Sleep away camp is a wonderful experience for children. It is an opportunity for them to grow, learn new things, and become more independent. The thought of a few weeks apart can make parents, a some children as well, a bit anxious. This prayer by Rabbi Phyllis Sommer speaks to those concerns and may help make the camp experience even better.
A Mama's Prayer for Summer Camp
May you find learning and growth of all kinds.
May you gain independence and feel comfort in your Jewish identity.
May the mosquitoes be guided away from you, and may the raindrops not fall into your tent (too much).
May the food be delicious and the pool the right temperature.
May you seek out new experiences and try new things (vegetables would be nice but I'm doubtful).
May you smile brilliantly for the camp photographer and show up daily in the online photo albums.
May you avoid the camp crud and may you never lose your socks.
May you take a shower and brush your teeth every day.
May you not send wet towels to the laundry, because the laundry is charged by weight.
May your arrows fly straight, your fishing line never get tangled, and your tetherball not whack you in the nose.
May you not fall off the top bunk.
May you not spend your whole canteen account on silly junk.
May you not lose your hat and water bottle in the first week.
May you not lose your way in the night to the outdoor bathroom.
May you write me at least one letter besides the mandatory first-day-letter.
May you create a life-long friendship (at least one, if not many).
May you renew old friendships, since they are the most precious. (Are 9 year olds allowed to have "old friends"?)
May you learn more and more about yourself and your spirit and being.
May you return home in one piece with all your belongings,
and may you ever yearn to return to the land of summer camp.