All three of my children were at day camp for the month of July. I did not attend camp as a child – apparently I was not interested, however, I worked as a camp councillor at the age of 14.
Surprisingly, this year is the 6th year of camp for my oldest child, 8-year-old Linus. It is the 4th year for my middle child Stewie, and 1st year for my youngest child Boo. This year also represented her first time on a bus, but she’s with the her brothers so that made us feel much better.
So each day when they came home from camp, the three of them would trot off the bus - happy to be home and happy to talk about their day. At dinner we go around the table asking everyone to tell us all about something good that happened today and something bad that happened today. My wife read that it’s important to get children talking about bad things that happened to them during the day so they get into the habit talking about these things as they get older. I think it’s brilliant, especially when my daughter would say that something bad about her day was that no one went to jail.
One evening over dinner we asked the kids about the good and bad from their day and here was what Stewie came out with;
“Something bad about my day is that there is a boy in my cabin named “Billy” and “Billy” never wins any of the games we have played. Actually he has never won a game. Even the games he is winning right up to the end, he loses.”
So my wife asked him this question; “Does that bother you?”
“Yes” he replied.
“Then say something to your councillor, or help him win at something!”
“I’m going to do that” replied Stewie. “I’m not going to win another game until “Billy” wins a game!
The other bad thing about his day was that his friend and neighbour was having a hard time getting his swimming bracelet, so Stewie had this to say about it to us; I’m not getting my swim bracelet until my friend gets his, because I don’t want him being the only kid in our cabin without it.”
So when his councillor called later that evening, I brought up these two issues, and yes the councillor was able to confirm that “Billy” has not won a game this summer and yes, his friend did not have his swim bracelet. I was surprised to hear from Stewie’s councillor said that Stewie had in fact completed the requirements for his bracelet, but refused to go pick it up – something he found odd – until I explained the reason why. I just thought he was not taking the swim test or was failing it.
The councillor promised to watch “Billy” and help him along, and also to take Stewie and his friend into the water and personally make sure they get their swim bracelets – something he did the following day – and only Stewie’s friend came away with the bracelet. Apparently Stewie did not know that his friend passed. Oops. Stewie, coincidentally got his 2 days later.
Apparently having his friend as the only kid without a swim bracelet was unacceptable, but being the only kid without his bracelet was totally fine.
He looks out for others… Love that!
He even had to intervene when a 3-year-old boy pushed my 3-year-old girl. I had asked Linus to walk over the next day at camp to make sure Boo was okay but Linus said he would not be able to do so – it was too far, they wouldn’t let him… Blah, blah, blah. Stewie, on the other hand, had no hesitation checking in on her 6-times the next day to make sure she was okay, as well as speaking to her councillor, and finding the boy who pushed her, to tell him to keep his mitts off his little sister.