I dropped Lovebug off at camp this morning, and I think I was more nervous than she was. It’s a Day Camp, so she will go every day from 8:00 – 6:00 and have a fun filled day full of outdoor activities, crafts, swimming, and even a field trip to go bowling one day. It’s not her being gone all day that makes me nervous. She’s already done a couple day camps this summer when she went to Science & Art Camp at a local children’s museum (I’ll post about that soon – lots of pictures!), but this one is different. The museum camp was all indoors and was taught in a classroom type setting with some free play worked in.
At this Day Camp, there are a lot more opportunities for her Sensory Processing Disorder & Asperger ways to be an issue, and I’m just praying that she is met with lots of grace.
They will be going swimming, so that requires Lovebug to change into her swimsuit (not a problem), and then change out of it into dry clothes (often a problem). Changing out of her wet clothes into dry clothes often presents a challenge because she gets so cold that it’s hard for her to think clearly. Because she can’t think clearly, it makes putting dry clothes on a sticky body even more challenging, which leads to great frustration. We’ve been practicing at home, so I’m praying it goes smoothly and that the counselors will have lots of patience and compassion.
I’m also a little concerned about her because she tends to burn up her energy sources super fast, especially when playing outside and doing physical activities. Normally at home, this isn’t a big deal because I can give her a snack every hour or 2. At camp, however, they have a schedule they will be following, so I’m hoping her body can hold out till the next snack or meal time, or that she will be allowed to grab a quick snack out of her bag if needed. I’ve told them, but now it’s a matter of them following through. If not, I guess they’ll learn because if she uses up all her energy and doesn’t get a snack quickly, it will definitely lead to a sensory/emotional meltdown! I’m hoping they use the information that I gave them, and if this happens I pray they will see it for what it is – a need for a break and some food – and not as a behavior issue because to the untrained eye, it can often look like one.
The only other issue I’m concerned with is just her trying new things and letting new people help her. When we went to a family camp at this same camp location (both to enjoy family time and to familiarize Lovebug with the surroundings in preparation for Day Camp), she got to go rock climbing! She was super nervous, but Mommy & Daddy were there to help her. Daddy put her helmet on for her and helped adjust her straps. This time, a new person will be doing all of that, and having a “stranger” touch her can be enough to put her over the edge sometimes. She’s also anxious that they will “make” her to go further than she wants to. I told her to give it her best, and when she thinks she’s ready to quit, to try a little bit more before stopping. Often when she does this, she ends up surpassing her self-imposed limits. Again, we talked about this ahead of time to prepare her, but I’ll still be a little anxious until I hear how the first day went!
On the other hand, there are a lot of positives too! Being outside most of the day and doing physical activities will do wonders for her! She absolutely thrives in nature and water, so the combination of the two should make for an incredibly fun day for her! She enjoys making new friends and meeting new people, and loves getting dirty, so I suspect she will have a great time!
My little girl is growing up! I know this “letting go” is good for both of us, but that doesn’t make it easier! In the meantime, I will keep myself busy with projects that I want to work on and I will look forward to hearing all about her first day at Summer Camp!