Camp is over and I am choking back the tears. Why am I crying, you may ask or some of you may think, what type of parent am I? Aren’t I excited to see my camper? Of course, I am excited and of course, I missed him all summer. But each summer when camp ends, is one summer less for my children to be just that – children. Each summer that passes, means one less summer for them to smile, laugh, grow and learn in an unplugged world. I know this – how? I have seen children start camp at the young age of 7 or 8. I have seen children grow into preteens and not have to deal with the awkward middle school moments during the summer. I have seen teens be able to feel safe and happy with their camp family and temporarily escape the overwhelming stress and pressure they feel all year. I have also seen my own children mold and shape new campers as their counselors. Don’t think that being a counselor for the summer is the easy way out. Far from it, it’s hard work, but the rewards include maturity, personal relationships, time management, conflict resolution and so much more. If you think there is joy in seeing your happy camper, there is another sense of joy and pride when you see happy campers looking up to your happy counselor. But like everything else in life, all good things come to an end. So why am I crying? Because I don’t want any of this to end and the end of each summer means we are all getting closer to the end of this stage.