Category Archives: parenting

How to Make Home More Campy So Your Kids Will Feel More at Home

IMG_5680The other day I wrote about being homesick and back-homesick. Yes, I coined the last one, so I’ll expect royalties if you use it.  Basically, it’s the feeling campers have when they return home and it feels weird to be normal.

As a parent, we want you to be back-homesick because it means you had a great summer and the fortune it cost us to send you to camp would NOT have been better spent on a family vacation or a fall wardrobe. That said, as parents it’s also pretty annoying that you’re not more excited to see us and be back home. Well, as someone who spent the summer at camp and has now experienced both sides of this phenomenon, I feel confident that a couple tweaks to your home will be the difference between mopey kid — and kid who barely notices they’ve left camp.

Look we all spent a lot of time and money, making camp more homey – we sent, great sheets, a soft rug, a cushy chair (which they don’t need) for bonfires, plush towels, their favorite pillows, stuff to decorate the walls, fans for comfort, pictures of us … But I’m gonna teach you the tough part — How to make home more Campy: Continue reading

Jenny From the Bunk is BACK From Summer Camp – But Forgot How to Live in The Real World

goodbye camp pic

I’m Back I’m Back I’m Back!!! In case you didn’t hear, I’m back from my summer at Camp Lenox. I have so much to catch you guys up on, first of all, being home kinda sucks…

Yep, this summer I’ve gotten to feel both homesickness and “back-home sickness,” and they’re oddly similar. When I was at summer camp, and there was downtime, a rainy day, a rest hour, a cancelled period … the locomotive (that is camp) went from careening around bends to simply chugging along. During those times, I missed my hubby, my coffee, my bed, hot water …

Coming back home from summer camp is not so different, except it’s worse … that same freight train doesn’t slow to a chug, it screeches to a halt. Continue reading

You Helped Me Go Glamping This Summer

Dear Readers,

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Remember when you guys awesomely tweeted and put up Facebook requests to #SaveJennySendKeurig? Well, it actually worked and that means you guys made a difference. Sure, you could’ve volunteered at a homeless shelter or served food at a soup kitchen, and I bet that woulda felt great. But if you didn’t, I’m just saying, please take a moment to be proud of yourselves because you made a huge difference in my summer.

I had been suffering from major headaches, groggy mornings, and Continue reading

Dear Readers – Day 32 – Things Invented at Camp Out of Necessity

Dear Readers (Day 32 at Camp Lenox),

dance night

Brilliant things I invented out of necessity: SO, we just had a DJ at camp. Honestly, I love dancing. You know who does not love me dancing? Most kids that are the age of campers. There’s that factor … and also, I was in my Uggs and a sweatshirt, but I was not going to let those things be setbacks. No, I danced with my favorite counselors and campers.  I showed my skillz, I raised the roof, did the hip hop modified Cabbage Patch I’ve been working on, threw out a retro running man… Oh yeah, I did my best moves, but I realized my moves, which I thought were pretty darn fly (using those terms to describe them is a sign that they are anything but), were not by comparison.

That is how I, (out of necessity) thought up the most brilliant dancing style and I’m pretty sure if I hone it and put it on DVD I’ll be able to sell it to the masses and ensure they’ll be a hit at every upcoming camp dance, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sweet 16, and school prom they chaperone.

I’m calling it Dance Magic or maybe Abraca-dancing (not sure yet, so refrain from using either as I’m copyrighting the terms as I write this). Anyway, Abraca-Dancing will be irresistible and anyone who is proficient at it, will be da’ bomb, yo.

Let me explain with a couple scenarios: Continue reading

Dear Readers – Day 31 – Along Came a Spider and I Ran Away From Home

Dear Readers (Day 31 at Camp Lenox),

spider chartThis is one of those stories that I have to share, but I really don’t know if it will translate … I’m hoping you’re amused by the comedy of errors that ensued. If not, you clearly have no real sense of humor and should not be reading this blog (I will never take the blame, ever).

That said, I’m still at camp. I had gotten to the point where I was feeling OK, even comfortable, in my cabin and then this happened. Last night, I had a visitor. He was hairy and aggressive and uninvited. I tried to slap him with my shoe, which is how I handle all unwanted guests. That’s a warning to you, don’t visit unannounced.

So, this visitor was lightning fast and also really large. I’m not one to tell a fish story, in fact, I have a tendency to actually downplay details. Therefore, when I say this intruder was the size of a small dog, it may have actually been the size of a small child. Actually, I’m pretty sure I missed contact the first time because I wasn’t sure if it was a camper — and I was a bit hesitant to whack a child with my shoe.

Now, I should also inform you that I’d been on OD and it was about 130 AM. In case you didn’t realize, I share a foyer with a senior administrator, Tim (remember the area where the AC unit is that leads to two closed doors?). The second I heard the main door open I yelled his name and sent him through the roof. I don’t think he was expecting someone to scream as he entered. I explained that there was an interloper the size of a softball and it was multicolored and had some weird pattern on its back and it was probably going to kill me … or at the very least make me some kind of radioactive superhero. Continue reading

Dear Readers – Day 25 at Camp Lenox – I Did NOT Think This Through

Dear Readers (Day 25-30ish at Camp Lenox),

Day 25 at Camp Lenox... I did NOT think this through!

