I’ve been counting down the days and hours until it was finally time to go back to Camp K to bring my girl home. All in all I think it was a good experience, besides the lack of communication between staff and families. When I signed her up for the camp, I was told I could have as much or as little contact with my child that I wanted. I could talk to her on the phone everyday. Pick her up at night and return her in the mornings, etc. After three phone calls and three days at camp, I was finally able to talk to Morgan on the phone. She didn’t say anything into the phone, just listened to me, which isn’t like her. The counselor told me she whispered, “I love you, too.” but I couldn’t hear her. Her counselor reassured me that she was doing fine, was homesick the first night and cried a lot in her bed, but was having fun and participating in the activities. They had been canoeing earlier in the day and were in the middle of roasting S’mores over the campfire when I called. Knowing that she was staying busy with fun activities helped me feel better about the experience.
It was finally time to pick her up. We got to the camp and were instructed to go to the sports court area to find our camper and wait for the award ceremony. Everyone was wearing blue shirts. I looked all over for Morgan and couldn’t see her anywhere. Then I finally spotted her by herself, not in a blue camp shirt, staring into the pond. I called her name and ran to her. She gave me the tightest, longest hug as tears started filing up in her eyes. Another counselor came over and asked her why she was crying. It was so hard to see her sad and crying. Luckily my sunglasses hid my tears as I tried to put on my strong face for the counselors and Morgan. I was feeling like the worst mom, realizing I had made the biggest mistake by sending her to camp. In that moment when I was ready to pick her up, skip the award ceremony and run for the car, the sweetest boy walked up and put his arm around her and said, “Hi Morgan!” Morgan didn’t even look to see who was standing next to her. She didn’t need to, she knew. “Hi Larry,” said in her soft, monotone voice. The sadness I had been feeling immediately left as I witnessed this exchange and realized Morgan hadn’t been all alone but had made new friends who loved and cared about her.
We sat down on the bleachers and watched as each group went up to receive their awards. Morgan still wasn’t talking and would only whisper a few words here and there, tears still falling down her cheeks. But that all changed once it was her turn to go up and receive her award. She ran up to join her group, full of smiles and laughter.
Larry, thanks for being Morgan’s friend! You made this mama very happy! (Larry is the boy standing behind Morgan on the left).
Morgan got the award for “Silly Goose”. She loved this award and read it over and over again on the way home. Apparently she liked to act silly and stick out her tongue a lot at camp. Good manners never have been her strong point!
Award ceremony footage
One last goodbye hug with her counselor, Gerber
It takes a lot of guessing and knowing the right questions to find out any details with Morgan’s limited communication abilities but she did let me know that she made some new friends (Hope, Larry, Maggie, Gerber and Jack). Loved riding the horses with her helmet. And she must have really loved breakfast this morning because she talked a lot about the eggs and bacon that she ate before we picked her up!
I asked why Morgan was the only one not wearing a camp shirt and was told she refused to wear it this morning when she was getting dressed. I got it out of her bag once we got home and we read the front of the shirt together. She asked if she could wear it and immediately put it on.
I think she had a fun week but also missed being with her family. She was excited to get in the car and back to her usual routine. We had a fun afternoon together. Lunch at McD’s, “Rio” at the dollar movie and snowcones on the way home. Welcome home camper Morgan! You were very missed!