Camp Visiting Day: The Great Junk Food Debacle

July 23, 2014 in Family life

Candies and Cookies

Candies and Cookies (Photo credit: Jenn and Tony Bot)

Camp visiting day is approaching this weekend for Middle Dude, who is spending 7 weeks up in New Hampshire at sleepaway camp. As the much anticipated day comes closer, the camp sends out a reminder, along with some rules, such as:

No leaving the camp grounds during visiting day

Only family members may visit

No pets allowed on visiting day

And the all important rule:

Please limit the amount of junk food you bring. 

Well, I am an extreme rule follower, so I made note of all these guidelines and followed them accordingly a few years ago when Big Dude had his first visiting day at camp. The morning of visiting day, my husband and I were eating breakfast at a local diner in New Hampshire and we noticed they had fresh cider donuts.

“Maybe we should bring Big Dude some donuts?” my husband asked.

I hesitated, worrying about the junk food rule and said, “sure, let’s bring him 6 donuts. He can always share with his bunkmates.”

My son had also requested that we bring him some gum. I worried about sneaking in the two packs of Bubble Yum, but I figured they wouldn’t confiscate it if he kept it on the down low.

When we arrived for visiting day, I noticed other parents carrying large shopping bags and boxes of stuff.

Huh, I guess they are bringing their kids stuff they forgot to pack initially? I thought.

We immediately and proudly presented Big Dude with the 6 cider donuts and 2 packs of gum, thinking we were the best parents ever for sneaking in this small amount of junk food. Big Dude gave us a puzzled look, and quickly ate all 6 donuts.

When we entered Big Dude’s bunk, I noticed that every kid had a gigantic mound of junk food piled on top of their beds.

I looked back at Big Dude’s bed with the 2 packs of gum and crumpled up bag that had previously held the donuts and I knew I had mom-failed with a capital F.

The guilt stayed with me all year long. When next summer’s visiting day came up, let’s just say I compensated BIG TIME. Big Dude, with the haunting memory of the mom who screwed up the previous year, continually reminded me in every letter and phone call home to bring TONS of junk food. After I backed up the U-Haul to his cabin :) and dumped everything on his bed and compared it to the other campers’ beds, I knew I done good.

“So, not bad huh?” I bragged.

“Yeah, a lot better than 6 donuts mom.”

Ouch. But, he was right.

Middle Dude seems to remember that first visiting day when his brother was so deprived compared to everyone else. Now that it’s his turn to be visited at camp, he is making sure no fatal errors occur again. When we spoke to him on the phone the other night, he had a LIST of what I should bring.

“Don’t worry, I got it covered. I got all your favorite stuff.” I reassured him.

I have now learned that some rules were made to be broken. So, if anyone out there is going to camp visiting day for the first time this weekend, don’t F it up like I did. Break the rules and bring the junk food.

Lots of it.

Trust me on this one.

P.S. My friend Lisa is going to her kids’ visiting day this weekend and is also breaking Rules 1 and 2 as listed above. While I don’t recommend doing that, apparently it’s okay to break all the visiting day rules at certain camps. I wish her luck and hopefully she and her kids won’t be kicked out of camp for the remainder of summer.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Janine Huldie July 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Some rules totally made to be broken and this definitely is one of them. Hope you all have a great visiting day this upcoming weekend now!! :)
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ohboymom July 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Thank Janine and yes, this is definitely one rule that I discovered EVERYONE breaks. :)


Marina July 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Same exact thing happened to me my first time. All the parents looked like they just came from Costco and I looked empty handed. Have a great time!


ohboymom July 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

So glad I’m not the only one who “deprived” my kid on his first visiting day! It’s truly humiliating.:)


Ken July 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Seven-week summer camp??? Gee, all I got was two-week. I hope he is having loads of fun and learning the great outdoors.


ohboymom July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Yeah, camp is a whole new experience these days…7 weeks and lots of Junk Food at the halfway point!


Theresa July 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Do they have a 7 week camp for just moms? I’m asking for a friend of course. Wait, can you bring me wine instead of junk food on visiting day? Again, for a friend.
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ohboymom July 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

We must have the same “friend.” :) You know, I think you’re on to something with a camp for moms…I’m all in!


Lana July 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm

I’m such a rule follower – I would have been afraid to bring any junk food too! Love what you did the second year :) We don’t have sleepaway camps here in Washington – sadly. Sounds like so much fun!
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Chris Carter July 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

I would have done the very same thing!!! lol

Good job making up for it, mom! Ugh. Who knew you could break the rules?
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ohboymom July 30, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I agree – who knew? I guess some rules were made to be broken…:)


Kerri July 28, 2014 at 2:34 pm

HAHAHAHA I am cracking up thinking of all the poor counselors having to deal with the sugared up demons their break-the-rule parents have left them with :)
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ohboymom July 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

So True, although the camp says they donate all the food after 48 hours…it’s probably all the counselors can put up with for that amount of time.


Kristi Campbell July 30, 2014 at 1:24 am

As the camper whose mom followed the rules, every year, I commend you for getting it quickly! I did 5-week sleep-away camp and my mom always refused the care packages and visiting day goodies. You rock, is what I’m saying. Big big BIG DUDE time. Also they should be more honest and nice about what 2 packs of gum means. Laughing with you and not at you, as always.
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