Kai had his second overnight trip to a YMCA camp in southern Wisconsin last week. The outing is an annual event organized by his school, and all staff attend along with the students.
Last year's trip was his first overnight stay away from relatives. He had a great deal of anxiety ahead of the trip though it helped that my wife took him up to the camp a few weeks beforehand so he could see the place. He ended up doing fine, and seemed to even mostly enjoy the experience. He participated in all of the activities, including the high ropes course. We were told by staff that Kai climbed to the top and waited 25 minutes before finally walking across with the encouragement of the staff and fellow students. The following photo taken by a staff member gives you an idea of how high that ropes course is.
This year Kai was again anxious leading up to the trip, though not quite as much as last year. With Kai, he often seems to forget that his previous experience went fine. This time we did not take him up to preview the camp as he had already been there before, but we did put up photos of it in his room.
But as the day of the trip grew closer, his anxiety heightened. We tried to keep reminding him that all went well last year and that he enjoyed it.
This year, he had a cell phone with him, and as the trip started, he used it to text Mom.
He was texting often, keeping in touch with Mom.
Things seemed to be going well.
Until they weren't.
We're still not sure what exactly happened, though we heard that there was a change in schedule due to anticipated bad weather on the following day. And we know how Kai doesn't deal well with unexpected events. All we knew for sure was that Kai was upset.
We hoped that he wouldn't call and ask us to pick him up and take him home. Not that we would have done so.
We were relieved when we later got another message from him.
Apparently he had settled down and participated in all of the activities.
We later heard from his teacher that he did everything, including the high ropes course. And this year, he walked right across without hesitation.