With the sun shining and the bagged lunches packed, our campers journeyed to a variety of locations on Tripp Tuesday. Organized by Trip Director DeAnne Jones and executed by our staff members, your girls were all prepared for days (and evenings) packed with adventure and fun. Our youngest campers still have the sticky red residue of their strawberry picking excursion at Pineland Farms. SUBs had to hold back from revealing any spoilers from their time with Woody and Buzz after watching ‘Toy Story 4.’ Our Inter age groups spent some time soaking up the rays on Maine’s beaches before socials and an age group night out at the Sea Dogs game. Finally, our oldest campers had a real treat with a trip to Boston, partaking in an amusing scavenger hunt that took them around the city before dining in Kennebunkport. In the days that have followed, we’ve gone to the theater for our camper and counselor talent shows, swam in our first Big Team Swim Meet, and celebrated the Fourth of July’s past, present, and future thanks to our Inter Is. We are full speed ahead!
A few nights ago, a young first year camper came into the office for a birthday phone call. Eyes wide with the anticipation of speaking to the people whom she loves most, there was also a timid nature to her that is familiar with girls of all ages. I can recall with such precision the tears that would spring to my eyes upon hearing the voice of my parents, so close to my ears yet feeling so far away (and this was well into my Senior summers too!) That first phone call will be filled with details about bunkmates and their shiny sticker booklets, about the counselor who encouraged them while they took their waterski wake test, and about the cheers that echo in our dining halls… and this will make you grin from ear to ear. Yet, you may also feel your heart sink at the mention of homesick tears at night, an activity or game that didn’t go as well as she’d hoped, or a misunderstanding with a bunkmate. It’s natural that your voice elicits emotions both in reflecting on those key moments of triumph and disappointment. Thus, a snippet of their day becomes the story of the phone call. I think about that young camper who I stopped for a moment at the completion of her call. I asked how it had gone, and she flipped her thumbs up and then down quickly. I smiled and prompted a bit further, to which the girl responded emphatically, “It was fine, but it was just a lot. There’s so much to say… I’m really homesick, but I also do NOT want to go home.”
Whether answering that phone call or parsing through the words of a letter, it is difficult to hear your child go through disappointment without you by their side. It is natural that you might be tempted to feel the need to ‘rescue’ your child, to ease those nerves, to dry those tears. Yet there is something to be said about the long-term goal of resilience and learning to navigate these tribulations. We work very hard here at camp to help your daughters build problem solving and communication skills, to advocate for their voice in moments of conflict, and to build a sense of grit towards challenging tasks. Oftentimes by the time you’ve received your letters, or half an hour after the phone call has concluded, your child has resolved the issue with the help of a friend or counselor. We are here to provide your daughter with the love and support she needs, and we are committed to keeping you in the loop as well. Though we love our Tripp Tuesdays, we recognize that the greater journey that she is experiencing is the one that camp provides her.