I have been reading DaMomma's Briar Haven series with great interest.
It's so apt. Mare is almost exactly the same age as Child (I've been reading DaMomma's blog since they were both babies), and Child had her first camp experience last weekend.
The difference is we took a softer step first: Child chose the Girl Scout camp that only lasted 3 days, where I got to go with her.
Camp WITH Mom!
It was amazingly fun. We sang (lots and lots and lots of) songs, tie-dyed, made crafts, went on hikes, slightly burnt s'mores, learned to tie knots and build a proper Girl Scout fire, and had a little time for kicking back in the cabin besides. We roomed with a family with 3 girls (6, 7, and 9-almost-10), and Child made friends with them in the first 5 minutes. She spent many hours hanging out with the three of them, which made me only a tiny bit wish there was more Mom-n-me time in this Mom-n-me weekend, but mostly thrilled that she could make and enjoy friends so easily. She was quite upset that she had to leave them at the end.
My one and only camp experience was between Child's and DaMomma's. It wasn't awful, but I sure didn't enjoy it either. I clearly remember sobbing in the camp director's office that I NEEDED to call my mom and go home right now, though of course they wouldn't let me. I was the type of child then who targeted herself for bullies and mockery, so I was bullied and mocked even by strange new kids, almost right off. But I do have a few good memories in there too, of a kind girl named Rachel in my tent, and a counselor I don't remember but I remember I liked.
I'm so glad the next generation (at least in mine and DaMomma's case) seems to be doing this better. :) Child definitely wants to go to camp again next summer...we'll see if she wants me to go along with or not!