Friday Five: Five Things Son is Taking to Camp

This Sunday, we drop my son in San Francisco, where he gets on a bus and heads to…somewhere, for two weeks. He’s heading out into the Sierras (we think) with a friend, whose done this camp before, and 8 other kids…okay, and a couple of adults. (Who I’m sure are going to look really, really young to me when I see them!) Where is this somewhere? We don’t know–apparently, we’ll get some info at the drop-off point. You know, when we sign all worries away.

It’s a scavenger-hunt camp. The kids don’t get to know where they’re going, but they have to figure it out along the way. We know, from the packing list, that they’re going to be doing some backpacking, some kind of water sport-thingy, and I hear they do most of the food shopping and cooking. We know (because I asked!) that the camp people didn’t decide to make this an Urban-Adventure thing, and they won’t be spending the whole two weeks in Fresno. 🙂

You can bet if my son’s friend (and his family) hadn’t camped with these folks before, I’d be a lot more nervous. As it is, I’m in my if-they’d-lost-a-kid-before-they-wouldn’t-still-be-in-existence mode, and I’m just concentrating on the fact that my son is going to have a whole lot of fun. And I’m getting ready to clean off my futon so we can pile every item he has to take on top of it. From where my husband and he will pack it tomorrow, while I escape to give my talk to the Fremont Area Writers. How smart is that schedule?

Here are five things that are going into the duffel:

1. A raincoat. According to my husband, and to some of my own experiences, it pretty much rains at 4:00 every day in the Sierras. This year, I’m wondering about snow! (No, but I bet there is some still on the ground.)

2. Water shoes–in this case, those old beat-up sneakers that stay on your feet & keep them away from rocks, but will be SO ready to end up in the trash when they come home. Are these for canoeing? Kayaking? We’ll find out!

3. A small notebook and pen. No, this wasn’t on the packing list, but my son doesn’t go anywhere without a set of these. Unlined paper is the best for either drawing OR writing. And, yes, he cut the pen with the hacksaw, so that it fits into the spiral thing at the top of the notebook. It’s now about 1.5″ long.

4.  One of the two Discworld books that he hasn’t yet read. The other will go in the totebag that we’re grabbing as we go out the door to my parents’ house, the morning after my son comes home. I’m heading down to my…gulp! 30th high school reunion, and son will crash (probably literally) with his grandparents that night. I’m pretty sure they’ll supply pizza.

5. A sleeping bag. I think they’ll be sleeping on the ground, with nothing but a lot of pine trees and the open sky above them. He’ll need to leave his glasses on for a while, to make sure he gets the most of all those stars in that clear sky, with no urban lighting to mess them up. I’m not much of a camper, honestly, but the first time I lay outside somewhere far away from anything else and looked straight up (yes, with my glasses on, too!) I was blown away. I am so glad he wants to do this trip.

And what will I be doing while he’s away? Writing, writing, and writing. Reading and hiking. Eating out with my husband and seeing a movie or two. And, yes, for sure by the end of those two weeks, missing my son and being ready for him to come home.

Here’s to stretching ourselves!


  1. Omigosh! Two weeks?! In the wilderness??!! You are one brave mamma!!

    Good luck with the writing and try not to worry too much 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      Give yours a few more years–you’ll be there, too! He’s done the wilderness thing before–he and his dad hiked to 13,000 feet last summer, so that’s not new, at least. And I hear very good, safe things about this camp. Letting go, letting go…


  2. leelofland says:

    He’s a good kid with a good head on his shoulders. He’ll be fine. You, I’m not so sure…


  3. What an adventure — for all of you! Here’s to safe travels and lots of great new experiences for everyone.


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