Hi everyone! My name is Kelly, and I live in Spartanburg, SC with our three children. This will be our oldest daughter’s fourth summer at camp. She first attended Junior Camp for two years and is now going to enjoy her second summer at August Camp. We have a younger daughter who will be a Greystone girl soon! I was a camper for 6 years and a counselor for 7 years, and I am so excited to share some parent advice to get you ready for your first summer at Greystone.
Years ago when I was a camp counselor, I remember one of my campers opening her trunk to a mass of plastic bags with outfits pre-arranged in each one, with days of the week written on the front. I thought to myself, “what a control freak mom who can’t let her 8-year-old dress herself.” Years later, as I packed my own daughter’s trunk I thought, “Maybe that mom was onto something?”
One of my favorite joys of having girls is dressing them, and I probably spend more than I should on clothes. I want to make sure everything gets worn and not just the same five favorite outfits, so I tend to pick out my daughter’s clothes the night before so that I get to enjoy seeing her in all the outfits I have purchased. Consequently, when little Kennedy, a rising 2nd grader at the time, was heading off to her first week of camp she was not in the habit of dressing herself, and I thought that surely the bag method would ensure that she wouldn’t be running through camp in mismatched clothes.
Well the joke was on me when I watched at a distance as Kennedy ran through camp in PJs, crazy mismatched costumes, and the same two or three items pulled from various bags with no rhyme or reason. My greatest horror came when she showed up to banquet wearing white tight shorties designed to be worn under a dress to cover underwear instead of the new white shorts I had purchased for her. Haha. When I unpacked her trunk at the end of the week, two-thirds of the bags still had clean outfits inside, and all my efforts were for naught.
“Why didn’t you wear what I planned out for you?” I asked. “Mom, the best part of camp is that your mom isn’t there to tell you what to do. I loved wearing crazy clothes every day!” I realized that even though my memories of camp involved wearing cute outfits to Evening Program, I was in high school when that took place. Elementary age kids find delight in dressing crazy and not having to match, so when I sent her back to camp the following year it was nothing but athletic shirts and shorts, a few Greystone t-shirts, and lots of crazy costumes. No ziplock bags needed!