Sunday, June 24, 2012

Amazing Pre-Camp Recovery!

Yes, I am guilty of all three this year!

This year's camp saga started during our family vacation two weeks ago, when a headache kept Claire from sleeping during our last night at our favorite campground.  We blamed the high elevation and the three older Nerds divided her share of the work as we broke camp.  She seemed better after a shower, a mosquito-free dinner, and a night in a real bed and was fine during a visit to the Great Sand Dunes the next day, but said she wasn't feeling "too good" the following morning.  It wasn't until she uncharacteristically refused a slice of pie at a street market, however, that I realized how bad she felt, and she remained sick for the rest of the trip.

Five days later, when Claire was still coughing and feverish and Hannah was also developing symptoms, I called our doctor, who ordered a chest X-ray and a throat culture in spite of a full appointment schedule.  When the technician peeked at the X-ray slides, had a quick word with the doctor, and returned to inform us that a throat culture wouldn't be necessary after all, I realized what that meant and began fretting about whether either girl would be able to attend camp this year.  Claire, however, was ecstatic - a pneumonia diagnosis meant no one would be scraping the back of her throat after all!

Thanks to a few days' rest and our excellent and compassionate doctor, who prescribed a round of antibiotics for each girl, House Full of Nerds is able to bring you the following, albeit brief, documentation of the two younger members' departure for Girl Scout camp.

Their sleeping bags are in the trash bags, as instructed on the packing list.  What you can't see are their duffels and over-stuffed backpacks - a photo of all their gear would have been nice, had I thought to take one.  No photos of the camp buses or my daughters waving from the windows, either.
The Girl Scout camps in our area offer several sessions in June and July.  No matter which week the girls attend, their attendance seems to be the cue for the temperatures to hit triple digits, and this year is no exception.  The counselors are great about reminding their charges to drink plenty of water, although our family has done enough desert hiking to help the girls see the importance of staying hydrated.

My sister and I never would've looked this glum at the prospect of spending 6 days away from each other!
One of the coolest things about my girls is that they actually enjoy each other's company.  For the past two years, they've gone to the same camp, albeit different programs.  This year the hardest part for me wasn't saying goodbye until the end of the week, it was putting them on separate buses.  However, one wants to gain canoeing experience so she can go on a 10-day canoe trip next summer - provided that program is still offered then.  The other is excited about helping to care for her camp's horses and learning to assist younger riders, so it's off to the lake for one and the stables for the other.

Thank goodness the buses for the two camps showed up at about the same time. After a few more photos (none of which included either child next to the bus, with the counselors, or boarding the bus) and several minutes of standing around, we said one last goodbye and I put them on their separate buses and then drove off.  I wasn't the only parent to leave before the buses did and I assume most of the folks who stayed behind were first-timers or maybe really fond of diesel fumes. I'm far from a first-timer - this is Hannah's sixth year at camp and Claire's fourth.  Wow.  I used to squirrel away old day camp t-shirts and too-short jeans for them to wear to camp, carefully going through the packing list myself.  This year, I helped locate a missing pocketknife, wrote out instructions for each daughter's medication for the camp nurse (the girls packed their meds themselves, including that final dose of antibiotics), and made a couple of trips to the store for mosquito netting and toiletries.  Other than that, they were on their own.  Well, okay - I did insist on their showing me that they'd packed sunscreen, too, so I guess "bad parent" doesn't apply so much as... "experienced"? "trusting"?  Yes to both of those, but mostly I'm eager for a few days alone with my spouse!


  1. Fun report! Reminds me of my mother's comment (I am one of 10 kids) that for Baby 1 you sterilize EVERYTHING; Baby 2, you wash stuff in soapy water; Baby 3 and any after can eat off the floor. (My mother has a very dry wit.)

  2. This is so true! I'm the oldest of 3 and my babyhood was well-documented. There are a few photos of my sister, and any photos of our brother have both of us in them as well.