Moms Are Spending Thousands To Send Kids Off To Camp So They Can Helicopter Them From A Distance

moonrise-kingdom-1024I have never sent my kids to  summer camp but I’m sure if I did I would miss them. Kinda. When I was enjoying not cooking for and cleaning up after three extra people and spending my free time inventing new cocktails and sleeping until nine. I love my kids, but if I sent them away I am sure I’d feel a bit liberated. Or maybe I’d be just like these anxious parents who spend ten thousand dollars to send their darling children off to camp and then spend every waking moment scrutinizing the camp website for photos and videos of my kids so I could make sure they were having a fun summer. From the WSJ:

Before Nancy Corson Schwartz put her 10-year-old son, Harry, on a bus bound for sleep-away camp in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, she gave him a warning: “If you don’t give me the thumbs-up, I’m never going to sleep.”

At 3 a.m. ever since, Ms. Corson Schwartz has rolled over in her bed in Franklin Lakes, N.J., logged into the camp’s photo gallery on her laptop and started scrolling through the day’s feed of 800 pictures. Her reward? Photos of Harry hanging with his bunkmates, playing roller hockey and bouncing on a floating trampoline””all with his thumb in the air.

“That thumb has to be so tired, it’s up there in every picture,” said Ms. Corson Schwartz. “I told him, ‘You want a phone? You want a TV in your room? It is priceless what you’ve done for me this summer.’ ”


That poor kid. It sounds like she has given him some sort nervous tic with this thumb in the air thing. If he forgets to have it up I wonder if he asks the camp photog to re-take the snap? But this isn’t the only case of parents being really worried and scrutinizing pics to see if Junior is having a good enough time:

Sophie‘s younger brother is at Camp Greylock in the Berkshires, which doesn’t post pictures. “There are certain things you want to see,” said their mother Abbie Richman. “He had bug bites on visiting day, and he was scratching them till they bleed. I want to see a picture and zoom in to see if they’re infected.”

Yep, as much as I love my kids, I have never felt the desire to zoom in on a photograph to see if their bug bites were infected. I would sort of assume that the camp nurse was making sure all the kids were well cared for. The article explains how parents scrutinize all the photographs on the camp websites and if their kids look unhappy they contact the camp to see what the issue is.

But the most sought after photos are the ones when two siblings attend the same camp together:

“I offered my children money before they left for camp for every picture they took together,” said Beth Glazer of Montvale, N.J., whose 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son are attending Camp Starlight in the Poconos together. At last count, they had earned $29 apiece.

“I know it will stop as soon as they get home,” Ms. Glazer said. “But just seeing them with their arms around each other, smiling, I would pay $100 for it.”

I think maybe these moms should have just went to camp WITH their kids. That way they could insure their bug bites were okay and that they were having fun and hugging each other. I suppose if you spend that much money to send your child off that it makes sense you feel entitled to see what your kid is doing every waking moment but I know with me I’d like to spend some of the time they were away enjoying the fact they were away.

(Image: Hbo)

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