Pook is going away for the weekend, without family. This is the first time he will have been away from home, but he's ready and excited. I keep hearing of "away camps" that his friends have attended in the summer, so this seemed like a transition. We'll look into those (expensive!) camps another time. He is joining twenty other elementary-aged kids from our church who are going up to the mountains for a cabin retreat. I did not volunteer to be a chaperone, since that sort of defeats the purpose of his being away from home alone.
We received the list of carpools, and he doesn't know the other kids in the car, although I think he'll recognize them. Then we received the list of class groups, and he's the only child from our church in his activity group. At this point I began to worry, and I emailed for the list of kids in his cabin. He and one good buddy, K, signed up to do this together and I really wanted them to be in a cabin together. If you're homesick or scared, the cabin at night is where you want your friends. Fortunately, yes, all the young boys from our church are in the same cabin.
He sounds totally fine and calm about this time away. Pook isn't one to show his emotions outwardly, but I'm worried enough for him. There are just little things that he can do, but hasn't ever done, such as ordering his own dinner at a sub shop on the way up. We don't eat at fast food places, so he doesn't have any experience doing it. Of course he'll be fine, but those little things can add up and cause stress eventually. Or, they would for me. Then there's the fact that evening activities end at 11pm! He goes to bed at 8:00 usually! Combine all the newness with tiredness and he'll be wiped out.
I will tuck Blue Puppy into the toe of his sleeping bag and trust that he'll come home tired but happy.