For the past three summers (this will be the fourth), I have worked at the camp that my kids attend. It’s a great fit for us – I love the job I have and the people I work with, and my boys have a fabulous eight weeks there every year.
As a camp staff member, I attend required staff training sessions every year. At the end of today’s training session, we had several camp-wide drills, before which the camp director spoke frankly to the staff about the harsh reality that we all live in.
And it hit me. Hard.
Not because I didn’t already know this. I follow the news. I read the information that comes home from my kids’ schools, and I know that safety is something to be taken seriously. But there was something about looking around and seeing the faces of the counselors who take this job just because they love kids, thinking about my own kids being there, and then thinking of the terrifying possibility that something unthinkable could happen.
I find it so sad that kids’ (including my own kids) reality these days includes lockdown drills and intruder drills. I know it’s necessary, and somehow it’s both scary and comforting at the same time to know that places our kids go are preparing for this.
It also makes yearn for the days of previous generations, when parents put their kids on a camp bus every morning, or sent them off to a sleepaway camp for the summer, thinking that the worst that could happen would be an argument with a friend or a bee sting.
I think every generation of kids has had their crises, their issues and things to fear. All we can do is hug our kids tight, love them with everything we have, and just talk to them when they have questions, because unfortunately, we don’t have the answers either.