HOME FROM CAMP, A WARNING (& TIPS) from CTT!
We know you want to swallow her whole. Here are some tips to help you help yourself (and in doing so, help your camper re-enter the world).
1. Don’t take it personally.
Yes, she’ll be SO happy to see you. She’s also probably sad and conflicted!
She’s sad to leave camp! She’s sad to leave her friends! She’s sad to leave her counselors! She’s sad to leave her routine, her independence and her camp persona! It’s okay (great actually)! It means you gave her the best gift ever!
2. Remember she’s exhausted.
In the past week alone she’s experienced Pioneer Days, the play, a dance show, a gymnastics show, banquet, wishing boats, packing and more. Over the past seven weeks she’s been living with ten other people, hanging out with friends day and night, participating in activities from sun up to sun down. She’s going to be exhausted! To be expected!
3. Be patient.
It might take a few hours or a few days to be entirely “on” and especially to open up. She might even seem a little numb. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or didn’t miss you. It doesn’t mean that she won’t start gushing in a few days. Nothing is wrong. She just needs time! Things that are normal: wanting to talk to her camp friends immediately, all-day, every day for a few days (yes, she’s just spent seven weeks with them- we know). Wanting to keep on that disgusting arm of camp friendship bracelets (don’t tell her they’re ridiculous unless you want to get hurt). Wanting to spend some time alone before jumping into the deep end of home life. Wanting to sleep sleep sleep. Any combination of the above. Normal. Normal. Normal.
4. Focus on small moments and questions.
Think about your two best friends who live far away.
Friend one: you pick up the phone no matter what, even if you only have a minute. Though it’s been months, you know she’ll cut right to the chase and start where things left off.
Friend two: You love her. Really. You LOVE her as much as friend one. But you only pick up when you have time to sit, totally focused, for an hour-long catch-up. So, no. You don’t always pick up.
The moral? Be friend one. You’ll learn more! She’ll start talking!
What was this morning like?
Which choice activity was the best?
Who was the goofiest counselor in your bunk?
Less good questions/statements:
Tell me EVERYTHING about camp.
Can you explain your weekly schedule?
What were all of your counselors like?
Ask a few, manageable, lighthearted questions every hour on that first day. You’ll open up that can of worms without having to pry, without overwhelming your fresh-off-the-bus camper.
5. Give her wings.
At camp she was the most independent version of herself, and she’s still basking in the glow of those camp freedoms. Advocating for herself, making independent choices— it’s why you sent her to camp! Remember how you felt the first time you came home from college. It was a little weird! Think about small liberties you can introduce to reinforce your camper’s summer growth. If you have an eight-year-old who didn’t make her bed before camp, encourage her to make her bed at home (even if it isn’t as beautiful as you’d like). Though seemingly a “chore,” having your camper do things for herself at home will continue the summer’s momentum and make her feel happy and confident. And isn’t that what this whole camp thing was about from the start?
It’s not often this blogger is at a loss for words, but tonight’s banquet is the stuff of fairytales and storybooks. Salix’s Storybook Banquet is beautiful, yes, and every banquet is emotional. But tonight’s representations of storybooks on the walls of the dining hall at banquet, the nostalgia of childhood evoked, the coming of age stories depicted, remind us of the passage of time here at camp. Tonight’s banquet reminds us of just how quickly time goes by each summer and how quickly childhood goes by too. It’s these feelings of love and love of camp, of childhood and nostalgia that we all feel tonight, but for our older camp it hits home even more. Our CAs, Salix, are just the most wonderful group of young women, and we are so fortunate to have had them as the leaders and role models at camp this summer. Though their childhood days of camp are coming to an end, we hope this is just their first chapter here at Timber Tops, that they live happily ever after down the winding road with us for a long time to come.
Our 9th and 10th graders have been working so hard to prepare this most beautiful banquet to honor the CAs, and they came together, as they will next summer as CAs, to announce their CA name and their CA song. Next year’s CAs are… Torreya 2023! Their CA song will be “Boxes” by The Goo Goo Dolls. We have to say that it’s unusual to have two age groups join together (thanks, Covid!), but these young women have made it look easy with their kindness and compassion towards each other and their gratitude for this place. They truly are extraordinary, and we can’t wait to see what they do as CAs as their story continues.
Make sure to check out photos and videos on Instagram of this incredible Banquet night at camp! And a heartfelt thanks to Ali, Art Director, who is so talented we’ve kept her here for over a decade, and we’ll never let her go- it’s her daughter’s first official banquet as a camper too! We love a good story. Get it?
Dear Friends and Followers,
It’s been another great day at camp. We took our final canoe trip out to the Delaware Water Gap for campers of all ages! We also took our final Top Cooks trip to Fox Hill Farm in Honesdale where campers fed cows and chickens, collected eggs, and cut flowers to deliver to a local nursing home. The sun was shining all morning for our health screenings too! In between regular programming, all campers received an exit health check including a head check from Lice Be Gone of Short Hills, NJ. Guess what? We’re a lice free camp!
After a delightful chicken tender lunch, it rained and rained and rained. But the storm left as quickly as it came and the afternoon was filled with special programming and blue skies. As a camp, we watched the awesome gymnastics show and then headed down to the Timber Theater for a truly memorable, totally fabulous rendition of Beauty and the Beast! And the cast party was fun (and delicious) too!
Tonight it’s an all-camp social with Lake Owego Camp (with brother/sister visiting before), and we can’t wait. We’ll keep dancing till Friday, so hang on tight. The best is yet to come!
Dear Friends Near and Far,
It pains us to say this, but we’re starting our final *final* moments. Today was our last hiking trip. Tomorrow we send out our last canoe trips. And tomorrow we begin some of our culminating activities. More on that tomorrow, but this is all to say that today was our last day of regular schedule. Our riders enjoyed a horse show, our cast performed their final dress rehearsal, and we did a lot of the things we love to do! We’re making it count!
We’ve been beating the heat by staying in the lake and the pool, and we’ve been hydrating hydrating hydrating! Tonight an after dinner storm cooled us right off and brought the humidity down, and we’re relaxing with evening programs of “Know Your Counselor” (a fan favorite!) for juniors and movies for seniors. But we’re keeping it campy all the while. For example, you may wonder why the 11th graders and their head staff below are wearing underwear on their heads to dinner? Well, because where else can you challenge your friends to wear underwear on your head to dinner? We’re taking it all in.
More wild and wacky and wonderful to come tomorrow. Oh! If you haven’t seen our week 6 video, make sure to check it out!
Over and out from Greeley!