Wednesday, May 11, 2011

To Camp or Not to Camp...that is the question

I believe that Cheney was nine years old the first time he went to summer camp.  That would make Davin to have been seven.  I knew Davin would miss Cheney not being home, but I never expected his reaction at the camp.  You see, my boys slept in bunk beds.  Cheney slept on the top bunk and Davin slept on the bottom bunk at home.  When we went to get Cheney's stuff unloaded into his cabin, he chose a top bunk and we got him all set up.  I didn't notice, at first, that Davin was staring at the bottom bunk.  When we went to leave the camp, Davin was furious.  He is rarely furious.  He struggled to keep me from putting him into his car seat and he cried and cried.  I finally figured out that Davin saw that the bottom bunk under Cheney was free and he figured that must be for him.  He wanted to stay.  Davin got a camp t-shirt that day and a lot of sympathy from me.  It made sense. 

I know that Davin is a "camp kind of boy".  He loves to be outside.  He loves people.  He loves having fun.  He loves doing what everybody else is doing. 

I have thought of sending Davin to camp for quite a few years now, but it was only an idea.  My blogger friend Tracey has sent me some information about the wonderful Joni camps and highly recommended them.  I checked into those, but they were all full for our area.  I had checked into another camp as well that is in our area and they have room for Davin and now they have our deposit and we have had an interview. 

I find myself going back and forth, though.  Can I really do this?  Can I leave Davin at a camp to be cared for by people I don't know for FIVE days?  I am not sure. 

At the end of our interview, the people from the camp told me they think Davin will be an excellent fit for camp.  I told them my concerns and they sweetly said that only I can decide if I can actually send him.  Do you think they would notice me sleeping on the floor next to his bed?? 

There are so many things that Davin does not get to do.  That cannot be avoided and although he is sometimes annoyed, he really handles the disappointment well for the most part.  Camp is something that he can do, but can I let him?  My world has gotten pretty small in the last seven years as far as Davin's care is concerned.  We do not ask our parents to watch him anymore really because it is more than they can handle.  The only people that care for Davin overnight are the five of us.  I guess that is the beauty of Davin being the youngest of four kids and with him being so much smaller than they are.  Ashleigh, Bethany and Cheney all can take care of him.  I trust them completely. 

I know that some of my fears are just being overprotective and some of my fears are very real concerns.  Some of those very significant problems that I have been concerned about seem to be correcting themselves, so now I am thinking.....maybe.....?????


Natasha said...

Aaawh - seems like we're going through the same decision-making challenges. I'm in the same boat with Ryan for this summer. Would they be able to give him the care he needs. Would I be able to let go. Just this once?
Does Davin want to go? Would you be able to call them to see how he's doing, since this would be your first time letting him go? And is there a possibility of coming up to visit him within the first couple of days, to make sure he's doing well and he's liking it? I'm sure they would call you if they didn't feel like he's enjoying himself? I'll be praying for both of us. :)

Martha said...

Is he going locally? We have camps like that here don't we?

Heather said...

Natasha, how blessed I am to have met you and now we can share some struggles together. It is such a hard decision to let our precious boys go. I believe Davin does want to go and I know I can call. I am not sure about visiting, but I am also not sure Davin will be real big on me visiting. He is not a huge fan of me showing up at school anymore and messing up his schedule;-)

Martha, it is down in NJ. We weren't sure how long we would be here when I first started this process. So, I will stay down there while he is at camp. Not sure what I will do with myself, though. I guess pretend he is at school for a very looooong day:-)

Betsy said...

Oh, I can relate to this! Best of luck in making the right decision! xo

mommytoalot said...

I too can relate. Although I have heard of some wonderful camps and some integrated camps, I'm not comfortable leaving my Joey there. So an camp....he loves it and I so love the break.
Good luck in what you choose.

Kelli said...

this is different because Kyler just needs a lot of medication and diet restriction but when I sent him to a kidney camp through childrens hospital the first time, he came home WITHOUT ANY CLOTHES. haha. so Kyler, I had to drive to a 3rd site the next week and "look" to see if his clothes were there. And they were, just all cramed in a black garbage sack, wet dirty ect. He had put dirty clothes in there as he used them and so when he came home, he just grabbed his suitcase. haha.

Davin will love it. Its hardest on you but its a big must needed step for him

Heather said...

Kelli, that is hysterical!! Okay, so before leaving with Davin to go home, I need to check the suitcase to make sure he has everything he brought to camp:-) Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. I am feeling that way, too, like he really needs to do this and wants to do this. Oh, but letting go is soooo hard....

Martha said...

Ben got homesick and literally threw up on his first week of camp. I had to drive all the way to Oswego on a Thursday morning to pick him up. But, I'm pretty sure Davin is braver than Ben. :)