the dos/don’ts of surviving preschool camp

by ck on January 29, 2013

DO sign your child up.

DO NOT sign yourself up.

DO pick a camp t-shirt that fits.

DO NOT grab a child’s M for yourself, even though it looks closest to your size. It will shrink after washing, which not only makes you look totally 90′s, it encourages impromptu rounds of the  “belly button” game while you’re trying to get a headcount.

DO pump the kids up for song time.

DO NOT sit in front of them during the “whistle” song.

DO enforce mandatory potty breaks between all activities.

DO NOT sit behind 14 children during Story Time, even though they swore they used the toilet. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself if you’re caught downwind…

Speaking of downwind, DO NOT let them initiate Shoeless Story Time. 14 pairs of 4 year-old feet reek when they’ve been without socks all day long. All of this together = bad news for you.

DO praise and encourage all children in your group. This week is about them, not you. Even though you plan to leave these memories at the camp, they take theirs with them.

DO NOT be surprised when other kids like you and ask to sit on your lap.

DO NOT be surprised when it feels like cheating on your own kid.

DO NOT be surprised at the twinge of sadness because your lap was available in the first place due to the teenage girl’s lap your child picked over yours.

DO get suspicious the moment all 14 children are quiet on the playground.

DO race over before your daughter cries out, “Mama! Come here, quick!”

DO NOT ever underestimate the compassion of little kids. It’s not always trouble or bleeding or silly. Sometimes it’s a baby bird that fell out of a nest. A tiny, little, hairless thing that has to be moved because the tree is in the center of the playground.

And after you’ve raced around with this thing in a cup and found someone to take it to a nature reserve, DO NOT be taken off guard when your daughter leads the other kids in hugging you.

DO admit that there’s nothing like being a hero in front of your daughter and 13 other children you wouldn’t mind seeing again.

Just NOT all at one time.

And definitely NOT at your house.






TheKitchenWitch June 29, 2009 at 8:01 am

Oh! You ARE a hero! I love the juxtaposition of losing your kid to a teenage lap and then watching her round up her group to hug you. Despite the torture and Big Potty experience, I think camp was worth it!

parenting BY dummies June 29, 2009 at 8:03 am

Do realize that you may not survive, but if you do it’s ok to be pretty darn proud of yourself. Congrats my favorite online mommy buddy lady, looks like you scored on this one. So, signing up again next year?

Yvonne Moss June 29, 2009 at 8:51 am

you made me cry… and smile at the same time.

Futureblackmail June 29, 2009 at 8:56 am

I hate it when KathyB! is right. She and all her volun – lovin – teering has put me on a guilt-trip like none other. Now I’m just looking for shit to sign up for and that scares me on a whole new level.

KathyB! June 29, 2009 at 9:57 am

HA!! I’ve converted you! Welcome to the ranks of the insane. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Welcome to the ranks of the happy volunteers. Not right, either.

Eh, welcome to the club. That sounds better. It’s a lot of work, but it is so worth it when you get those hugs, and those looks of adoration from kids who aren’t even your own. Not every lap is worth sitting on, ck. The fact that someone chose yours says a lot.

I’m gunning for futureblackmail next :)

This was really well done, as always.

Unknown Mami June 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

You kick a**! Your daughter must be so proud. This is another one to file under Good Mommy Moments.

D June 29, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Aww. The pictures of that poor helpless baby bird look so sad. Is it alive?

MommaD June 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I love the thought of you in a cropped camp t-shirt, especially since your a mom but look like a teenager. Your blog is what good memories are made of..I vote that you volunteer again next year. You’ll be soooo much more prepared…maybe?

ck June 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Well…let’s just say that the teenagers there all had big, baggy camp shirts, knotted on the sides. I could not knot the side of my t-shirt because mine barely covered my sides. So I was more Andrea-Zuckerman-teenager, than anything else.

Jessica June 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Pre-mommyhood I would volunteer one week a summer at a camp for kids who had experienced a death in the family – usually a loss of a parent or sibling. Each year I would dread going…and each year by the end of the week I couldn’t fathom not doing it.
Camp occurred two weeks ago and I had a little twinge thinking about what I was missing out on…

Your Husband June 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm

DO marvel at how cute that “hairless” baby bird is.

DON’T imagine how scary he’ll be once his hair comes in. A big hairy bird. With lots of hair.

ck June 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm

My love, I fear that your carefully crafted wise-ass remarks are totally wasted on me. You know I blog at 4 in the morning. You know, or should know, that I didn’t even get your comment because I didn’t realize I wrote that the bird was “hairless.” Technically it was hairless. Sure it will never grow hair, but that’s besides the point.

Keyona June 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm

My hero! If only I could be like you when I grow up brave one.

faemom June 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Super great post! You’re awesome! I’m glad you became the hero. I always enjoyed happy endings.

Hey, is it weird that both of us mentioned KathyB! in our posts? And just in case, keep the little ones away from rocks.

Casey June 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I was all set to comment and then I saw that someone used juxtaposition correctly in a sentence. I’m in awe of that commenter and I am not worthy.

I’m glad you’re doing this, even if it does suck at times. My mom always had to work full time and never got to participate in stuff like this but I remember being green with envy over kids whose parents could.

naptimewriting June 30, 2009 at 12:32 am

Loooooooooooooooooooove this post.

naptimewriting June 30, 2009 at 12:33 am

Also LOOOOOOOOOOOVE that you properly punctuated Dos and Don’ts. Sweet!

insider53 June 30, 2009 at 6:47 am

Good job ck. Kudos

Jacqueline June 30, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I’m soooo glad that I’m about 3 years away from having to take him to camp. I don’t think I could handle it.

'cuz I'm the mommy, that's why July 1, 2009 at 6:10 am

Oh noes! Big Potty haz teh stinkee feetz!
Captain Underpants was the same way. In the summer we’d have to roll down the windows! Oh, and he’d laugh and laugh at us groaning at the smell!

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