Sending My Child To His First Sleepaway Camp

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This December school holiday, we will sending Josiah to his first ever sleepaway camp, not for one night or two nights but for 5 days 4 nights! Camping and staying overnight away from home was never something strange for me. I came from a family of 4 girls and my parents used to always send us to our aunts’ and uncles’ houses during school holidays. I guess now it was because they needed a break from us! I even remembered having sleepovers at my friend’s house when I was really young and had my first rough camp at 14 with just sleeping bags on bamboo floors back in Sarawak. I continued going to church camps throughout my youth and adult life. I even used to boast that when I become a mother, I would never be one that is overprotective and need to hover over them at all times.

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Well, that was until 7 years ago when Josiah came into our lives. Even the sight of him on the playground swing can cause my heart to skip a beat. I would imagine the worst of things that could happen so I would eye him like a hawk at all times. However, watching him grow up, I know my little boy is not that little anymore. I can’t continue to keep him wrapped up under my wings. I need to let him grow his own wings so that he can fly and see a bird’s eye view from above through his own eyes and not mine.

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I must admit that as much as I needed a break and some peace and quiet at home, I was still a bit apprehensive when I learned about this adventure camp by Cambridge. The idea of it was great but I wasn’t all sure if he could stay away from home for so many days! Josiah slept with me for all those years until recently and I had always thought that there was no way he could sleep without me. However, when I proposed the idea of going to camp to him, he said yes without a doubt. Now, I am not saying that Josiah is all that independent hence his yes. It was more like, he thinks he is all grown up. He thinks he is independent and can do anything without me, hence his yes. The truth is, he is not all that independent at home. There’s still a lot of things he’s still learning to do by himself though I must say he has grown a lot this year after going to Grade 1.

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Also, Josiah found new confidence in exploring the outdoors when he learned cycling with his dad. I am more cowardly than him as I don’t even dare to cycle outside the confines of my housing area. From all these, I can only say, this boy needs a lot more than what I can offer him at home to find his true self. That is the first reason why I am sending him to camp. I will throw away my own personal fear and feelings and let him discover himself at camp because I remember discovering myself at the many camps I went before. I would suggest all my readers check out the following to get various articles based on camping requirements as they just rebranded their website and are now able to include many more detailed aspects of camping.

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I guess I feel that my task as his mother is to make him a real man, one with noteworthy character traits such as Obedience, Truthfulness, Gratefulness, Responsibility, Patience, Initiative, Punctuality, Resourcefulness, and so much more. It is one thing to try to teach these characters theoretically, and another thing to let him learn it by experience. A lot of women like to say that grown men are just little boys stuck in adult bodies. This is one thing I do not want to create in my boys. I want to see them truly grow to be men of as many amazing character traits as possible without the need to force and instill by the books.

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In our home, we always believe that life as a kid is more than just good grades. We emphasize learning that is not confined to classroom walls or just books. Josiah is already a book worm in a sense. We believe in dreams coming true and we believe that Josiah needs to find it himself. Today I heard the experience of a woman who went to camp when she was really young. She was asked to climb a telephone pole which seemed impossible at first. However, once she made it to the top, she suddenly realised that if she could do that, she could do anything. How many times have we as adults give up before we even try? It is so much harder to teach adults to do the impossible. With kids, impossible is not yet set in stone in their hearts. They still believe that is why they try.

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They know they can that is why they never idle. At Josiah’s age and up to preteens, it is the best time for them to learn that they can when they believe. They can do great things outside of the comfort of their nest. They can achieve great things when they put in the effort. I cannot begin to share how many types of lessons can be found at camps, priceless lessons that can’t be bought no matter how much you have sitting comfortably in the bank. Sure, Josiah is going to miss home or maybe get a little homesick. I think they will be great for him to realise the preciousness of his home so he will never take it for granted. Sometimes, we need to lose something before we realise how important it is right? It is kind of the same principle here.


The CEFL Adventure Camp will be held this Dec 10-14 at the really fun but safe Lembah Azwen Resort in Hulu Langat. Join Josiah and his friends as they explore the great outdoors and join amazing activities to learn about trust, responsibility, motivation, leadership and more within a safe and secure campsite. Registration is open now and just for my readers, use the code CEFL-LEONA-2016 to get a special rate and an additional referral discount of 10% will be given if you bring a friend. Best part is, both you and your friend will enjoy the 10% discount. This fee includes accommodation, full meals, full camp activities, camp kit (backpack, t-shirt, towel, mini first-aid kit, mosquito patch, cap, water bottle) and insurance. I truly can’t wait for Josiah to go to camp. I really believe the CEFL Adventure Camp will be able to bring out the hero in Josiah. For more information, head to http://cambridgeforlife.org/adventurecamp/

22 Responses to Sending My Child To His First Sleepaway Camp

  1. It is always difficult to part the first time.
    Later things fall in place and it becomes easier to accept. πŸ™‚
    The little boy is sure going to do well.

  2. I am also sending my daughter for this camp, so she and Josiah can keep each other company… hahaha…. and yes, I want her to learn to be more independent and learn new experiences as well in order to be a better person…..

  3. Thanks Leona for this piece. I can’t never imagine how my mum felt last time, as I’m not yet a mother, now that with this I think I can understand a little bit better. I’m always grateful what she has done for me – I’m those type of kid that wants to get out there and join every camps, getting to know more new friends. And my mum always allowed me to do that. However I never said thanks to her or tried to understand her feelings. It’s time for me to do something, saying love is never too late, i guess. πŸ™‚

  4. My parents always send us to my grandparents’ during holidays – so it was all the time camping outside – whether in dusun durian atau sawah padi. Hehe.
    But I do agree with you – all these experiences will make the kid wiser and better.

  5. I believe your son will learn and have fun through this camp! You are a great mum Leona, although I am not a mum yet but I can feel your love and sacrifice for your son =D

  6. They grow up so fast. I can see that he looks up to you in so many ways and you’re doing a great job in guiding him in life πŸ™‚

  7. Awh time flies by so fast Leona but I am sure that your son is going to have such a fun time at the camp with all the amazing activities it has to offer πŸ™‚

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