Last night was my first night sleeping at Camp Lenox, I know I asked for it. I was staying in the creepy Mom Sorority House and yes, I wanted to move and be in the thick of things. Sure, the Mom House basement looked like the set of American Horror Story. Sure, I complained about the crooked walls, creaky floors and chipping paint, but that was child’s play compared to this. Actually, camp is child’s play and the Sorority house was cushy Mom’s Play, but I think you get the point.

That said, I let you guys pick my room on Facebook and you picked option 2:  (The “spacious” 1 Bedroom/ 1 Bath with my own bathroom, limited access to AC and a gross mattress — that had this label on it… Continue reading

The Best or Worst Ideas For Your Letters to Camp – Not Sure Which

tumbleweedDear Readers (Day 19 – 24 at Camp Lenox),

As we all know, the best ideas are generated during periods of total and utter boredom. Also, in the shower but there’s never anything to write with so, I imagine lots of great inventions are washed down the drain. Like time machines and renewable toxic waste…

Well, this is one of those brilliant ideas that I dreamed up and had the good fortune to get on paper. PHEW.

BTW, someone needs to invent a pad and pen that you can write with in the shower…

With the advent of camp emails and bunk notesit’s never been easier to keep in constant contact with your camper. Unfortunately, it’s you contacting them and not so much them contacting you. I should know, spending this summer at camp, I realize that my own great intentions to write letters were squashed by one of my other great intentions —  to enjoy camp. Yes, speaking in your camper’s defense, camp is tiring and non-stop, and like being on a constant roller coaster — the last thing anyone wants to do is screech all that fun/energy to a halt to write an update. Also, so much happens in a day that when anyone does sit down to write it’s almost daunting to try to recap, hence the one liners: “Camp is fun.”  

That said, I get the plight of the parent as well. Unless you’re rock climbing, getting up on water skis for the first time, tipping canoes, having bonfires, talent shows or raucous games of Name That Tune around the house, the whole we write you and get nothing in return is an oxymoronic phenomenon. Continue reading

I Was Not the First Person to Think of Cat Boxing and Other Crappy Ideas

So, in yesterday’s post, Why They Should Have Cat Boxing at Camp or What Happens When You Have to Send Letters about your Boring Summer, I had a stroke of brilliance. Unfortunately, I was not the first — and so, I cannot take credit for inventing “Cat Boxing.” Of course, I’d like to because let’s face it, it’s pretty ingenious. I guess exceptionally gifted *genii like myself should expect set backs in a world where most of the thoughts have already been thunk. Therefore, I’ve added some addendum’s to yesterday’s post to ensure that I don’t get sued by rabid cat lawyers. Continue reading

Dear Readers Day 18 – Did I Survive the Camp Lenox Swim Test – Video

Dear Readers (Day 18) VIDEO BELOW –

Today, I took the Camp Lenox swim test. (Well, did I pass or did I drown? I’m not gonna spoil it and tell you which, but one of those things did happen.) Anyhoo, this is the test all the kids have to take to be rated.

When I was at my first camp, Camp Louise in Maryland, we had to wear a bathing caps. Not for speed, I assure you, it was because we were polite young ladies. I think??? When we completed the swim test, a lifeguard spray painted a color on your cap to let everyone know what level swimmer you are.

First of all, there is nothing less sexy than a swim cap!!! NOTHING!

Second Continue reading

Dear Readers – Day 17 at Camp Lenox – Who Knew The Great Outdoors Were So Lovely?

Outdoor Education...Sleepaway camp is super fun . Today, I had a salad … again. I’m really happiest when there’s feta. I know, who would’ve thought feta could make such a difference? I think it may be the Switzerland of cheese. Well, Swiss cheese is probably the Switzerland of cheese, technically speaking, but it seems like Switzerland in the fact that it’s universally inoffensive.

I see now that there’s a reason people don’t compare cheeses to countries.

Anyhoo, last night Continue reading

Dear Readers – Day 16 at Camp – I Forgot How to Be a Kid

Dear Readers — (Day 16 at Camp Lenox)

camp halloween 26

One of the things I’m constantly questioning at camp is my coolness. No, I don’t mean that in a popularity way, I mean it in a, ‘Can I hang with people who are younger?’ specifically those who haven’t had the ability to do stupid things sucked out of them and replaced by worrying about your kids doing stupid things. Have I lost my ability to have fun? Do I currently have a stick up my arse? As a neurotic mom, I often think that I’ve lost my spontaneity, my energy, my spark.

When you’re young you like to tell yourself to never grow up. You say things like, remember, never to be like that parent, that teacher, that authority figure. Remember never to punish your kids for blank. Remember what it feels like to be yelled at to be talked down to … to be made to feel guilty and swear you won’t do that to your own children. Pinky swear. It’s like a note-to-self to never grow up.

The truth is, we all grow up, whether we want to or not. We realize why certain actions need punishing, we lay guilt from time to time, we get frustrated with our children and yes we use phrases we swore we would never say like, “because I said so” and “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Yesterday, at camp I saw a reflection of myself that was not pretty. It looked like this. Continue reading