Memories of school camps are mixed with the horror of what would I be eating, where would I be sleeping, who would I be bunking in with and above all, what would everyone else be wearing.
Of course, none of those things ever mattered once you got to camp but the lead-up was always fraught.
My third child has this week gone on his very first school camp.
Just one night – which was long enough for me – and two fun-filled days.
His lead-up was rather different to how I remember my first time away from home with school.
The level of excitement began to build at least two weeks’ out.
His dad was also very excited which resulted in the purchase of several unnecessary items I am hoping will get a lot of use now that we have them.
With everything named and packed the weekend before, all that was left to do was get on the actual bus.
Luckily for me, the morning of the big departure allowed just enough time for a quick cuddle in bed with mum. With bright wide eyes, my son went through everything packed, all the activities he was going to do and all the friends he was going to have a sleepover with.
Then, just as I thought the conversation was wrapping up, he advised he had also taken his big brother’s pocket knife and packed it in his little overnight bag.
Remaining calm, I reminded him a pocket knife was not on the school list but he argued his big brother, who loved camping, told him you should always take a pocket knife with you on adventures in the wild.
Now I have learnt that I cannot argue with this kid when it comes to something his big brother has told him. Older brothers know everything and are admired and adored. All our son wants to do is be just like his big brother.
Attempting to be a little bit stricter, but not wanting to ruin our last morning together before he leaves, I tell him that he could get thrown out of school camp for taking a pocket knife.
He says he has seen photos of the camp site and there is thick bush he may need to slash his way through!
Despite feeling confident he won’t need to “slash” his way through his Grade 3 camp, I insist he remove the knife from his pack.
I’m not sure how the school would have reacted to a very advanced style of pocket knife making its way on the bus and into the camp site; luckily for his dear teacher we will never have to know.
With one look back and a wave out the school bus window he was off. Still not all that happy we took the knife but nevertheless, ready for a big adventure.
Thirty-one hours until he’s back home!