Camp Elke


When I was in college, my dream job was to be a camp director. Perhaps it still is. I was MADE for camp—the songs, the fully-in-the-moment-ness, the activities and the complete and total belief that every day should be FUN. And I did love  romantic camp flings (for real, who didn’t? See my blog:  THE DUDE CAN DANCE.), not to mention S’mores, bonfires, dances, talent shows, food fights… heaven.

One thing I never thought of in all my years at camp was the fact that somewhere other than camp, there was many a lonesome mama missing those kids. My boys are 6 and 8 and summer is our time. My hubby is traveling for work and the boys and I settle into our sun soaked, simple days. It is remarkably like camp– sans the singing, but now that I am aware of it, that will soon be remedied.

We get up slow, eat, and hang out for a long time before any teeth are brushed or shoes are found. There is a lot of time spent on the trampolines. Yes, that is plural, but we got the second one for a trade and I must admit, my acrobatic little sons make some good use of the excess of jumpy surfaces. Overkill? Nah, what curmudgeon came up with such a concept?

The sprinkler is a staple in our daily fun, as is lots of dirt and our version of crafts. My boys are creative and excited and often want to be whatever hero or villain they last saw.

So far this summer we have made nunchuks, a strange whip thing, fire balls, and some very awesome cardboard tanks are parked right now in my living room.

I see the theme, our crafting looks more like stockpiling arms, but let me assure you, none of them are real (in particular, not the fireballs, those are plastic and spray paint) and all of them are full of imagination, creativity and a belief in our ability to make what we are excited about with our own hands. And seriously, I will take about any kind of crafting or building project over the laundry any day.

So before you worry any about my little craftsmen, let’s move on. We then go to some quiet reading time, which warms this bookish mama’s heart even if it is a bit of a struggle to get started. Eventually, they settle down into their books and I into mine.

By the time dinner rolls around we troop to someone’s barbeque, hopefully in walking or biking distance, and wrap up the day with something gooey and often paired with chocolate and graham crackers.

I love our camp. It is enough for me and for this briefest of moments, enough for them. I know what is coming… camps, sports, jobs, summer flings of their own.

I will take this moment when the world is just us three. But right now it is time to turn off my computer, I have important work outside with a couple of amazing boys, the sprinkler, and some nunchuks. Happy camping.


Like this blog?  Check out more from one of Missoula’s FAVORITE Mamas About Town, Elke Govertsen:  Norman Rockwell’s Got Nothing on Missoula,  Anywhere but Missoula, MT, or It’s all Relative. And check out Missoula Children and Nature Network and Active Moms Missoula.

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Bio: Elke Govertsen is the publisher of Mamalode which is a magazine and website for area moms. When not juggling her family, business, and the laundry (disclosure – there is no laundry being done whatsoever), Elke tries to eek out time to write, do yoga, and read like a fiend.