As parent of both a younger child and adult children, I readily admit that when one of my adult children says, “Mom you were right about . . .”, I relish it. While I have never told them, “I told you so“, I will cop to the fact that my inner 11-year-old is doing a hokey, “Neener neener, I TOLD YOU SO!” dance. It’s better if you don’t try and picture that in your head, just know that it happens. However, rare is the occasion when one of my kids, when they’re still little, gets a chance to serve me a fresh plate of steaming crow . . . until today, when it comes to the existence of summer snowboard camps.
I’ve written a lot about Gaby’s love of snowboarding and how much it’s done for her self confidence and overall outlook on life. Even when our local resort closed for the season, we hauled butts and board up to Mount Snow in Vermont and let her shred until there wasn’t any snow left. And even now, she’s asking about “sandboarding” just so she can feed the need, so to speak. Um, sorry grom, I’m not hauling my big ass up sand dunes in order to watch you throw yourself back down, and end up with sand in places that are better left unmentioned. I’m down with risking frostbite five months out of the year. Sand-burn? Nope.
Of course, I say that now, but God only knows what we’ll end up letting this kid talk us into, eventually.
Anyhow, back in late February, right as I was trying to defrost from another two hours spent in sub-zero temps watching her work on her C turns, J turns, traversing, and her own special brand of stopping called the “Butt-side full stop” (which she mastered), Gaby mentioned something about summer snowboarding camp. As I stood in front of the blazing fire in the lodge, checking my nose and fingers for signs of frostbite, she kept telling me how cool it would be to shred when everyone else was slapping mosquitoes and slathering on sunscreen. I rolled my eyes and told her that I hadn’t heard of any snowboard camps on the east coast and that there probably weren’t any in North America (because of course, I’m mom, and I know everything!), in the summer, and she’d most likely have to go somewhere in the Swiss Alps to get her shred on while everyone else was lighting off Fourth of July Fireworks. Can I tell you a little secret? The entire time she was going on and on about summer snowboard camp, that song from “Frozen“, the one that Olaf, the snowman sings? Yeah, “Summer“, was playing on repeat in my head!
“Mom! I’m serious, one of the instructors was telling me about summer snowboard camp! It exists. Can I go? There are camps in America!”
I can’t remember what I said in order to direct the conversation elsewhere, but eventually I got her focused on something else. It’s not that I don’t want to foster her enthusiasm for the sport of snowboarding – because let me tell you, this kid doesn’t need anyone to do that. In between giving herself manis and pedis, stringing Monster High dolls through-out the house in some sort of distrubadorable obstacle course for either her parents or her cats, she lives, eats and breaths snowboarding. Even now, in June when it’s starting to get muggy, buggy, and miserably hot, she’s already looking forward to the 2014-2015 shred season, and she’s constantly reminding me of all the things she’s doing now (skateboarding, roller skating) that keep her in form and ready to hop on her board the minute the snow falls. It’s just that at the time, when she was going on about snowboarding camp, I wanted to envision something else other than the current snowmageddon we were living through.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m also a little nervous about the whole “sleepaway camp” topic. We backed out of letting her go back home to Maine this year to a summer camp up near Camden because I wasn’t ready to let her go. Yes, I obviously have issues when it comes to this, but considering the fact I lost a child while he was in the care of another person who wasn’t family, are you surprised? I know it’s been a long time since all of that happened, but I’m still just a tad apprehensive.
So, fast forward to this morning. I’m sitting here checking my email and I open what ends up being a really nice email from an east coast mom who has a kid who snowboards and came across Barking Mad. She started reading right about the time I started writing about Gaby riding. She asked me if I knew anything about snowboard camps, in particular High Cascade Snowboard Camp, which is right here in the good ole U. S. of A, in Oregon. Not just a snowboard camp but a summer snowboarding camp. Naturally, I Googled the camp and spent more than an hour absolutely immersed in their awesomely comprehensive website. I Googled other camps and came across Transworld Snowboarding’s list of the best 2014 summer snowboaring camps, and High Cascade was at the top of their list. After checking out the programs that High Cascade offered for groms (Gaby’s age bracket. The grom program actually starts at 9, which will be perfect for next summer, as Gaby won’t be 9 until this coming December) I decided to phone HCSC and ask
several million a few questions about their program, including supervision of the littler kids, and try and get a more detailed picture of what each day of camp is like.
They even have a program called HCSC Girl which is tailored to . . .
“. . . encourage girls in a supportive snowboarding mini-all-girl-world within the friendly confines of a co-ed camp.“
Gaby is all about encouraging more girls to get involved in the sport of snowboarding because right now there’s this massive disparity between the number of guys who are out there stomping out the big tricks and catching major air vs. how many girls are doing the same thing. Check out any snowboarding team and the boys always outnumber the girls.
After spending about 25 minutes on the phone with Chelsea from HCSC, and finding out that there are other parents I can talk to from my part of the country, who have sent their kids to summer snowboard camp out there, and then Chelsea taking the extra time to make sure she had complete information for me to help put my mind at ease, I feel pretty confident that this is definitely some place we want to send Gaby next summer.
Of course, when Gaby got home from school and I told her about HCSC, she was pretty good about not rubbing it in, and not once did she utter the dreaded, “I told you so!” While she wasn’t real thrilled about having to wait until next summer to go, she knows she still has an entire shredding season in front of her, where she can feed her inner yeti.
The best part? I have an entire year to stockpile Xanax in preparation of letting her go across the country (did I mention this also means she’ll be flying solo, across the country? HOLD ME!) to sleepaway camp.