Hello, Muddah. Hello, Faddah. Here I Am at Camp Granada.*

July 26th, 2012 Comments Off on Hello, Muddah. Hello, Faddah. Here I Am at Camp Granada.*

It started last fall. It was the boy. “I want to go to sleep-away camp.”

To which I gave the only logical response: “No f**king way.”

But the boy was determined. “I want to go to sleep-away camp!”

“You’re too young!” I protested. “You can go… someday.”

Meanwhile, I had the girl reassuring me, “I will NEVER go to sleep-away camp! Don’t even think about it for me. Never ever!”

We debated through the fall. It was too late to visit camps, so it was a moot point anyway. I wasn’t going to send him to a camp I hadn’t seen.

“Sleep-away camp, Mom,” he’d say. Then he’d become specific. “Cub Scout sleep-away camp.”

“That one is never going to happen. No Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts are too evil to do sleep-away camp. If you do go to sleep-away camp, it’ll be Jewish sleep-away camp.”

“No way,” he said.

Well, that’s that. I walked away feeling smug and secure as we ended the conversation. Except… he thought for a few weeks and then came back to me. “Okay, Jewish sleep-away camp.”


“Mom,” the girl reminded me, “don’t forget, I am not going to sleep-away camp! Never!”

I attended the camp fair at our synagogue and was fairly impressed by one of the camps. It also happened to be the camp our rabbi had sent his daughter, so I felt in some ways it had been vetted. But the thing that sold me on sleep-away camp for sooner rather than later was this: This summer was the last summer the boy could go for a two-week mini-session. Next year, when he hit fifth grade (did I just say that? fifth grade is just a year away? Ahhhhhggggggg!), the shortest he could do is a four-week session. Plus, one of his buddies from Hebrew school (whose mom not only attended the camp, but worked there for a number of years as a counselor) would be in the mini-session this year.

Relunctantly, I relented: “Okay. You can go.”

A zillion dollars later and the boy is signed up to go to a camp that we’ve actually never seen. About two weeks ago, they had a day for prospective campers and we decided to go. I was worried about going, as the boy had been to a sleepover at a minor league baseball team the night before, and I knew he would be tired and cranky. My fear was that he would see the camp and declare–after the zillion dollars was paid in full–that he hated it. When the boy is tired, he can be a beast. I was setting us all up for failure. I was afraid. Very afraid. I thought about saying we couldn’t go, but I was dying to see what the place looked like.

So we went. And I was right. The day completely backfired on me. I. Am. Screwed.

Oh, the boy was no problem. He liked the camp. It was the girl.

“I WANT TO COME HERE!” she yelled as soon as the adult tour rejoined the kid tour of the camp. “I CAN GO NEXT YEAR TO A MINI-SESSION WHEN I START THIRD GRADE AND I AM GOING TO COME HERE!”


“When I go,” the girl continued, “I’m going to take for my electives the dance, tennis, and art. Or maybe boating? No, tennis! But outdoor cooking sounds cool! Maybe I should do drama? When I get to come for eight weeks, I can do all the electives I want!”

“My love,” I told her, “you will never go for eight weeks. Four weeks is max. I want time with my children.”

“But, Mommy,” she whined, “I want to come for eight weeks! Can you sign me up now for next summer?”

Did I mention how screwed I am? I. Am. So. Screwed.

On Tuesday, I took my boy to camp. He could not get out of the house early enough. “Can’t we drive to drop the girl at her camp and then leave straight from there?”

I told him, “Drop off doesn’t start till 10. We can’t get there early.” The camp is just 75 miles away.

I heard every five minutes, starting at 7:30 a.m., “Can we go now? Is it time to go?”

In the car, he was a little quiet. He admitted to being momentarily nervous, but it disappeared the second we arrived.

He hopped out of the car and ran into his bunk. He so kindly allowed me to unpack him and make his bed (what joy!), and he was thrilled that his Hebrew school friend was not just in the same bunk as him, but the same bunk bed.

I took note of the daily schedule. Which I absolutely couldn’t read. Because–you know–it was in Hebrew. Huh? Oh wait, a Jewish camp. Yeah, that was my idea.

The boy was hopping all over the place and soon ran outside to play Frisbee with one of his counselors (there are three counselors for his bunk of ten boys; all ten boys are there for the mini-session and all ten are going into fourth grade). After that, he headed down to the main area where there was a camp fire and they were getting ready to bake pita bread on it, and he rolled candy sushi (fruit leather as seaweed, and Rollos, Fluff, jelly beans, and other candy as the innards).

After a few minutes, I said, “Okay, I guess I’ll get going.”

He barely looked up as he said, “‘Kay, Mom. Bye!”

And I left.


That night I spent hours hitting “refresh” on the camp website waiting for a picture of my child. I told him I’d pay him 50 cents for every photo I saw him in, to give him incentive to dive for the camera. There were none, although by morning I saw a few.

When I mentioned this to an acquaintance, she laughed and sent me this video. When I sent the video to Adam, he accused me of making it myself:

(Note, the following video drops a few F-bombs, so proceed with caution when watching around others.)

It’s just two weeks. Waaaaaaa! Refresh, refresh, refresh!

*Don’t get the title reference? It refers to a novelty song from the 1960s by Alan Sherman.

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