My older daughter (6.5 yo) started her summer camp this morning. It’s 3 hours every day where she gets to mingle with other neighborhood friends while someone else watches them. They do crafts, play games, have fun… basically someone to take over momming for me for a while.
She loved it. But I want to offer you a quick story to serve as a reminder to kids and parents at camps.
This week is very busy. Both for me and my good friend, C. C is my neighbor and fellow mommy. C and I have a ton in common – including two beautiful soon-to-be-second-graders. We rely on each other for pick up and drop off back up since we both have a 2nd child/sidekick in our lives.
C asked me to pick up her daughter from camp since she was running a little late. No problem. I’m already there. I told the counselor that I would be picking up C’s child.
He said, “Ok,” and checked her name off. I was floored.
Me: “You mean you are not going to verify that I can pick up this other person’s child?”
Him: “No, I trust you”
Me: “No. You should not just trust me.”
Mind you, this is the first day of camp. I do not know this guy. I “met” him this morning in that I waved hi to him.
Him: “Do you want me to go check the folder to see if you are on the list?”
Me: “YES! Yes, I do”
He walked down the hill to the pavilion where the paperwork was and I stood there for a good 3-4 minutes waiting for him to return.
He tried to joke with me when he came back.
Me: “Do not ever let my kid leave this camp until you have verified who is picking her up.” And I left with my two kids and C’s oldest in tow. I will have a discussion with the head counselor tomorrow.
Obviously, there was no danger here. And maybe I am making a bigger deal than I should. But, I never want to be in a situation where someone else picks up my child without my permission. Ever.
Please have a discussion with your kids about who their authorized pickup people are. Ask them questions.
“Can Mommy pick you up?” – Yes.
“Can Mrs. So-and-So pick you up? ” – No.
Give examples of both allowed and not allowed people. If her best friend’s mom is not on the list, tell your child that. If Grandma is not on the list, your child needs to know.
Ask you child: “Who are your pickup people?” – Have them repeat it to you – ad nauseam.
Keep your kids safe this summer.
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