Camp Stowaways

Yesterday afternoon, my two youngest sons piled into the minivan. Backpacks, sleeping bags, and pillows packed the trunk. I jumped into the driver’s seat and the boys buckled their seat belts.

“Ready to head to camp?” I asked the boys in a chirpy tone.

Both boys nodded and stared out the window.

“We’ll be there in 90 minutes,” I announced while pulling out of the driveway.

As I turned the car onto the Interstate, Cooper asked, “Mom, do they search your bags at camp?”

Warning bells rang within my mama’s brain.

Typically it’s not the innocent child who is worried about a camp bag search. The child fretting about the search is the one smuggling in the Twizzlers, six-pack of Cokes, sparklers, bb gun, or (the worst offender yet) a cell phone. I wondered which item Cooper stowed away in his bag?

I thought about my options:

  1. Admit the list of “don’ts” on the packing list is unenforced by camp staff.
  2. Let him fear a search and hope his guilty conscience (or fear of getting caught) leads to better packing choices.

I chose the latter.

I never witnessed Cooper pulling anything out of his bag. Today, I pondered whether his question was purely inquisitive or fear-induced. Only time will tell, or a phone call from the counselor. I’m bracing myself for a call.

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