My just-turned-8 year old daughter survived her first Troop Tekakwitha overnight campout in the woods of Pennsylvania.
And I survived the experience of letting her go.
This past weekend, I confided in the Builders that I was uncomfortable with the camping trip. I went away to sleepover camp too young, and I spent about 20 too many nights camping with my family as a pre-teen… so childhood camping experiences left me with a bad aftertaste.
Also, while I love running outdoors and springtime as much as the next suburbanite, raw Mother Nature intimidates me. I couldn’t shake the fear of my daughter falling off a cliff, drowning in a lake, getting eaten by a bear, or being abducted by a forest-dwelling pervert (should never have read The Shack a month postpartum).
She hiked, swam in a creek, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and sang campfire songs, prayed, and slept (for a grand total of 3 hours) with her dearest girlfriends in a sleeping bag and tent under the stars. She loved every minute of it. Her positive experience has replaced some of my own sour memories of camping. Isn’t it a gift to experience childhood over again alongside our children?
We made it! Little by little… and I’m glad to have my oldest little one back under this roof tonight!