Thursday, July 1, 2021

complaining about Reuben's camp for five minutes

Reading, resting, and homeschool planning. That about sums up my June. A lot of reading. A lot of resting, and much homeschool planning! 

I also think I would make a bad public school parent. Reuben went to a day camp. I have actually wanted to send him to this camp since I visited it (and read about it) and talked to many others who had sent their kids there. 

However, this is pandemic year, and even through this camp is all outdoors and there is no mask mandate in our state currently, he was made to wear a mask all week unless eating or swimming. I sent him with one ply masks because he's FIVE and cannot breathe when its 80 plus degrees out in our muggy Virginia weather with a 2 or 3 ply mask over his nose. It was mind boggling to me that a five year old child had to wear a mask for his camp!!! When I picked him up his mask was literally soaked and gross and, ugh. I don't get it. When I signed up there was nothing on the website about masks. I received the mask info two days before Reuben started camp in an e-mail. Talk about stressful. 

Another thing that bothered me was the food. The website had this amazing sounding dining service promising vegetarian food that came "mostly from their on-site garden" and would be full of local flavors and veggies. It spoke of how the kids would learn to cook on a campfire and even start their own fire. Reuben was really excited when I read that part to him!! It said portions were reviewed by a child dietitian but extra portions would be allowed. Alas, he came home unhappy the first day because what they fed him for lunch was sunbutter on bread. He said no extra food was ever allowed. He came home hungry every day. The next day was noodles with plain tomato sauce, and the third day was a parfait. They could put fruit or cheerios on it. When you read their website they make it sound like something else...this is my child who loves salads and is a growing boy. Literally I would pick him up at 3:30 and he was crying from hunger!! Like, what?? 

The first day I picked him up he was holding his mask on. I sent him with a one ply mask and he said he lost it (that happens) but he forgot I put another one in his pants pocket for just this reason. They gave him a really thick polyester mask that was three ply (I know this because I cut two layers off the back to send it back with him the next day) with their logo on it. He was holding it on his face because he said "it falls off when I let go and they yell at me to put it back on". BUT NO ONE HAD HELPED HIM ADJUST IT. He is five, and he has never worn a mask before!!!! LIKE HELP HIM. A camp counselor should notice this. I feel like they either didn't care or they were not paying attention to my son like they should have.

Another time I picked him up he was carrying his shoes. He said he couldn't get them on after swimming and--why did no one help him put his shoes on??! HES FIVE. I expected him to be cared for, but maybe that was asking too much.

The next day, day two--he did yoga. He came home saying he hates yoga. I sent my son to camp and they made him do yoga. He said it was for two hours but I am sure it was like 20 minutes or something. When I picked him up he said he was hungry and also he had been so bored that day. I felt sorry for him but I brought him back the next day! 

I forgot to mention something. Every time I dropped him off the "camp nurse" would take his temperature.  Each time they would ask six questions about covid and illness. The second day I said yes to "do you have a headache" and this caused the camp nurse to FREAK out. First of all, I was honest. I have migraines, I'm not sick. OMG. She didn't seem to know what to do, but let him stay. The next day I saw her standing far away talking and they didn't temp the three cars in front of me, and I kind of relaxed. Like, maybe they are not going to temp? Well, no. They didn't temp anyone else but my son. Because I said I had a headache the last day. (Okay, so I only saw the few cars in front of me and behind me but she ran to my car and temped Reuben and then walked away again. She singled him out!!) She remembered the car I drove and even asked me "has your headache become a sickness" I (in my head) was like NO I WOULDN'T TAKE MY SON TO CAMP IF I/HE WERE SICK) but I just said no. She temped Reuben every day. It felt personal. 

I'm getting angry just thinking about it!! 

Another time Reuben forgot his shoes and I had to drive home and get them. I couldn't believe, one, he would forget his shoes, and two, that I wouldn't notice, and three, WHY. oh well. Also, they said I had to go get his shoes as he could not attend camp without shoes--when the day before I picked him up without shoes because no one would help him put them on. I went and got them and brought them back. 

There were things he enjoyed about camp. He loved swimming, and the zip line, and making his cup out of clay. He loved the woods. He could do without the yoga and the masks, thank you very much. He loved the s'mores they made on Friday, the last day of camp (and finally a day of making the campfire!!) He wanted to do more crafts. He was sad they only did one craft the first day (making the clay bowl). We do more crafts than that at home!!!!

Anyway. I came to the conclusion that the camp was a scam, and I am not going to send him there next year. By scam, I mean it wasn't the enriching amazing experience the website made it sound like, it was a glorified babysitting service. 

Also, how do public school moms do this every day? Drop their kids off not knowing what is happening and pick them back up? I missed Reuben like crazy! I knew it was only a week and I hoped he would have fun, become more of himself from being away from me a bit, and give myself a much needed break. The break was awesome, but my blood pressure rose a bit from all the things the camp did that made me angry. 

Anyway, if I can get this mad over a summer camp, I could never send him to school, at least not while he is little. I mean, who knows if he was able to communicate aptly about his day?? He IS only five. A lot of what he told me made me mad, but literally there was no one to talk to about it. Drop off was from cars. I wasn't allowed out off my vehicle due to covid. I guess I could send an angry letter but what would that do? So, I never said anything. First of all, I didn't want Reuben to be treated weird because of some complaint I made, and two--because I didn't think it would actually change anything. 

I just feel stressed about the whole thing. And yes, I realize nothing I have complained about it "that bad" but it was just so different from what their website said and what he and I expected. Sigh.

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