Three things I'm learning from my camper
Shelby left for Girl Scout Camp yesterday. It's her second year of going to sleep- away camp with the Girl Scouts. After last's year's extreme homesickness, I wasn't sure she'd go back. But some time this spring she started talking about which session of camp she wanted to attend and we just went with her enthusiasm.
Shelby has been packed for camp for more than a week. She's been bouncing off the walls with excitement. What a difference a year makes! We drove up to Mt. Lemmon yesterday to drop her off at Camp Whispering Pines and handed her over to the expert care of her counselors and camp staff. Her BFF Mollie is there with her and they're bunk mates.
As we headed home (and I fought back tears) I thought about just how much Shelby teaches me with every things she does. She's a master teacher through her brave and honest example. Here are three things that I (or we) can learn from my sweet, fun and super smart camper.
1. Time makes a huge difference. Shelby has grown up so much in a year ... the difference between nine and 10 is huge. It's true what they say, "Time heals everything." With time there is perspective. With time there is growth.
2. We're all more resilient than we think we are. Last year at camp, Shelby struggled with a major case of homesickness. She eventually got over it, but not before she sent me a heartbreaking letter begging me to come pick her up. Months following camp she insisted she wasn't going back. And then one morning she woke up and informed she really wanted to go to camp again. This kiddo is resilient. She gets knocked down and gets up again.
3. Talking things through can make all the difference in the world. Shelby was still a little nervous about going away to camp. She knew she was going to miss all of us back home. She knew she was going to be sad at times. But this year, she made a point of talking through her fears. We had many conversations about how she felt and brainstormed strategies to get her through the week. If she had suffered her fears in silence she wouldn't have been prepared for the possibility of homesickness. Instead, she has the tools she needs.
I can't wait to pick my girl up on Friday. I miss her already and she's been gone less than 24-hours. But I know she's having a blasts and well take care of. I'm grateful she has the opportunity to partake of such awesome adventures.