Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who Knew Camp Was Such Hard Work?

The kids are at camp this week. Not like an activity with "camp" at the end of it ... music camp, science camp, Lego camp (all of which we have enjoyed). This is what camp used to be: hiking, swimming, kayaking, archery, camp crafts.

I am no where near brave enough to send them for OVERNIGHT camp, but they are gone for 6 hours a day for Monday to Friday of this week.

I expected that they would come home dirty and exhausted from the hard work of being a camper.

But I didn't expect how much work camp would be for the grownups. It's a good thing we took the week off.

Husband and I spent our Sunday getting ready for camp. First, we had to do a house wide search for an appropriate back backs. Sydney's kindergarten backpack was not big enough to accommodate the camp gear. Jackson's was sent to a toxic waste site earlier in the summer. While I was was (barely) willing to allow brand new lunch boxes and water bottles go to camp, I was not so generous with the new backpacks.

We needed to pack lunches and fill water bottles, of course. But also swim suits, towels, jackets, sun screen and an extra set of clothes. Okay that last one is my personal requirement as I consider it a talisman against rogue pee pee accidents that I feel sure will happen if I don't send an extra set of clothes along.

We needed to monitor weather conditions for the "how heavy of a jacket?" and "what kind of swim suit?" questions to be answered. I had weigh against the needs, the likelihood that any of these things might be left in the bottom of a canoe and just how perturbed I would be about the missing items.

On Sunday night, I fired up the label maker and labeled everything and packed it all up.
If only it ended there.

On Monday, after camp, I opened the backpacks and did an inventory and remarkably noticed nothing was missing. I knew that the wet swim suits would need to be dried. What I didn't count on was that everything else in the backpack would be wet. So the neoprene swim suits went to the back deck to be dried. The towels had a little sand on them so I shook them out and then sent them and other items to the dryer. Later, we rechecked inventory, made lunches and repacked the backpack.

On Tuesday, we lost a hat. I conducted cross examination of the hat owner who indicated that he didn't even know a hat was in his backpack and so denied any knowledge of where it might be, but indicated his swimming locker was in a dark spot and perhaps it had fallen out there. Backpacks were wet so a repeat of drying procedure was required. And repacking and lunch prep.

On Wednesday, I picked up the kids from the bus and noticed the front pocket of one campers backpack gaping open. This is the water bottle and sun screen pocket. The sun screen had vanished. We checked the bus to no avail.

I guess I was getting a little cocky with the post-camp procedures as I missed the all important shake-out-sand step. I went to check on the dryer and wouldn't you know this would be the day someone brought home souvenir handfuls of sand. The lint trap was covered as were all cracks in and around the door. I'm quite sure we'll have to put "new dryer" on our back-to-school shopping list. Oh and I need to get the laundry room floor vacuumed.

We have one more full day. Today is "campfire" night. It's figurative as there is a fire ban on due to hot and dry conditions. Parents are invited. The kids think Husband and I are going to see what camp is all about. But we are mostly going to check out the lost and found.

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