Camp still brings sleepless nights

July 7, 2012 

To this day, I remember how hard it was as a kid to fall asleep the night before I left for a week at summer camp.

My mind kept thinking about how much fun I was going to have sailing, horseback riding and learning photography. And each time I closed my eyes, I would begin worrying about whether I would sit alone at meals all week or would find a friend. Of course, I never even considered that my mom was nervous about me going away.

But last week on the night before my 10-year-old daughter left for sleep-away camp for the first time, I realized that camp is totally different when you are the mom. As I started to drift off to sleep, I worried whether the counselors would remind her to put on sunscreen and brush her teeth. Somewhere around 3 a.m. I woke up frantic that I had forgotten to pack her flashlight. And all night, I wondered whether she would make friends and love camp as much as I did growing up. When morning came, I realized that my daughter had slept soundly and couldn’t understand why I was so tired.

A few hours later, I held back my tears as I kissed her goodbye at the door to her cabin. As I drove down the dirt road away from camp, I picked up my phone to call my mom – I was pretty sure she would understand.

Read Jennifer Gregory’s entire blog at

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