When I was a Boy Scout, I wanted so much to go to summer camp that first year. I had heard from friends about how great camp was and why a week away from everything was so great! The bad thing was that my parents didn’t really appreciate the fact that I wanted to go “sleep in the woods.” Their entire experience with being in the woods was a series of lynchings and tales about people who went into the woods and never were heard from again. So it was “maybe when you get older.”
I went out and raised my own money for camp that spring. I mowed lawns. I sold pocket flashlights. I babysat. I washed cars — all for the $95 camp fee (hey, it was a long time ago, okay?) and $50 for “throwaway money” (I was advised to bring some extra money for T-shirts and neckerchiefs and carving stuff).
I did it, only to have my Mom to tell me that I couldn’t go because nobody could take me to camp. So I called up an old friend (he actually beat me up the previous spring) and asked him if he was going to camp (back then everyone went to camp… not like today), and I went with his family (and endured being beaten up again–small price to pay for a week otherwise of great camping!).
I returned a bit older, wiser, and more confident in myself. And alive and well–except for the “two tone” look as my arms and legs were darker than the rest of me. My parents saw the personality difference and ever since then, they’ve paid for me to go to camp each summer.
So my Girl Scout needs to go to summer camp. It’s part of her development as a young woman, and she loves it. Her mom will appreciate the break from having the young gal away, too. And I’m happy to be able to be in a position to afford to pay all of her camp fees. I’m sending her a card with “throwaway money” in it and will tell her not to buy me a T-shirt — that money is for her to enjoy camp with!