I picked up my 10 year old son the last day of camp and found him covered in mud and smiling - just the way I like to see him.
He attends a day camp about 45 minutes from our house in rural Bradford County, Pa. for a week each June.
Stoney Point Camp is literally in the middle of nowhere, or at least it would be considered the middle of nowhere to anyone not originally from Northern Pennsylvania.
Someone from this county is used to dirt roads that lead to camps deep in the woods or sometimes to another dirt road and sometimes to an empty field.
The camp is full of Christian-based adventure and the day camp offers activities related to Christ and wildlife. They also offer horsemanship and teen camps throughout the summer.
Each day my son learned about wildlife, nature and God, which sounds like a good way to spend a summer day to me.
He spent two nights away from us at his friend's house because our friends live less than ten minutes from the camp and it was easier on those days to have them take him with them. My friend is also one of the art instructors at the camp.
I won't lie, we missed him terribly while he was gone.
We missed his laughter and the way he can make even the gloomiest day seem brighter.
He's never been big on sleep overs, taking after his mom and preferring to spend his evenings home in the familiar so he was ready to come home on that final day, he said, even though he'd had fun with his friend.
We weren't sure how Little Miss would handle her brother not being home since she's so used to him being there every night. She handled his absence better than I thought, but did ask each night before bed where he was. The day we were ready to pick him up after his sleep over, I asked if she was excited to go get him, expecting a "yes!" but instead she said "No. I'm not excited anymore."
I guess the process of preparing to head out the door to pick him up had eroded her anticipation.
But she was excited when we finally had him in our van and headed home for the day, stopping by an ice cream stand, complete with a climbable wooden pirate ship and a small playground, on our way home.