Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End of an era

Dear Carolina Friends School Summer Program:

For 10 years, one or both of our daughters, Rapunzel (now nearly 16) and The Nerd (now 12), have been going to summer camp for about 5 weeks a summer. They've been to at least half a dozen different camps, but CFS has been the mainstay: they have done at least two weeks with you every summer. No other camp has held their attention year after year like yours.

10 years ago, when Rapunzel was in kindergarten, my mother in law came to me and said "I want to check out this Friends School camp for Rapunzel." I can't remember how she heard about you, but she was enthusiastic. She checked you out, came to visit, and encouraged me to check out your summer brochure. I did, Rapunzel went for two weeks that summer, and she loved it.

Rapunzel outgrew camp about 2 years ago - she felt too old, at almost 14, for the camps, and being a CIT just wasn't her thing. So last summer, she stayed home by herself  while The Nerd went to camp. And now, The Nerd is outgrowing it too - I think this is her last summer. She too is beginning to feel like the oldest kid there, and also isn't interested in the Counselor-in-Training programs for teens (which is a shame - she'd be great at it...). And she's teetering on the edge of being willing to stay home alone with Rapunzel now, and expects to be fine with it by next summer. So it's feeling like the end of the summer camp era.

But I am grateful for CFS Summer camp every February as I download camp brochures. Neither of the girls were ever really into the traditional swimming-canoeing-archery-crafts type of summer camp. They've done a few weeks of that, but it wasn't really their cup of tea. They do love riding camp, but it's pricey, and we can't afford to do 5 weeks of that (much as they might love it!) So they tend to gravitate toward camps like CFS where there are a variety of topic-specific camps to choose from.

CFS is not the only camp of that sort around here. But after 10 years, and probably 75 kid-weeks of camp, more than half of them at CFS, I can say that it is the best. Why? Two reasons.

First, the breadth of your offerings amazes me year after year after year. You have something for every kid from 5 to 15: Animation, Batik, Cooking, Desserts, Earth arts, Fortbuilding, Guitar, Hoop flow, Improv, Jewelry, Kitchen chemistry, Lets rock, Magical quest, Naturewalk, Outdoor adventures, Photography, Robotics, Science, Theater, Ukelele, Video, Watercolor.... The girls have never failed to find 2 or 3 camps that grabbed them, though working out a schedule that hit their top choices in the same 2 or 3 weeks was always interesting!

One of The Nerd's photos from Photographic Eye
And then, there are the instructors... I don't know how you manage to hire such incredible instructors every time, but you do: the girls have probably done 35-40 kid-weeks at CFS, and every single one of those instructors has been great or awesome. Not most, but Every. Single. One. I always knew I could sign them up for anything at CFS and be completely confident that the camp would be exquisitely planned, expertly taught, educational, and entertaining.

So, thank you CFS Summer Staff, for entertaining my daughters so expertly for so many years. We'll miss you... Though if you can get Miss Christine, teacher of Photographic Eye this summer, back to do an advanced photography camp next summer, you might just see The Nerd one last time!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! On our end, we appreciate your support, your kind words, sharing your children with us...we DO try to hold on to our summer "graduates" as long as we can by offering more advanced camps (such as Advanced Comic Design this summer and Web Design II.) Thank you for your vote of confidence and giving us the push to keep on striving to create a meaningful program for the campers. It's hard work from planning to the final execution during the summer .. with an amazing hard working staff with high expectations. Thank you for being with us so long...and I hope that this will not be farewell!!