Monday, November 21, 2011

440 Yards at Camp

My son, Patrick, is the artist in the family. His paintings and drawings are outstanding, and I'm not saying that because I'm his mother.  I've also learned he has a unique writing style.

Patrick is the quiet one.  He does not like to talk on the phone, he answers with a yes or a no, shows no emotion when watching a movie and performs his morning routine in total silence (if his brother abides to his wishes).

A few years back, we sent both boys to Camp Chingaghgook for one week.  They had never been away, on an extended overnight outing before and thought it would be good for them to experience camp, like all their friends have.  I gave both boys a journal to write in.  Patrick excelled in this task, Michael forgot he had it!

On our ride home, I asked both boys how camp was.  Michael couldn't say enough about the activities, the councilors and the food.  All Patrick said was, "great."  No other words, descriptions or offerings were imparted. When Pat shared his journal with me, I ran across an excerpt and had to laugh when I read it. I had no idea he could be so descriptive.  Let me share~


Day 1
What's cold, noisy and dirty? Our cabin! We have 8 kids in here with 3 councilors. I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm starting a new life. All I can think about is the swim I good and up to the challenge, who knows. A half hour left.

Then the time came, 2 laps back and fourth.  Two laps overhand and 2 laps on your back.  I jumped in and sank to the cold bottom, gasping for air. I made it. I started swimming, kicking and using my arms, I made it to the slimly walls. Then I went back, I only needed 2 laps to go and then I could do the back laying swim. I finally went to the docks, I was done!!

The waves grew intense, gasping for air, I had a mouth full of water. Getting cramps, side aches and exhaustion, I wanted to give up but I kept on trying. I finally made it, swimming 440 yards, getting a perfect score. 

One of our cabin members threw up in the lake while I was swimming and the worst part was I swallowed lots of water! But the advantage was I never got sick.


When I look back and reflect on his experience, I've learned one thing about my son, Patrick.  He has great determination. After camp, he went on to become a member of the YMCA's Gator Swim Team, as well as, the USA Swim Team. Swimming 3 nights a weeks for 90 minutes and swimming in meets every other weekend that can last up to 9 hours, quite a commitment for any young adult.

The other thing I have learned, is to always give my son a writing journal when he goes on vacation, to camp, or any other major outing.  By doing that, I'll have an opportunity to read how wonderful or how terrible a time he had and understand just how that amazing brain of his works.  Keep up the good work Patrick, you're an awesome kid and I love you.

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