Waiting for Camp Photos

When I was young, I spent a week away at summer camp each summer from 4th through 10th grade. For many of those years, I attended a Girl Scout camp in the Poconos. My parents would drive me to a local high school where three busses were waiting. They put my duffel bag and sleeping bag in the luggage compartment under the bus as I walked up the bus steps, found a window seat on the side where they were standing outside, and waved goodbye to them as the bus pulled away for our two hour drive to camp. From then on, my parents had no clue where I was. I assume that if the bus went missing, or if I wandered off from camp one day, they would have been notified, but, fortunately, that never happened. They had no contact with me until that same bus brought me back a week later.

This year, both our kids spent a week away at camp. (Both the same week! Good planning on my part, hu?) Our daughter went to Camp Hoover, a Girl Scout camp in Sussex County, where she slept in a platform tent (like I did in my Girl Scout camp days) with four other girls, and had to walk outside to get to the “Cindy” (the name for the cinderblock building that housed the toilets, sinks, and showers) (I tell her she had it easy—my camp had latrines and an outside water trough for washing our hands and brushing our teeth in rusty water! And we liked it!) Our son went to International Sports Training Camp (ISTC) in Stroudsburg, PA. He slept in a cabin with electricity, with about 20 boys his age and a few counselors. There were toilets, sinks, and showers right in the cabin, though I later heard stories about how the toilets were purposely stopped up several times by a prankster in the cabin. Both kids LOVED their experiences, and are ready to head back next year!

One thing that is definitely new to camp life since my childhood is the photos of the kids the camps put online each night. They usually post about 10pm, and I know I am not the only parents who continuously refreshes the Web site every 5 minutes, starting at 9:45pm until they are up.

There are usually about 50 photos posted each day for each of the camps. I quickly scroll through all of them to look for a closeup of my little ones (well, not so little anymore) smiling, laughing, enjoying their time at camp. Usually, I find nothing. Then I get out the magnifying glass to look for ANY sign of them. ANY sign that they are there. ANY sign that they are not crying in a corner of their tent all day, waiting until pick up day. ANY sign that they are having fun! Here are some I found (Please excuse the blanked out faces, for privacy.):

Jordan is obviously having fun at camp! Here is his forehead, marked by the yellow arrow. His friend’s upper face is marked by the red arrow. I was ecstatic to finally find him in a photo on Day 3!

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Becca was much better at getting in photos. Here is her partial face:

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Here is her lower leg. I wasn’t quite sure if it was her, since I didn’t recognize the socks, but then I remembered that we bought new long white socks for camp:

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But then you come across photos like these, and it reassures you that they actually ARE at camp, and ARE having fun! Hooray!