Thursday, June 3, 2010

24 days

till miss h heads off to summer camp.

for a month.

yep. a month. my mother in law is not happy with me;). she is going to miss her terribly.

and so am i.

but you know what i am? more than sad?
and so very happy for her.

some of my best memories are of summer camp.

it was a world away from my friends, my home, my regular activities...
the adventures we had, the tipped canoes, the thunderstorming downpours while in tents, the thrill of tuck ( yum, candy...), the excitement of care packages, the friendships go back to that!!

my other cherished memories? they come from being schooled with all girls throughout my high school experience.
the camraderie, the sense of sisterhood, the realization that girls ( young women ) could take charge and lead successfully was all imparted to me at ecole classique villa maria ( right??? tierney and tara and laura? chime in if you are reading this ).
we had fun, serious fun.

back to miss h's camp...

in camp ouareau i have found a fabulous mix of both worlds.
it is an all girl's sleep away camp.
canoeing, tripping, rock climbing, archery, sailing, the tent life, campcraft, fire making, drama, scary stories, latrines in the woods, camp tales, bymph...they have it all. 
in it's 89th year of operation, ouareau offers it's girls the thrill of rustic camp, combined with the freedom, unself-conscious unbridled joy and unfettered friendship that can only be had when a certain element is not present.

don't get me wrong, boys certainly have their place in every girl's life.
they did in mine and they will in miss h's BUT there is a special kind of growth that can happen when girls are left to their own devices...and i am thrilled that my daughter has discovered and embraced it.

now, i have no shrinking violet as a daughter.

she is boisterous, confident and caring.
but even at this age, i see questioning creeping into her actions..a self consciousness that concerns me. a preoccupation with what the boys will think and a frustration at their antics and ways that lets me know she does really care what they think of her, despite her outward hockey playing, tree climbing, skateboarding ways...

i do not blame boys for any of this, before anyone worries that i am one of "those" parents who blame boys for all the bad stuff.
i have two boys, one a teenager even. i adore boys, especially mine...this is what kills me.
the boys are wonderfully clueless ( enviably ).
many girls, by their very nature, are not.
and my daughter, in particular, is one of those girls.
i see her looking for acceptance, wanting to prove that she is as good, as fast, as smart as any boy who crosses her path.
hell, i was that kid.
blame it on the media, society, whatever. i am just happy to have found a place that encourages her to challenge herself and embrace the successes she has.
i wish every girl could live this life everyday.
it is a special world.

so, in 24 days, miss h is off to immerse herself in a girl's life. and i could not be happier for her.
she has some butterflies of course, and we are reassuring her with hugs and promises of good times but for the most part, she is giddy with anticipation.
she can not wait to get there.
and is hoping for a tent, not a cabin.
and is determined to get her 10 year paddle.
and then be a c.i.t.
and then a counsellor.
she is a camp lifer.

and i am already looking forward to getting her back.

mosquito bitten, dirty, a year older (as she CHOSE the camp session that runs during her 11th birthday) and more confident than ever that girls can do anything and everything that they want.


Chantal said...

ohhh beautiful post! She is so lucky! My son is already asking to attend sleep away camp. We think next summer will be his first (for 10 days).

angela auclair said...

chantal - where are you thinking of sending him?

danielle cover photography said...

i want a daughter just so i can send her there. :)

DaniGirl said...

A month? *gasp* And I'm leery to six year old to all day camp versus half days. Overprotective much? Yes, I am.

I love love love this post, and all that you are giving her. We have totally different childhood experiences -- I was sorely missing female companionship and never did the camp thing, two things I wish to this day I had more of. Miss H is lucky, and I admire you so much for all this: the experience and the strength to let her grow up and this gorgeous post about it.

3limes said...

Loved reading this and I wish my daughters could go to camp in Canada this summer. You are raising a brave and independent daughter by sending her away to camp and giving her memories to treasure for ever. BUT the coincidences continue! Did you go to the Villa? I taught there. No kidding. We have SO much to talk about when we finally meet! :)

alaskajoey said...

I used to BEG my parents to send me for the whole summer.... I loved camp. Michigan and the UP (stones throw to Canada!)
The independence and confidence that camp taught me is the most valuable lesson my parents accidentally gave me!

Margaret said...

my two cents:

1) I hated camp. homesick crying the entire time. never went again.
2) totally with you on all-girl schooling.