Growing up in the midwest, the only thing I knew of summer camp was what I saw on TV and in movies. I didn’t know anyone who had ever gone to camp. I don’t even know of any camps remotely close to where I grew up. I’m sure they exist, but I knew and still know nothing about them. As a child of the 80’s who watched ridiculous amounts of Nickelodeon, Salute Your Shorts was the best. Apparently it only ran for two seasons, but we still watched every episode, right along with Hey Dude and Clarissa Explains It All. Those shows were the best! The shows on the Nick now are so stupid. I can’t stand how they portray adults, but they did the same on the shows we watched. Ug and Mr. Ernest were idiots.
Anyway, my summer camp experience was limited to Salute Your Shorts and the original Parent Trap movie. I say original because the Lindsay Lohan version didn’t come out until I was in high school. I wanted to go to summer camp, but since I couldn’t, I of course will try to send my kids.
It never really came up until we moved to Texas. East of San Antonio, past Kerrville, there are a lot of camps. Camp Corral has camp a couple weeks of each summer at the YMCA camp up that way. Camp Corral is a free camp for the kids of veterans who are disabled, injured, or deceased. I applied the past two years for my son and he was always on the waitlist. This year, I applied for both kids since my daughter was finally old enough. She was waitlisted, but he got in. He wasn’t so excited at first, but I knew he would have fun. As the time for camp got closer, he did get more excited.
We drove him up a couple weeks ago and dropped him off. He and I had talked about what to expect. Everything I told him was based on my TV summer camp experience. We talked about their cabins, the food, the activities, all that stuff. I was pretty spot on too. My childhood TV viewing has not failed me!
We found his cabin, met his counselors, and I helped him make his bunk. He was on his own then. We picked him up the following weekend. He never has much to say initially, but he told me more as the day went on. Thankfully, someone had been taking pictures all week and posted them online. I got to see all the activities they did. They swam in the river and in the pool, went horseback riding, played all sorts of sport related games, had s’mores around a campfire, did an obstacle course, and tons of other stuff.
He had so much fun. His sister seems to think she’ll take his spot next year, but I’ll apply for both of them again.