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Camp Crusader

Ruby gives the hard sell on sleepaway camp

It’s May in New Orleans, otherwise known as “Have all the good summer camps filled up already?” season for parents.

Well, I’m here to tell you … probably not yet? There are still openings at all the camps I just this week signed my kids up for.

Georgia is scheduled for both St. Martin’s camp and Southern Rep, which she’s attended before and loved, but it’s Ruby who is the true camp evangelist.

“Have you heard the good news of Camp Point Clear?” she proclaims to basically any female child between the ages of 7 and 16, and then she lists off all the reasons why it’s her favorite place on earth.

She and I hosted an info session this past weekend for CPC, and after maybe the fifth time she interrupted the camp director to add more information about why camp is amazing, the director just invited her to stand up and help her with the PowerPoint.

Sleep-away camp is not for everyone. It may not be for Georgia (she’s still too young, so we’ll decide in a year or so), and it definitely would not have been for me.

But if it’s something you’re considering from your kid, Ruby would like to share her top 5 favorite things about camp:

1. The people you meet: There are all different kinds of people you meet, and even though a lot of the kids are from New Orleans, they don’t all go to your school. Also, some kids travel from far away. One of my friends last year was from South Carolina, and we wouldn’t have met if not for camp. Also, you can meet people who aren’t like you, and that makes your world bigger, and you can really get to know someone when you’re with them for three weeks. You can also make friends with people who are older or younger than you. Kids who are all different ages are friends, and it’s just super-fun to make friends.

2.  The food: Tater tot casserole might not look the best, but it’s delicious. They also have something like a taco but not a taco. It had a special name. It was a super-delicious meat thingy that you got to build like a burrito, but it wasn’t a burrito either. Anyway, they have food for kids with allergies and who don’t eat different things. All the food is good.

3.  Games: We have a ton of night activities and fun games. You can win points for either the Seagulls or the White Caps. You get to pick which one you are – it’s like Harry Potter but not quite as magical.

4.  Taps: We sing it every night, and it lets everyone know that another good day is over. If anyone was fighting, it lets them know that all is forgiven at night and you can start over fresh. Also, it kind of feels like you’re talking to your parents when you sing about God.

5.  Graham crackers and milk: It’s delicious, and I never thought they would go so well together, so I’m glad I tried it. It’s also a camp tradition, and when we eat it, I feel like part of the camp from before us comes back – and all the campers before and Mama Tag [the camp’s founder] all come back and visit us in a friendly way.

There is only one thing Ruby doesn’t like about camp: LEAVING.


Excerpted from Eve Crawford Peyton’s blog, Joie d’Eve,  which appears each Friday on MyNewOrleans.com
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