Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mom Camp : : Anne McAllister

It's that time of year again!

I get to go to camp!

As a kid I went to day camp one year and it was fun, but not especially memorable. As an adult, I can hardly wait.

Every year since my oldest granddaughter was old enough to attend the local sports camp at the college in our town, she has come from Texas with her mom (my daughter) to do so. She and her cousin(s) -- whoever is the right age -- go off to camp, and my daughter and I have "mom camp."

It's wonderful. It's a time to spend with each other -- and, as it happens, with other friends and family we don't get to see often enough -- and reconnect.

We talk, we laugh, we read books, we go shopping, we laugh, we bake. We go for walks, we laugh, we try new recipes, we go through old photos and put the names of people in them on the back. We have tea. We bathe dogs. We try out crafts. We watch movies. We laugh.

Mostly, it seems, we laugh.

It's a refreshing, wonderful week. This is our fifth year at it and every year it seems to get better. The first year we were joined by my cousin's daughter, then age 14. If she seems like an odd addition to "mom camp" let me assure you, she fit right in. She's funny and she has great ideas and she laughs a lot. She's an honorary mom camper and she has been here every year but one (when she was off doing something at Annapolis, as I recall).

Then we added Nancy the cat slayer (no, she doesn't. Not really. It's her nickname). And last year we added my aunt (the cousin's grandmother) who flew in from Arizona for the event, and who had such a good time that she was the first one to want to be on board this year -- and is bringing a "craft" for us to do. Something to do with vegetables and tote bags. How appropriate is that?

She also thinks we need elegant hats this year -- and to have a tea party. We're not sure about the elegants hats bit (we're more baseball cap girls), but the tea party is right up our alley.

And we're having 'day campers' this year. Well, besides Nancy. My 87 year old neighbor is coming. She is bringing her chocolate raspberry torte recipe. I can see good things happening on that day! There's a lot of rhubarb awaiting our attention, too.

Another cousin's daughters out on the west coast were hoping to make it this year, but couldn't quite swing it with parenting obligations.

I invited Anne Gracie who will be in the US for RWA the following week. Sadly she's got a deadline and can't make it before the conference. But we're hoping to do an 'addendum' for a few days afterward. She makes great jewelry and we thought that would be a fun thing to try.

We still might. But we'll miss Anne.

We'll be having a good time, though, rest assured. Wish you could join us.

But you can start a mom camp of your own. It's an idea whose time has definitely come!


Jo's Daughter said...

I disliked camp so much as a child that I never wanted to try again. But all those activities do sound fun... maybe I should reconsidder.

Lolarific said...

Mom camp sounds like a ton of fun! I loved going to camp as a child and when my boys come of age for it they'll be going to one too. Right now we're squarely focused on our youngest starting school in the fall (finally!). Everyday after that may be mom and dad camp at my house!

Melanie Milburne said...

Have a fabulous time, Anne. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Pat Cochran said...

Momcamp sounds wonderful! Think I'll
suggest it to my daughter. Her sons &
husband are into scouting and the Moms
are left at home. Of course, that seems
good too but having an actual agenda to
follow and share sounds much better!

Anne McAllister said...

Jo's daughter, I'm so sorry you had such a rotten time at camp when you were a kid. That's a shame. But making a camp the way YOU would like it to be, that might be worth a try. Let me know if you do. We have such a good time!

Anne McAllister said...

Lolarific, I know the feeling! I thought it was unfair that when I finally got my kids civilized THEN the schools were happy to have them! I hope you enjoy your space and that mom and dad camp is just to your liking!

Anne McAllister said...

It's always fun -- and always different! Thanks for stopping by.

Anne McAllister said...

Pat, Do suggest it to your daughter. She can be as structured -- or not -- as appeals to her and whoever she invites along. People come with ideas and we just go from there.

This year my cousin's daughter tells me, we might be doing a bit of astronomy as she's discovered Starwalk on my husband's iPad! Nothing like a bit of improv!

marybelle said...

This sounds like my family. There are so many of us that we traverse the country & 'camp' out for a while. We drink a lot of tea & talk forever. Mostly we have a good laugh.