Growing up in NYC I never had a chance to go to sleep away camp I grew up with a Dominican mom raising four kids on her own. So, camp wasn’t happening. When I got to high school I did go to “Football mini camp” for a week. That was the first time I was away from my mom and family. Although it wasn’t the traditional camp I did have a lot of fun but I did miss my family. Fast forward to today, three week’s ago my wife and I sent Milz to a sleep away camp for 3 week’s! Yes you heard that right 3 week’s!
Read through to the end to see my 5 reasons why you should choose summer camp.
Let me just tell you this was very difficult to do. Milz is our everything and had never been away from us that long. Needless to say it was hard on all of us. Sending him off to camp was one of our saddest moments as parents. Although it was hard seeing him leave for 3 week’s, we knew this would help him be more independent as a teenager. Shout out to our friends Juan and Nayibe who also sent their kids to camp for the 2nd year and supported us emotionally LOL.
I don’t know how other parents do it but 3 week’s was a bit too long for me. I gotta say my wife and I are very proud that he got to experience camp life on his own. I have to be honest though, if we send him again next year, I would choose the 2 weeks plan, lol. By the way did I mention there’s NO COMMUNICATION at ALL? That’s right, no phones! This was what reeled my wife in. What teenager doesn’t need a screen break? The only form of communication was by letter through the Bunk1 app. Milz would receive a print out of our letter from his counselor and then have the chance to write us back. His letter was then scanned in and sent back to us via the app. Oh yeah, that’s a hustle I wish I thought of because each letter cost some monaaay.
My advice, stay strong when the “Please pick me up if you love me” letters start coming in.
In the end Milz made it through the 3 weeks and my wife found a way to speak with him even though it wasn’t allowed, lol. Is sleep away camp worth it? YES IT IS… You will miss them but at the end of the day you’re giving your child an experience of a life time and teaching them independence from you. Milian did a lot of things that he hasn’t been exposed to. His days were scheduled from 8am to 9pm. Activities included target practice with a rifle, archery, sailing, sports, horseback riding, paddle boarding, crafts and jumping off a cliff to name a few. To our surprise when we picked Milian up he said he liked it but that 3 week’s was too long. He said he missed us too much but missed his phone even more lol. Teenagers I tell you.
We’re very proud of Milian and his decision to stick it out for the whole 3 week’s. I’m also proud of my wife for not giving in by picking him up when he wrote to us that he wanted to come home. Now Milz has camp life under his belt. He can now tell his future kids he went to camp. If you’re planning on sending your child to camp next year the only thing I can tell you is take a box of tissues at drop off, you will need it!
Next stop Back To School!
5 Reasons to go to Summer Camp
- Learn new Things
- Unplug from technology
- Connect with nature
- Gain independence and resilience
- Have Fun!
By Danny Reyes