Article

Dear Parents & Guardians Alike

Posted on October 21, 2014 by Tamsin Andrews

Dear Parents and Guardians Alike,

Please send your kids to camp.
For your benefit. For theirs.
For the camp and for the campers there.
Please send your kids to camp.

AOuareau-climbingt camp, they will be a part of a community all their own. They will become emotionally attached to burnt rope on their wrist, and have a song for any occasion on cue, and forget how to shower or flush, and think sunscreen is moisturizer. And they won’t bat an eye at the thought that it is weird.

They will fight over who gets to set the table, and 7:00 a.m. no longer sounds absurd to wake up to on a summer morning. They will learn to do things on their own, and they will learn to rely on others. They will learn how to survive on their own for two weeks, and they will learn how to help each other through it.

They will grow up on summers away from TV, and forget Facebook exists. They will relish the joy of sleeping outside, swatting mosquitoes at campfire, swimming everyday. They will savour the feeling of pushing water behind them with a paddle, the curl of earth under their feet as they scale a mountain, the whoosh of air behind the tail of an arrow as they fire. They will forget about appearances, relish tan lines, recognize the beauty of a smile over anything else.

They will strive for a job that fulfills them and pushes them over the final paycheque. Or maybe they will labour all June for money to balance the counsellor job. Or they will leave the camp behind with a heavy heart. Either way, they will learn to pick a job they love over the paycheque they want.

They will branch out further in life, used to leaving home. They will know how to lose track of time, knowing time only by activity change. They will appreciate downtime, but love flurries of activity. They will be there for one week, two weeks, a month, but it will end up influencing their lives.

So please send your kids to camp. Send them so they will learn to set tables and make beds and wake early. Send them so they will know how to be a leader, paddle a canoe, weave a bracelet, and sing as loud as they can. Send your kids to camp so they will learn to love, learn to love themselves, and learn to love others. Send your kids to camp because they will realize who they are, or who they want to be.

And prepare yourselves for a year of camp stories, and for a flurry of songs. Prepare to learn names of kids you’ve never met. And for your kids to have a need for sunshine, a need for campfires and companionship.

Because camp is an infectious melody, and a life-changing time, and a crazy, indescribable summer.

Send your kids to camp.
For your benefit, for theirs.

Please, send your kids to camp.

Signed,
Your friendly neighborhood camp kid

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Staff Member at Long Bay Camp
Tamsin was born and raised a camp kid. She currently spends her summers working at Long Bay Camp in Westport, ON.

Tamsin wrote to us:

“With my grandparents running a camp, my mother working at camp, and my brother and I attending camp since the age of seven, the melody of camp has been ingrained in me for years. Camp is what inspires my writing, what treads my tongue in conversations, and what decorates my walls with pictures and my arms with bracelets.

This piece is inspired by the dozens of times I hear my friends reply at the end of my camp stories with a wish of having gone to camp. I want people to read this letter, to fall in love with the idea of camp, and think about sending their kids to a camp somewhere in the world.”