Wow. When I sat down to write “Running of the Jews” I don’t think I was completely aware of the viral potential of social media. I obviously had no idea it would be linked to a New York Times Article this past Sunday. I was driving home from Visiting Day when I found out. The weirdest part was The Times didn’t even tell me they were using it. My friend texted me to tell me! How crazy is that!!!
A big thank you in advance to everyone who contributed pics, videos, etc these past two weekends. It was so nice of you to help me create this piece and I thank you, thank you, thank you!
Some came by plane, Some came by car:
Regardless of your mode of transportation, you arrived and you arrived in force!
To the runners –
I believe this year you ran harder and faster than ever. I appreciate all the runners who chose to laugh right along with me instead of taking this so seriously and making me out to be the “party pooper” (favorite comment by the way).
Okay let’s get down to it. What did Visiting Day 2013 bring?
I loved how there is one guy who took off before everyone else. Were the other runners upset?
I had to cut in the people putting out the blanket under the tent. First ones there!! I cannot believe they really brought a tent. I played it like 3 times to re-watch it to make sure I was seeing the right thing. I thought I had seen it all but THEN this photo showed up in my inbox and I emailed the lady back “Did camp serve this OR DID SOMEONE ACTUALLY BRING THIS???”
You won’t even believe it! Somebody actually cooked ALL of this food and brought it up? Can you even believe? CAN YOU? I was in full shock. mouth on the floor. disbelief. For real? Will the real Mrs. Camp Cooker please stand up? How on G-ds green earth did they travel with that tent, the table, the food? Did they rent a U-Haul? How long did it take for them to set it up? Was visiting day over by the time they sat down? Most of all I MUST know how many children these people have. If it is not more than two I need to adopt this woman as my new mother. Please stand up!
Parents brought packages, baskets, wagons and beach carts!
Parents had special socks made:
If you want to know who makes these special Nike dri-fit socks, I am going to tell you but let me order mine first. Okay, here you go “The Sickest Socks”. They are pretty awesome, right? Amazing what people do, huh? This guy who worked at Footlocker at 16, worked as a graphic artist for 19 years, put his love of socks and art together to create “The Sickest Socks”. You can custom design your own socks! How brilliant is that?! Talk about SMART!
Parents had cookie cakes and candy bunks made:
Parents made their own baskets (yes it is possible):
So how was MY visiting day? It was exactly how I wanted it.
The boys waited for us when we pulled in:
It was an amazing feeling to drive up the camp road and have your son waiting for you as we drove in! Although we did not run I felt every emotion one feels after missing your child for four weeks.
Four weeks of letters, pictures and a few phone calls does not compare to the feeling that overcomes you when have the chance to hug your child. I missed him more than words can say. With hugs and kisses out-of-the-way we were ready to embark on visiting day. We had the chance to become a camper for the few hours we had together.
The truth is my husband really became the camper, not I. There was no shot I was jumping off this platform but he did and so did the little one!
I sort of went in the lake (in my shorts). The thought of breaking out into a bathing suit with 200 parents I didn’t know isn’t really my thing, ya know? My husband can get away with it!
We picnicked on the grass with the fried chicken and famous chocolate chip cookies (no chairs or tents). Yes I actually sat on the grass. And yes that is an oatmeal raisin cookie. I ate the chocolate chip!
But if we wanted to sit on a chair – they had picnic tables!
We watched Zach ski and play lacrosse. We met all his new friends and their parents too. What I loved most was the friendships he has made and how much he has matured. In just four short weeks my son is playing sports he never played before. He is learning to live with nine other boys he never knew before. He is building relationships and finding a voice. He is creating lasting memories and experiencing things he would never have done at home.
Whether you walk or you run, whether you bring them Baked By Melissa or home-made Rice Krispy Treats, the gift is 7 weeks. Seven weeks away from home to make new friends, learn new sports, build self-confidence and give them the freedom to prosper and mature. Visiting day is a check in. It is a very long, emotional day. It gives every parent a breath a fresh air and insures each and every one of us we made the right choice. Because after all – we each picked a camp that was right for OUR child. There is no right or wrong.
After a very long day, the parents and grandparents were exhausted! This poor guy really had it!
The running was over and the slow walk home began. People packed up and very slowly made their way to their cars (see vid)
I forgot to mention when I was up there, I asked Zach if he was listening to any of the music I put on his Nano. When he turned and said to me “OMG mom, my new favorite song is American Pie, I knew we made the right decision. (remember my concern from The Great Music Debacle.)
Every camp had a different way for the children to say goodbye, I think my favorite is the tradition at an all girls camp in the Berkshires. As the parents are leaving, the girls know it is time for the shaving cream wars! They are so excited to put on their bathing suits and goggles, the tears quickly subside and smiles lighten their faces. Each kid is given a can of shaving cream and the fight begins!
It is a remarkable way for the children to jump right back into camp and allow the parents to leave on a high note.
I hope everyone had an amazing visit! I know we did!