“Lauren’s Letter”

Hi Kawaga Family,

We are having the best summer ever — on so many levels! And, we’re so excited to see so many of you at Parents Weekend.

I have to tell you… your kids are amazing! Last year, my first as “Camp Mom,” I was simply impressed by your sons. This summer, I’m bowled over! Just think about it. Here I am, on the first day of camp, nine-months pregnant. And, I have these dueling goals: To get this baby out as quickly as possible and to spend special time with all of your boys.

What I didn’t expect is that Dane would arrive sooner than expected, and that your boys would find so much joy in his arrival on the Shores.

For those campers who’ve never been around babies before (or don’t remember because they were so much younger), I’d hear comments like: “I’ve never seen a baby this age before!” or “He’s awake, oh my goodness!” and “He’s looking more human everyday!”

So, Dane has been joining the campers for pretty much every meal when he’s not napping. They look at him like he’s a star and stop whatever they’re doing to come over and take a peak. They take so much interest in simply seeing if he’s awake or asleep.

As for Dane, he loves camp. He even likes all the cheering in the Mess Hall. It gets so loud (in the best of ways), yet it doesn’t even faze him. I actually think it calms him down!

Our three-year-old daughter Shay has been so sweet. Yesterday she told me, “I think I love him. Can he come with us to breakfast?” She particularly likes showing him to the campers, proudly exclaiming, “THIS is my brother!”

Two-year-old Vaughn likes to ask to hold “baby brother.”  When we put Dane in Vaughn’s lap, he quickly declares, “All done!”

Although it’s a little different making my way through camp with a new baby this summer, I know that being part of campers’ experience is so important.  I make sure to celebrate their personal successes and help lift their spirits when needed. It’s so important that these boys know that I’m noticing these things and am there for them.

As you might know, each night after “Taps,” Ty and I make the “rounds.”We walk from cabin to cabin, shining a big flashlight on each, and here is what you hear:

“Everybody in?” “YES SIR!”

Everybody all right?” “YES SIR!”

“Good night fellas!” “GOOD NIGHT, TY!”

“Good night fellas!” “GOOD NIGHT, LAUREN!”

The campers get such a kick out of hearing my voice calling to them after Ty’s.  And they respond in the nicest, sweetest voices. And they guess who might be with me in their final response: “Good night, Dane” (he’s a regular!) or “Good night Karma!” (Yes, Karma, our Golden Retriever, sometimes joins us and loves the attention.)

So, on that note, let me bring this edition of “Lauren’s Letter” to a close. “Good night, Parents.” Hope to see you here on the Shores at Visiting Weekend!

Be Kawaga,