their older sister (whom they adore) went to Waycross as well. IT was a common experience they would share with my wife. I have been, but not to stay in the cabins of Waycross. I stayed in the conference center that is more like a hotel than it is a camp. The camp I stayed in was a boy scout camp, and camp Moneto, both of which were far away from Waycross and a vastly different experience. At Waycross, meals were served. At Boy Scout camp we made our meals.
That is why I still insist on ketchup on scrambled eggs. Ketchup hides the burned eggs. Waycross was something I never really understood. I did, as both 5th grader and then twice as a teacher goes to the camp Bradford Woods in Indiana. Bradford woods was similar to Waycross. You had meals prepared and slept in cabins. But that was a different experience than Waycross; the food was nowhere near as good. Funny, to this day my daughter and the twins love Waycross. I remember Bradford woods but as a memory, not a place I miss or recall wistfully. I do miss from time to time the summer experiences at camp Maumee. Those were the glory days. As the sun fell peering to the sky watching Skylab as it drifted overhead. Well, I guess I do understand that feeling after all! Just not the Waycross experience.