Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh help!

Gabe is supposed to leave for camp tomorrow with four of his cousins. (Three older girl cousins and his closest cousin, D~. Gabe and D~ are only three months apart and the two of them are, generally speaking, thick as thieves.)

When my sister asked if Gabe would want to go to camp with D~ and the girls, I said, "of course," and sent in the form and the $215.

As Gabe has pointed out to me REPEATEDLY in the last 48 hours, I never ASKED HIM if he would want to go to sleepaway camp for five nights, and that he doesn't WANT TO GO to camp, and he will HATE IT.

D~ has a less vocal, but similar point of view about the situation, tempered only by the fact that he is accompanying his three older sisters to camp.

My sister and I have both told Gabe and D~ that if they truly hate it, one of us will come get them. D~ has, in a rare show of speaking more loudly than his three older force-of-nature sisters, stated, categorically, that he won't go if Gabe doesn't go.

Gabe is so hysterical about the prospect of going that I'm a little beside myself as to what to do...

Do I give in and tell him he doesn't have to go, or do I tell him he has to try it for at least one night?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have ran a camp for kids for over ten years. most kids think they will hate it. but in ten year with over 200 kids a year, only 3 or so have left homesick. he will have the time of his life, do not give him the option of not going, or going for only one day. tell him that you made this decision, and you are the grown up. tell him if he hates it, at least it will be over in 5 days (which is a short session for camp)

please keep us updated

Saturday, June 27, 2009 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Trying Traditional said...

As a kid I was pretty much forced to go to a camp. I was upset at the time, but had a good time and went to other camps as I got older...but not many. I love to camp, but never have been a fan of being away from my family.
If he had said he would go, I would deffinately force him to try it. Seeing as he didn't say he would (why are kids so good at details?) I still am thinking have him give it one night, but make sure he has a way to get ahold of you and head home if he needs to.

Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bunny thought she wanted to go to camp but when the time came she was very upset. I talked her into going, she cried every night and wrote me the most pitiful sad letters. It made me feel awful. When she got off the bus she just held me and sobbed. It was very traumatic for her. That's why I'm here in Austin for three weeks, she wanted me with her. There are worse things than being needed :) You know your son. Is he afraid of being away from home or afraid of the unknown?

Saturday, June 27, 2009 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Melissia said...

This is a hard one, Has he ever been away from you overnight before? Can you get him a cell phone so that he can call you and check in with the proviso that if he really hates it then he can come home. And can you make sure that he and his cousin are in the same cabin? If he comes home will his cousin get to come home as well?
I have a very shy daughter and went as the camp nurse/helper the first time she went to camp because I knew that otherwise she would not survive, so I understand your concern. I also have a son that I never attempted to send to camp because I knew that he would just never go. He suffered from social anxiety disorder and found it difficult to attend school, so sending him to a totally foreign environment would have been a nightmare.
But I also have a very social son who went every year and joined every thing he could, brothers could not be more different, yet they are very close, the issue is the social anxiety disorder, which my younger son overcame with age, therapy and medication.
You know Gabe best. How does he do in new social situations, does he adapt after a brief awkwardness, or is it very painful for him?
Experience can help, and knowing that if things get too rough for him to handle and you will come get him may allow him a safety net to stay and try out the camp.
Good luck, whatever you decide.

Sunday, June 28, 2009 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack, awful conundrum. I'm probably too late on the advice, but I think I'd have him try it - he might love it, especially with a cousin there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009 7:47:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

Others gave you good advice, better than I could give because I, myself, HATED camp. And, my parents made me go, every summer for about 6 years, for a 4 week session.

On the other hand, my brothers liked it. I was the big loser.

I think the upshot is that I never had any friends, my brothers made them easily. If G does, and since D is there too, it might be better for him.

Monday, June 29, 2009 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger thecurryseven said...

I keep checking back to see what you decided and how it all worked out.

I was never a huge fan of camp. (Camp Fire Girl lake! Growing up in AZ, I thought camps with lakes were purely something out of books.) But all my children have loved it. I'm not sure what I would have decided.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:32:00 PM  

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