Movie Boy is home from resident camp. He earned his 2nd class rank and is well on his way to 1st class rank. We also earned a couple merit badges — sailing and life saving. He also got a lot of the requirements knocked off for his rifle merit badge.
He also spent the entire week very, very homesick.
This was very, very unexpected, because Movie Boy has been to this same camp for the past two summers. His father has gone with him each time. The first time was a little rough. The second time started a little rough but got better. So I guess we just assumed this third time — it would be old hat. Even Movie Boy was anticipating having fun at camp this time. So the homesickness was a surprise to us all. I think we knew he would be homesick. I think we all just thought it would taper off a bit, when in fact it got worse and worse all week.
Ben Ten and I went up for Family Day yesterday. We had intended to camp out on Friday night and then leave with the troop this morning. We told this to Movie Boy all week, and this kept him going. Knowing that his family would be coming up and spending the night. Then on Thursday, we got word that Ben Ten couldn’t spend the night. He is too young. And while I see the logic in this rule, I wish I knew it before I told Movie Boy we would be spending the night.
We waited to break the news to Movie Boy until after his 5-mile hike. The hike was a requirement for the rank, and we didn’t want to mess with that. Mom would still be coming, and she would stay for closing ceremonies but wouldn’t be staying over. Its not easy for Movie Boy to switch gears like that.
Ben Ten and I got there around 4:30. We stayed for dinner. We stayed for the closing ceremony. We hugged Movie Boy a lot. The ceremony ended at about 9:30, and we chatted with everyone for a little while as Movie Boy got ready for bed. He begged me to take him home. His father and I held firm on that — he would finish the week and go home with the troop. He walked us to our car and we said goodbye.
Ben Ten and I drove home. Two hours through dark country roads. We arrived home around midnight.
And then, a 1 p.m., we went to the church parking lot and met the troop coming home. Movie Boy was with them. He helped offload the gear. He’s home now and relaxing — he’s got root beer, he’s got his dog, his wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching Saturday Night Live, his favorite.
His father is keen to have him return to camp next year. We are reviewing “lessons learned” from this year so we can better support next year. Because when all is said and done, Movie Boy enjoys camp, makes great progress, and accomplishes amazing things (did I mention that the Lifesaving merit badge requires diving for bricks in the deep end and saving a flailing “victim”?). He just struggles with homesickness.
As for me, I’m glad to have him home. He’s off to Nana’s for a week tomorrow. His dad drives him up and then I pick him up next weekend.
Another week away — but at his grandmother’s, its a different experience so he’ll be okay there.