We shipped Wip to camp. I thought that it was going to be one of the hardest weeks of my life. I mean five days without talking/seeing/hanging with my little dude? I set myself up for the worst. We dropped him off on Sunday morning and as we were walking I asked him if he was nervous, he said "no", I asked him if he was "scared" and he said "no", finally I asked him if he was happy to be there and he looked up at me with that toothy wide smile and said "yes".
Getting up to the camp took about 8 hours from Winter Park and we stayed at a Hampton Inn near Asheville the night before we dropped him off (Tupelo Honey is a must try if you are in the area).
I was not sure how D was going to react to this experience. The morning that we were taking him to camp, D was just being awful. Mean. Bad. I pulled him aside and asked him what his problem was to which he got huge tears in his eyes and said "I'm sad that I am not going to see Wip for a long, long time". Well cue my tears. I had him write Wip a letter and promised him that he would open it when he got to camp. I had a little chuckle because I wrote him a note everyday and the only notes that were sitting by his bunk bed when we picked him up was a the note from D and the note from his Mimi.
This was such an amazing experience for Wip. He told me that the first night he got homesick and he even cried a little bit. I asked him if anyone talked to him or tried to help him and he told me that John (his counselor) made him feel better. Then...he made a friend. A buddy. Someone he could tell his jokes and ask which animal he wanted to be. It was a game changer. Sam, Wip's other counselor, sent us a letter (known as the "mama note") that made the week a touch easier:
We also found this note that Wip wrote to his friend (they both were on top bunks:)
|Wip: Do you want to be friends?|
We also found this note:
If you can read what this says then I hope you are laughing just a little bit...there is a new movie coming out called Sing where Wip learned about this statement/song. If you have no idea what this means...maybe this will help.
I can't even say enough about the entire Falling Creek community and the fantastic job they do with putting on this Junior Week. So many activities, encouragement, new friendships, new challenges, and absolutely zero electronics. No iPads, no movies, no screens. Each night the staff would post pictures from the day...you can only imagine my glazed over eyes when over 800 pictures would be posted from the day and there I would sit, staring at my screen, scrolling to get a glimpse at pictures of Wip. Then, I found it. The one picture that not only put my mind and heart at ease that my son was doing just fine, but I also reached more likes than I have ever had on insta...it is pretty perfect:
While there were not a ton of daily Wip pictures posted, I got just what I needed. Each day, you could see just how much fun these boys were having and the amazing memories they were making.