Jewish World Review July 2, 2004 / 13 Tamuz, 5764

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

The camp farewell kids want | This is the time of year when mothers are packing shorts and T-shirts and writing names in underwear, preparing kids for camp. It is a time of sunscreen, mosquito repellant and humiliating good-byes.

Who knows how many terrific camp experiences have been marred by mothers who insist on giving last-minute warnings at the point of departure. Mothers can't keep themselves from blurting out just one more round of be-safe, try-not-to-maim-yourself, and no-swimming-for-an-hour-after-eating cautionary warnings.

There's a big difference between what mothers say when kids leave for camp and what kids wish their mothers would say.

Mothers say: Be safe, honey, don't do anything crazy and don't forget to eat at least three servings of green vegetables every day! They help keep you regular! Stay away from the cheese popcorn and candy bars - you know how sugar makes you hyper.

Kids wish mothers would say: Honey, don't worry about what you eat at camp. Big deal, it's one crummy week out of the year. As far as I'm concerned, Skittles count as a fruit; ice cream bars meet your dairy requirements and a kid your age can never eat enough beef jerky. Mothers say: Don't forget you have a clean outfit for each day. Match your shirts with your shorts and remember, anything goes with khaki. Be sure to save the red and white striped shirt and navy shorts for the final campfire. It will leave a nice Land's End impression with your fellow campers. Kids wish mothers would say: It doesn't matter what you wear while you're gone. Wear purple with green and stripes with plaid, we'll just be thrilled if you bring back half the clothes you left with. If you could return one pair of shoes and a swimsuit, we will be very, very happy. Mothers say: Remember to brush your teeth after every meal and don't forget to floss!

Kids wish mothers would say: Cavities, schmavities. You know that tube of toothpaste with fluoride we packed? See if you can't trade up for a pack of Oreos and a jar of peanut butter.

Mothers say: Watch out for poison ivy, it's the green plant with three leaves - check the plant identification cards in your backpack. And watch out for ticks and leeches! Have the camp counselor check you every 30 minutes.

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Kids wish mothers would say: Don't give a second thought to those rashes; you look good in pink. If you get any ticks, save them in a baggie, we'll count them when you get home. And don't panic if you're in a creek and a leech attaches to your leg; remember they were in the water first!

Mothers say: Be very careful hiking, stay away from the edge of the trail, and keep your first-aid kit with you at all times. If you do fall and get a scrape, flush it with water, rinse with hydrogen peroxide and use your anti-bacterial spray.

Kids wish mothers would say: See everything you can on the trail. Run, skip, jump and throw rocks into the river! If you happen to trip and get a scrape hey, it's only blood!

Mothers say: Don't forget to write, use the 17 rolls of film we packed and go to the lodge and e-mail us twice a day.

Kids wish mothers would say: Forget about us, kid! For the next seven days you are master of your universe! There's only one thing we want you to do at camp -- get wet, get dirty and have fun!

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Pass the Faith, Please" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.


© 2004, Lori Borgman