A Rite of Passage: Going to Camp

How does a child get in the car to go to camp knowing that he has only ONE shoe on his foot?

This was the question I began pondering when 45 miles from home Maddie yelled from the third row of the Expedition: “Mom, Luke only has one shoe on!” Luke, quickly defending himself, shouted, “I could only find one shoe!”

After two days of packing,  very tense trips to Target, the Dollar Store, Lowes, and back to Target, I had the three older boys thoroughly packed for their first overnight camp at Camp Tecaboca in Mountain Home, Texas.

Packing for Camp

Besides the new flashlights, none of them were much interested in the packing process and apparently at least one of them was even less interested in making sure that he was fully dressed (that means BOTH shoes on his feet) for the drive up there and his first day.

Luckily I had packed an extra pair of shoes for when the shoes that were supposed to be on his feet became wet and muddy, because you know that that is exactly what is going to happen about two hours into the first day of camp.

But, I’m not too worried. Actually the only time I was a little worried was when we arrived at the camp and had to cross Joshua Creek–in our car! You’ve got to love the sign: “Yes, You Drive Across. Go Straight and Steady.”

Camp Tecaboca Entrance

This crossing, though, only solidified in the boys’ minds that this was obviously going to be the coolest camp EVER! I kinda like the idea that the way across the river (or any hardship for that matter) is like the sign says, straight and steady! I doubt if the boys will get that significance, but I think my new life mantra will be “YES! Drive across. Straight and Steady.”

Getting the Bunks Ready

I’m not sure which of the boys has this bunk, but I’m pretty sure that it isn’t going to win any camp awards for neat bed making. Not a skill that we do well at home either. Maddie expressed concern that in addition to their lack of bed making skills, the boys aren’t too good about toilet flushing either.


The campers

Before long it was time to say goodbye. Notice two boys and two complete sets of shoes.

Campers gathering

Scott tried to displace his own reservations about leaving the boys at their first overnight camp on me by telling the camp director, Kay, that I was having a difficult time letting the boys go. (Believe me, I wasn’t.)  He lingered as he watched the boys go down the hill to be with their camp group. He tried to get their attention as we walked to the car. He asked if he should honk the horn as we drove away. He checked the camp Facebook page as soon as we arrived at the restaurant for dinner a half an hour later.

I’m excited about their week and I can’t wait to hear about their adventures. Overnight camp is part of growing up: first extended time away from Mom and Dad, first time on their own without the parental nagging to brush their teeth, change their underwear, put on the sunscreen, please would you eat a vegetable or two? They will do things and learning things and think things that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do here at home. They will be unplugged and in nature for an entire week!

Mountain Home

As we crossed back over the river I thought that this will be the first of many crossings we do with them. Each time will have some uncertainty, some longing to be together again, some new and exciting experience, and some reuniting and retelling of adventures. Yes! Drive Across. Straight and Steady.





I am a mother of two sets of twins and a singleton. I explore the wild world of multiples and provide resources for other parents of multiples.
1 comment
  1. Love this.. I have not braved sending my girls off to camp but I love the idea of it all.. UNPLUGGED!!!!

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