Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Week at Lago del Bosco

Less than a week ago I dropped my daughter, Rose, off at Lago del Bosco, an Italian immersion camp offered through Concordia Language Villages. Rose has been wanting to go to Italian camp for well over a year. She wanted to go so badly that she saved $400 over the last year to help defray the cost. But as we got closer and closer to the time for her to leave for camp Rose got more and more nervous about what her experience would be like, worried that she wouldn't make any friends.

And, as a mother who has never sent a daughter off to camp all by herself before, I got more nervous and worried, too.

Despite our nerves and worries we drove Rose up to camp last Monday. Everyone was friendly - and everyone was speaking Italian! (language immersion is part of the camp experience). It was a bit overwhelming for all of us yet the counselors are great at sign language and we managed to figure out where to go and what to do. Rose had to check in, go through "customs", pick an Italian name for the week (Rosalinda) and exchange her money for "Euros." She met her counselors and settled into her cabin and made her "targhetta" (name tag). Then, after assurance from Rose and her counselors that she would be just fine, we hugged Rose one more time, left her at camp and headed home.

This week with Rose gone at camp was kind of tough for me. I worried. Was she homesick? Was she making friends? In addition to my worries I was struck with how much I'm used to having Rose at home. How much I talk to her about what is going on. How much I like having her around because she's a fun and interesting person. How much I simply like my daughter.

Today was the last day of camp so we flew the Pacer up to Longville, MN, to get Rose then jumped into the airport courtesy car and drove about 10 miles west to Lago del Bosco. To Rose.

And guess what? My worries that Rose would be lonely were unfounded.

Rose had a wonderful time! She learned tons of Italian. And she wasn't lonely - instead she made friends and plans to keep in contact with several of them. And ever since we've picked her up she's been vibrant and happy and bubbling with excitement about her week at Lago del Bosco. She's been singing songs and talking about the fun she had. And she's already talking about how she wants to go back next year for two weeks instead of just one. And how maybe Ryan can go to Italian camp, too.
Rose (on the far left) with her counselors and some of her new Lago del Bosco friends

It's amazing how sending a kid to camp can change things. How I changed in that I had to learn to temper my worries. How I had to let go and trust that no matter how Rose was doing her camp experience was going to be valuable and part of preparing Rose to someday get out and soar on her own.

And it's amazing how camp changed Rose....Less than a week ago I dropped off my thirteen-year-old daughter at camp. Today I picked up a more grown-up, more outgoing version of her. A wonderful young woman. My daughter, Rose.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You voiced everything that I am feeling! My daughter is at Camp Concordia as well but she is in Spanish Camp for a month! I have gotten many wonderful letters of all her amazing experiences. I too worried about the amount of time she would be away but have since found out that she is making friends and growing by leaps and bounds. And although I have missed my daughter greatly I am happy to report that going away to camp for a month is the best thing that could have happened for my beautiful daughter!

Myrna CG Mibus said...

I'm glad your daughter is having a great time at camp, too! I'm also glad to know I'm not alone in worrying about my daughter :) Thanks for reading my blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna,

Thanks for posting this and I'm glad to hear your daughter had a great time.

My daughter is 11 and has now attended Lago del Bosco three times, the last two times she attended for two weeks. We have been so excited to see her language skills develop increasingly each time, and she absolutely loves learning about the culture and spending time with the great kids and counselors there.

As was your experience, the first year she attended at age 9 was a leap of faith for us, but we were aware of the strong reputation of CLV. When we finally picked her up after a week of missing her and wondering about what she was up to at various times of day, she insisted that one week was just too short. We hope to keep sending her!