Greetings from Camp…
Is the following scene as common in your home as it is in mine?
Setting: A winter morning. Temperature readings are appropriate for a winter morning and you are appropriately dressed for a winter morning. Your bleary-eyed son appears in the kitchen wearing shorts and an ultra-thin dri-fit t-shirt.
Responsible and Committed Parent: Good morning. I love you very much and being your parent is the most rewarding job I can possibly imagine. (Ok….I don’t always say that line….but I wish I did!) Does it really make sense to be wearing that outfit on a chilly day like today?
Apple of Your Eye Child: Awwww, come on Responsible and Committed Parent, it is not even cold outside. I’ll be fine.
Responsible and Committed Parent: I am sure you haven’t had a chance to look at the temperature yet because you just woke up. But since I have been awake for an hour and a half already, preparing your breakfast and making your lunch for the day, (…like I do every morning….literally every single solitary morning since you started school at age five and my hair had no grey in it, and these bags under my eyes had not yet become omnipresent, and you were always sweet and obedient when I asked you to do something…) I have had the opportunity to look at the weather and it is only 42 degrees outside. Surely you would agree that it would be wise to put on something else in these conditions.
Apple of Your Eye Child: Awww, come on Responsible and Committed Parent, you ALWAYS make me change my clothes and I am ALWAYS so hot at school. You just don’t understand. Just like you don’t understand how The Brady Bunch is not a remotely interesting show to anyone who wasn’t born in the 1960s.
Responsible and Committed Parent: Honey, I really think that you should go and put on something warmer. I don’t want you shivering all day long.
Apple of Your Eye Child: Awwww, come on Responsible and Committed Parent, you just don’t get it. You don’t get anything. Just like you don’t get that Red Dead Redemption II is wholesome and pure entertainment. Just be more chill, huh?
Responsible and Committed Parent: Sweetheart, get your butt back to your room, and put on something warmer or you can be CHILL alone in your room for the entire weekend. I love you very much and being your parent is the most rewarding job I can possibly imagine. (Again, sometimes the final line there is slightly different in reality…..but since I am a professional at dealing with children and need to come off as such to my readership, I am going with the above!)
Those of you that follow the Lake Nebagamon weather reports (Come on, admit it, you check it every morning. “Letting go” only goes so far!), are aware of the fact that we have had some chilly nights and mornings here the past couple days. Despite this fact, we have seen extremely little of the preceding scene here at all. For the most part, the boys at camp have been responsible about making wise choices when it comes to appropriate attire. There can be little doubt that this is at least 98% due to the fact that being at camp breeds responsibility and growth in children….and perhaps 2% is due to the fact that the boys live in non-insulated rustic buildings and actually finally understand what 42 degrees feels like! (You might give this a try next winter!) And even in those cases when the young ones are making poor choices about what to wear, the conversation above is never played out, because their super cool 18-20 year old counselor is the one telling them that they need to reconsider their clothing choices, not their totally out of touch, past their prime, lame sitcom loving parents. The advice is received so much differently. And as a camp director, it is really neat to see my 18-20 year old young men stepping into those parenting roles so completely and looking out for the wellbeing and health of the kids for which they have been given responsibility. Win-Win.
Please don’t worry though, temperatures have warmed throughout the day to 70 degrees, and the boys have enjoyed normal(ish) weather for their daytime activities. The boys have been hard at work passing their required ranks and exploring the huge array of activities that are offered to them on a daily basis.
With over 50 kids out on wilderness trips already, camp is in full swing. And everything here feels just great. I told the kids this much last night at our Council Fire (which was wonderful and moving as they usually are). And I cannot wait to tell you about a Council Fire…next week. (Sorry, I need to do what I can to keep up my readership for as long as possible!)
All is well in the North Woods…