Before I describe yesterday, I'd just like to say that when I discuss sleepaway camp and my kids, it's not just about what they'd like, or whether or not camp is a good thing or a bad thing. The only description I can come up with for how this feels is really pathetic but it's all I've got.
I feel that sleepaway camp is not part of my culture or belief system. My friends who practice other religions or don't believe in consumerism tell me they are surrounded by Christmas everywhere in November and December and it's all they can do to restrain their kids while they beg for presents and Santa. Christmas IS nice, it has lots of wonderful qualities, but it's not part of their belief system, so why should they have to participate in it, or let their kids participate? Are they saying Christmas is bad? Or just that they don't want to do it? Maybe they do their own holidays. Maybe we don't ALL have to raise our kids the same way?
And that is how I feel about sleepaway camp. I am surrounded, bombarded, harangued endlessly in real life about fucking camp. I really do keep a holly jolly smile over my gritted teeth and spout platitudes like "Gee, it's just not something I'm used to," as I pack and label and spend and spend and spend.
I know many of you love it and send your kids away every year, or went away every single year when you were kids. And it's really okay for your families. It is. I don't get it, but you are welcome to do it.
This only becomes a problem when we intermarry. Like when non-sleepaway camp people marry sleepaway camp people, and try to raise kids? Difficult.....
So we leave this morning in the pouring rain for pickup. Mr.C. insisted on leaving at 8 am even though pick up isn't until 2:30 pm and we are 3.5 hours away by car. He wanted to stop for lunch etc, so trooper that I am, I go along with it. Brought the newspapers and my laptop.
No wifi access anywhere of course. Stupid %^$#%&^ bureaucracy can't get it together. I guess they missed that part of rural economic development 101.
We get there, eat lunch for half an hour, and wait for 2 hours in the rain at the pickup point. We were a tiny bit early. Didn't want to linger in the dirty bathroom. So we hung out. Tried to think happy thoughts about all the letters Kaz never sent, and all the promised phone calls I never got from the camp telling me he was really okay. (Okay I got two, but I'd been promised waaay more.)
He came off the bus, and I gave him giant hug, and fell all over myself asking questions and loving him to pieces.
I'd like to say we had a happy ending but I can't. Kaz was acting so strangely as we drove I knew something was wrong. He was so rude to me I wanted to cry, and inattentive, unfocused, red-faced, and just_plain_odd. So I grabbed his medication bag.
And hit the roof.
They only gave him his Concerta for the first few days he was there, there were loads of pills left over, and I'd sent the exact amount needed. Same for his asthma puffers and his allergy meds. Even though I had expressly typed out the Doctors orders describing what he needed to take and when. I spoke to the Camp Director about how dangerous it was for Kaz to be off the meds if he was near a body of water and hand delivered the instructions to the office just to make sure. I spoke to the Camp Doctor and reiterated why he needed to do preventative puffers and how the allergist wanted to ensure he had no more attacks. I also made sure he knew about the allergy meds and the Concerta.
I was crystal clear, verbally and in writing. Meanwhile, the Camp Doctor never even checked that his meds were being given to him. Considering they are a controlled substance, it might have been prudent. The section head lied to me on the phone last Sunday and said he was taking his medication. They violated a Doctor's orders and a parent's orders.
Kaz may or may not have wanted to take them btw, but it's not his decision at this point in his life. He also wants to eat candy bars instead of vegetables, and skip school so he can play Wii all day, but there is a reason 10 year olds need adults to take care of them.
The Director promised me they would take care of my precious living child, and instead they cavalierly put his safety at risk. Children with ADD who are unmedicated face a risk of drowning six times higher than those on medication. And those fuckers took him on a canoe trip on a lake, without medication. In the woods, miles from a hospital, they did not do his asthma puffers.
Can anyone explain to me why I shouldn't sue them?
And you all wonder why I'm hyper vigilant about safety? I swear sometimes I feel like Moms & Dads are the only thing on earth standing between our kids and disaster.
I'm phoning the camp in the morning. I am going to calmly and quietly say some of this, then let them react. I'll let you know what happens.