I remember being a little kid (20 – lol) and making coupons to give to my mom for Mother’s Day. Even when I started to have a little more money to work with, I could never come up with the right gift. And she would say (as most moms do) “a homemade card will do just fine!” So I’d do that, over and over again. She’d keep them all, able to recall what year I made them for her and…honestly, probably what she was wearing when I handed them to her.
See, my mom’s a big words of affirmation kinda gal. When I moved out on my own earlier this year, all she asked me for was a card, and so, once again, that’s what I gave her.
Recently, in racking my brain about what to give this Mother’s Day in addition to the inevitable card wherein I pour my love, I realized something big: no matter what I give my mom for Mother’s Day, I’ll never be able to give her remotely anything that can come close to what she’s given me.
I had the greatest childhood one could have. Seriously. I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve compared it to every friend of mine, and it still comes out on top. Mine is the greatest mom one could ever have.
She’s taught me a million lessons, most (all?) of which I need to hear a couple (many?) times before it sticks.
I went to my first Campowerment retreat in November of 2021, after working as an intern here, after my mom and her camp friends connected the dots a semester prior. I was excited to finally experience the thing I had been learning about, writing about and contributing to — but I hardly thought about the part that probably the most exciting part:
I was going to have the opportunity to become camp friends with my mom.
When I flew home from college in 2021 to come to camp, my mom picked me up at the airport. I was with her her all day as I packed before I arrived early with the other Campower Rangers (counselors). And still, one day later, when I saw her walk through camp’s gates I had the overwhelming urge to run and hug her.
It reminded me of when I was little at camp, and I was so excited she was coming into this happy place I’d been at for only a few short hours. I wanted to hug her and tell her how excited I was that she was there, show her where her bunk was, how this was going to be the best weekend of her life and how I couldn’t wait to see her through it all.
While at my first camp, basking in the wisdom of women, I collected so many lessons…realizing in real time that I had heard much of it before, from my mom (of course). At camp, I realized how right my mom almost always was. And one of the coolest parts was realizing that she didn’t need to hear that from me, because, at Campowerment, we’re all learning and teaching at the same time, knowing “right” isn’t the trophy — happy, and in great company, is.
At Campowerment together, my mom and I got to share in our realizations, our laughter, our tears and connect over our love and excitement of there being together.
That weekend was something else.
Rarely do we get to see our parents in their happiest moments. Even more rarely, do we get to experience them as peers.
I wasn’t at my mom’s college graduation, or when she lost her first tooth, or when she played Nancy in Oliver Twist, or when she got her first job. I wasn’t at my mom’s wedding. I was at my birth but I don’t remember it much!
But I get to be with her at camp, when she seems to be her happiest. And I’m so grateful for that.
I remember being in high school and watching my mom return from Campowerment retreats and again and again the light inside her would shine brighter as she got to reconnect with who she truly is.
She was a better mom because of what she picked up at campowerment.
Because she took the time for herself, in return we all saw the best version of her. And because she went to camp, I am now surrounded by an incredible community of other women who feel just like moms to me.
Campowerment is the greatest thing that could have happened to me and my mom.
So, mom – this is your e-Card. Happy Mother’s Day 😉 I love you.
. . . .
To the reader: Hi!
If you think you’re ready to experience camp with your mom (or a mama figure in your life), do it. I promise it’ll change your relationship forever. Or maybe you are a mom and you’re ready to receive, find yourself again and reconnect with your purpose. Your kids, your community and everyone around you will be better because of it. I promise.
As a kid who never knew what to get their mom or could never find the gift that could say all I wanted to, a little tip or (this) link in the group text is beyond helpful. 😉 Ask the people in your life to support your journey with a Campowerment gift card! I promise, they’ll be so excited to get you something they know you’ll love.
I cannot imagine a better experience in this life (or any one my soul will get) in which I will be luckier to have my mom. And thanks to camp, I’ll forever know that’s true.
From the campfire & beyond,
Megan and the Campowerment Crew