Josh came home

Images We are done with camp.  I spent all day driving.  I picked up Josh at camp.  He was besides himself and miserable. 

This is a tough call for a parent.  On one hand, we have always said, you have to stick it out.  On the other hand, the kids are no longer young and they actually know when they are miserable ( not homesick ).  He hated the place, the kids, the whole thing.  It wasn't like he was missing something at home, all his friends are gone until August so his social life will be nil.

So today, I picked him up.  Certainly changes the summer for me but that's life.  The good news is that he is certainly humbled by the experience on many levels. 

In some ways, I blame myself.  There was a gnawing feeling at me that his desire to go to camp one more time because he was going to go with a friend worried me.  Lesson learned but not an easy one to swallow.  A few years ago, Emily had a serious badly reaction to a place she went.  She came back, as Josh did, and in the end, she turned lemons and made them into lemonade.  She was humbled by the experience and it changed her, for the better.  I hope the same happens to Josh.

For me, both time I spent ample time on the phone talking with the owners about each kid and what they were like and if this was the right place for them.  Both times, I feel as if I have been had.  Neither were very honest about what my kids would experience socially.  Maybe I heard what I wanted to but I was pretty specific and transparent.  I sort of feel it was like going to a store and they tell you how fantastic that you look in something ( that you can't get your money back for ) and you leave with the purchase.  You get home and realize the outfit doesn't fit properly and looks awful on you.  You are never returning to the store because they lied.  In this case, both places got their money for each session but I would never recommend the place either. 

Regardless, it is over and the summer has just begun.  I was planning on going to Seattle this week but instead, I will be the figuring out the summer ahead. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. ellen

    Not all children are campers. Of course you did the right thing. Happened to me. I hated Camp. I was younger than Josh(4th to 5th grade.) My parents made me stick it out. It didn’t get better, There was one girl who spent literally 10 nights outside our bunk screaming at the owner. I never got what the commotion was all about, but her behavior scared me.. The days were so hot 90’s plus and we had our scheduled softball and other sports in the noon day sun in treeless fields.. We should have been boating or swimming instead. I absolutely hated the bunk also. The odor and the lack of everyday showers ickProbably, Josh thought being on the beach or boating or playing golf would be more fun than the camp’s activities . This could even be a chance for more music study since he loves his band so.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Ellen. Josh couldn’t be happier to be home and is definitely goingto focus on the positive.

  2. Amagansett Mama

    Hi Joanne,When my son was 11, I drove to Maine to interview a camp and its’ owner. The owner said he couldn’t in good conscious allow him to come into a bunk of boys that had been together for a couple of years already. That was a good camp director!Love your blog – been reading it since your brisket post years ago!Oh and, I LOVE Gilt and One Kings Lane.I’m surprised you didn’t include The Laundry in your Hamptons picks. It can be a scene but, we like it either for an early (6 o’clock) dinner or on Sundays. We also love Mary’s Marvelous and the clam bar. And Rick’s Picks Mean Beans are awesome! Thanks for the tips.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That is a great camp director!!If you see me walking the streets in the Hamptons make sure you say hi!

  3. Jenny

    How did you enjoy watching Bruno with Josh? Not the most age appropriate movie for a 13 year old boy. Must have been a bit awkward sitting next to him, especially during some of the more graphic scenes.

    1. Gotham Gal

      At this point, I have seen and talked with my kids about so much, it reallydidn’t phase me.