Ziggy returned on Friday from her third and final camp this summer. No disrespect to the other camps, this one by far was the clear winner on the official Zigometer Rating of Cool Camps.
Camp Number One - Camp Local Stuff - had tons of potential. A day camp run by a local teacher, it was limited to kids in Upper School (aka Jr High or Middle School) and every day featured a different field trip. Activities I would've sold my sister for when I was 13. A typical day included amusement parks, beaches, climbing through caves or white water rafting. (Just out of curiosity, has anyone seen the flyer for the Mid-Life Camp laying around anywhere? I seemed to have misplaced mine.) I salivated as I read over the brochure of daily activities, "Wow, they start your day with a pancake breakfast? How cool is that? Then the beach!" To which Ziggy replied, "Mom, you know I don't eat breakfast in the morning!" As if she eats breakfast some other time of day? In all fairness, she did enjoy most of the activities, except for the cave thing where you squeeze through an 18 inch opening of rock called the Orange-Crush or Lemon-Squeeze or the Oh-My-Gosh-I'm-Stuck-Send-Help-Cave. I would NOT have loved that one either. Seriously, who do you know that's 18 inches wide??? But ultimately this camp was renamed Camp Been There, Done That.
Camp Number Two was Camp Girl Power (yeah, you know the one), a sleepaway camp all of 3 miles from home. Girls from 7 and up spent their week lakeside, sleeping in what amounted to tents on a platform, filled with bunk beds, mosquitoes, wet towels and giggling girls after spending their day learning somewhat impractical but fun skills. Did you know brownies baked in a shoe box over a campfire taste a lot like smoky cardboard? Anyway, this was the third year the Zigster attended Camp Girl Power and definitely the last. You know how they break the girls up into units based on age, interests, etc? The past few years have been enjoyable but this one, well, this year Zig was part of the "Older Girls Who Must Set the Example" unit. Funny, that's not the box I checked but somehow, someone must have confused the paperwork.
Set the kayaks up for the day? Oh the OGWMSTE unit will do it. Put away the crafts and supplies? Sure, no problem. Run down to the main building for the counselors? Get the tables ready for lunch? Or hey, how about clean the latrines??? Did I see OGWMSTE raise their hands? No? Well, do it anyway. Let's just say for the price of a night in a swanky 5 star NYC hotel, Ziggy was cleaning the rustic outdoor bathroom facilities and learning... what? Not sure yet, it may come to me later. Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with responsibilities and cleaning up after yourself, fully support it as a matter of fact. But bathrooms used by all 20 or 30 girls in her group? Uh, no. Upon her return home this camp was quickly renamed to Camp Never Again.
Camp Number Three earned the highest rating on the Zigometer - Camp Christian Kidz, later renamed to Camp Getchamuddy. We were all excited for Zig to go to Camp Getchamuddy. This was her first year at a faith based camp as well as her first year at a co-ed camp. Needless to say we were a bit worried. Would the counselors do a good job of instilling a solid belief system while making sure those beliefs kept the kids in their cabins after lights out? Would Zig come back feeling closer to God? Or further away?
Although she's been back since Friday, Ziggy is still catching up on her sleep. We catch fragments of her camp experiences between naps - the infamous Milk Chug Contest, the Food Factor and the Burping Contest (hey, what's camp without a little burping contest right?). The pictures I've seen on Facebook show happy, war-painted kids singing, clapping, rock climbing, sliding into mud and having a great time while working together to reinforce their beliefs. This camp received the highest of high praise from Zig, "I missed you but I really, really wish it had been 2 weeks long." thus giving it the highest ranking on the Zigometer. Thank you so much to the Pastors, counselors and staff that made this trip memorable for Zig and her friends, I think we'll see the positive results of this week for a long time to come.
It's Sunday night now, and Zig still had a smile on her face. I'm not sure if she's remembering the great time at camp. Or maybe she's thinking about the fun we had at the doctor's on Saturday morning, waiting to x-ray the knee that came home two times larger than when she left. It was sort of funny to see the look on her doctor's face when Zig explained how she got hurt at camp. Wearing a trash can. Over her head. Running across a field. Filled with other kids. Also wearing trash cans.
Christian kids wearing trash cans and knocking each other over on a muddy field. What kid wouldn't love that???