Many months ago we filled out forms, made an appointment for a physical, and sent in the check for Camp Roosevelt. This year we knew the drill for signing him up for Merit badges, since the cool ones fill up very quickly and last summer he was stuck with astronomy, fishing, and leatherwork badges. This week we found out that during his two weeks of camp he will work on small boat sailing, swimming, environmental science, archery, and a much coveted spot in the rifle session. Of course I signed everyone up for swimming lessons at the local pool and Mary starts riding lessons tomorrow. Out of the three towns that the kids have taken sailing lessons from, apparently only one is offering lessons this year and of course it is the most expensive and an hour away.
But despite all the opportunities, Mary still whined, "How come Will gets to go to camp and I never do...." I couldn't tell her the truth, "Well dear, because Boy Scout camp is reasonably priced and wholesome, while the options for you are Girl Scout camp where it is likely that the counselors are lesbians, or the typical Maine camp for rich kids from Boston and New York."
I am serious about needing to be rich to afford Camp Hiawatha, most of these places are for 45-50 days and cost between $6000-$10,000. The typical description in the Maine Summer Camps guide include horseback riding, windsurfing, sailing, rock climbing, jewelery making, videography, kayaking, gymnastics, dramatics, etc, etc, etc. They include transportation from the major airports and boast that their camp is the opportunity of a lifetime for each child to reach their individual potential and make lifelong friends. It took all my willpower while reading the guide to not take out a loan to be able to send Mary to one of these camps, but good sense prevailed. I did find an entry for a camp recommended by a dad after a race last year in a neighboring town. After calling the director, I found that because of the economy, there were still spaces available and they offer horseback riding. Best of all, it is even cheaper than Boy Scout camp.
So, sight unseen, but on good recommendation (several others have given the place a thumbs up), Mary will spend a week away from home, eating camp food and doing crafts. She won't be hanging out with any rich kids from Manhattan in her bunk, but making friends with real Maine kids and having a grand time.