You never really know how Justin is going to react when it’s time to go home after being away at camp for a week. It can’t be easy going from camp (where he can stay up late, eat buffet meals and do whatever he wants) back to home (where he has to follow a curfew, make his own breakfast and listen to his mother.) The first year he went, when he was seven, he burst into tears and ran off to hide in the dorm when I arrived to pick him up. Feel the love.
But this year, pickup went exceptionally well: his bag was all packed, he smiled when he saw me, and he managed to wait almost a full 10 minutes before bickering with his brother. He even broke with tradition and brought his towel home for the first time in five years. Miracles do happen.
One of the reasons he loves that particular camp so much is because they hand out awards for just about everything. Seriously, everything. They’re all about making the kids feel like superstars.
Justin, for instance, was totally stoked about a pile of Styrofoam balls he’d colored and brought home. This seemed odd for a kid who rates doing arts and crafts somewhere below going to the dentist, so I asked him about them. He told me they were Pokeballs. I should’ve known.
“And guess what? I broke the camp record by making 27 of them,” he said proudly.
Then he paused. “Actually, I think the previous camp record was zero, so…” he shrugged.
Hey, everyone likes to be the best at something.