We love Nature Day Camp! However, Kneehigh Nature Camp made a much stronger impression on C than any of us could have imaged. The camp meets five days a week, from 9am to 12pm. He attended the camp five weeks, spaced throughout the summer. Kids experience different nature-themed sessions each week. But none of these logistics matter to C. All that matters are Dina and Rachel. His camp leaders.
Even after summer camp ended, he asked frequently when the next session would resume. While we tried to explain that camp was over, school would be starting, and we'd go to camp again next year, this answer did not seem to appease him. He was convinced that camp was still happening at the Anita Purves Nature Center, year-round, and that he was missing out!
He began asking "When can we go see Dina and Rachel" the week after camp ended. I responded consistently, explaining that camp was over, and we'd return next year. However, the questioning continued. It continues to this day in February. At least on a weekly basis, usually in the car (must remind him of going to camp?), he asks "When can we go see Dina and Rachel". It has become the Summer Camp Chant, week after week.
I asked the Environmental Public Program Coordinator, who head's up the Nature Day Camp Program, and is also my good friend E, if she had any suggestions to curb C's inquisition. She suggested we write a letter to Dina and Rachel, telling them how much he misses them and can't wait for Kneehigh Nature Camp to begin in June. E promised to scan the letter and email it to Dina and Rachel. So far, we have yet to write a note, but perhaps we will make Dina and Rachel a special Valentine this year.
If any camp leaders out there are reading this, please know how important your job can be. You have the opportunity to make a difference in children's lives. Children will remember you. Teach them, laugh with them, learn from them. Dina and Rachel made an impact on C, and he will never forget it.