Thursday, June 17, 2010

Camp rules.

The Knitternall family tends to do things somewhat more slowly than other folks. When friends were sending children to High Harbor back in 3rd grade, my kids said "no way." They loved the slow pace of nothing-to-do at home, so we didn't push it. My son did his first week-away camp at the Woodruff Boy Scout camp near Blue Ridge in 6th grade. My daughter waited until just this summer, between 7th and 8th grade, to head to the Pine Acres Girl Scout camp at Lake Allatoona.

Boy Scout camp is roughing it in every possible way. Disorganization reigns, boys camp in troops with their own leaders in charge of their schedules and behavior, and the goal is to end the week without changing clothes, showering, brushing teeth, or deoderant. Other than the leaders accompanying and supervising them, the boys are largely incommunicado from family back home. (Picking up your smelly, filthy Scout at the end of a week like that is quite a testament to unconditional love.)

Girl Scout camp bridges roughing-it and comfort quite adeptly. The entire week is highly organized, from large signage directing parents to various check-in stations and the requisite swim test to camp counselors assigned to each group of girls. Parents do not stay with their daughters - this is truly a week away. My daughter has an airconditioned cabin linked by breezeways to a main gathering room and shower facility. (The camp also has platform tent camping sites that are furnished with comfortable bunks and steps away from nice bath houses.)  I'm able to see photos of her activities posted to the website each day.

Am I suggesting that one camp is better than the other? Nope. Because most Boy Scouts really like the Lord of the Flies atmosphere of their anything-goes, down and dirty summer camps. And most Girl Scouts like a sleepover party feel for their week away from home.

The best thing about summer camp? Mom DOESN'T rule for seven magical days!

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