Our oldest child went to his first summer camp on Saturday. Being twelve we thought it time he “get out there” and experience a camp. So we took him and a friend about an hour out of town to SKY Camp. Summer Katholic Youth camp (we Catholics are apparently horrible spellers) is a 3-day, 2-night camp for students entering grades 6-9. It won’t be a long camp, but a good one to cut his teeth on.
His little brother, aged 4 1/2, is having a rougher time with it. J-man has been talking about the return of his big brother non-stop since we pulled out of the camp parking lot. Nolan is a great big brother to Jonah, involving him in activities and friends, but he’s also getting older and to the point where there truly are places and things he’ll be doing in which Jonah cannot follow. And that will be a hard thing to accept for little brother although we suspect that once he can start kindergarten and have his own friends his sadness at being left out may ease a bit.
I snapped this picture after the boys had registered and were being led by one of the counselors to their cabin. I think it captures perfectly the essence of a little boy looking up to his big brother, anxious to follow in his footsteps and be involved in all things. Yet he’s also just a step or two behind. His arms are empty, still with no cares in the world except for what big brother is doing. Big brother’s arms are full of the tools he’ll need over the next few days, his burden of being older starting to grow.
The cabins all had signs above the doors to mark which cabin you were staying in. There were the “prophets”, “evangelists”, “apostles”, “angels”, etc., but one in particular caught my eye: the “martyrs” cabin. I jokingly asked the high school-aged counselor if the martyrs cabin is where they would threaten to put the problem kids. You know, “if you don’t straighten up we’ll make you a martyr”…hahaha. He politely smiled and said no, probably thinking me a fruit loop. Nolan and his friend didn’t share my humor. They were already nervous enough.