Overnighter with youth group

Since my son had such a great time at Camp Amp, I decided that he was ready for an overnighter with the church youth group.


Don’t get me wrong– the youth workers and kids were great.  My son was with his buddy from school.  I think that the event was not the right fit.

We also were in the busy summer season, and as parents we didn’t take the time to get more details about the event.  So, the amount of preparation we could do with him was minimal, to say the least. (Pun intended.)  Then we got him to the race late.  Yes, it was one of those days.

This overnighter was the annual Amazing Youth Race, modeled after the tv show.  It really is a cool event.  I was happy that he wanted to go, and looked forward to his becoming part of a group.

At the end of the first evening (the race was from 5:30  on a Friday to 5:30ish on Saturday) we received a call that he needed help.  He didn’t seem unhappy, but did say several times that he was tired.  Turns out that the pace of the race was very fast and he needed coaxing to keep up with his team.  The driver and the leaders thought it might be best if a parent was with him on Saturday.  They didn’t get “prep time” for Philip, either, I realiced.

On the bright side, he was very happy to get to his campsite and eat tons of twizzlers. 🙂 He was settling down in his tent.

I decided to get to the campsite early on  Saturday morning and let him decide what was best. I was willing to be his race buddy or take him home. When I arrived at the camp, he was eating a very healthy breakfast of Sunchips (he chose that over the healthier options) at a picnic table with the other kids.

“Hi, Sweetie!  Are you having fun?”

“Mmm hmmm.”  (Crunch crunch crunch.)

I let him finish his chips and then took him aside.  “Do you want to race today?”

“Well, it’s very fast. When I run fast it takes all of my energy.  I just want to go home.”

“Are you sure?  I could stay with you and race, or we could go home.  It’s up to you.”

“Yes, let’s go home.”

“Okay, let’s go pack up your stuff and then let’s go tell Pastor J.”

We went to pack up and then we walked to Pastor J.

“Pastor J?”

“Yes Philip?”

“The race is just too fast for me.”

We then talked over with Pastor J and Mrs. H., the other adult leader, what he had decided to do.  They were disappointed that he was leaving, and told me some funny things that he said / did at the event.  They gave him a race shirt and a prize bag to take home.  And of course he grabbed some Twizzlers on our way out.

I think that my boy wasn’t quite ready.  And that’s okay.

I am very proud of him for trying something new.  I’m even prouder of him for voicing his needs.

Way to go, buddy.

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