Going to Camp Boredom

Molly Jo Rose:

On my desk sits a stack of flyers for summer day camps. The options are mind-numbing: Superhero camp, Inventor’s camp, Minecraft camp, STEM camp, even camp for kids who like to run. The thought of weeding through them is paralyzing, so I have made the executive decision not to. The camp I am sending my son to this year is Camp Boredom. That’s right. No events. No themes. No scheduling of minutes and hours and days. Instead, I am giving my son the gift of a 1970s summer, free of all parental manipulation. He gets to be bored all day, every day, for 90 days. You’re welcome, kid. Go crazy.

And we might go crazy. I’ll let you know how many times in the first day I hear him complain about how bored he is and how he has nothing to do. In the late ’70s and early ’80s during my summers of boredom, I know my mom heard these complaints. But I am also willing to bet she was not terribly concerned about them. “Are you?” she’d respond, sipping her can of Tab through a straw and absentmindedly tapping her cigarette onto a salad plate. “Why don’t you go for a swim? Or read a book. What’s your sister doing?” And then she’d go on with her day of not being at all bored because adults don’t have time for boredom.

I didn’t know it as a 7-year-old, but adult me knows the value of boredom. It took a while to learn it, but by my teenage years, I had figured it out. My sharpest recollection of learning the value of boredom involves me sitting cross-legged in the middle of my parents’ basement. Summer days for a teenager are desperate times. The need to have Something To Do is so wrapped up in our sense of social value. Being alone and bored is a challenge … until it’s not.

– See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/blog/201605/gift-boredom-30641#sthash.maEae6tz.dpuf

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