Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, July 24, 2017

Austen's First Sleep Away Camp

Heading to check in
Austen's headed to 5th Grade this year so it only seemed appropriate that he have his first sleep away camp experience this summer. I loved sleep away camp - often begging my parents to let me go more than just one week. I think it's a great first step at independence and having to be a wee bit responsible for yourself and your things.

After getting back from Italy, I was sure he was ready too. Just four days later I was packing him up again and sending him off to Northwestern University's soccer camp. It was only a four day camp so I thought it was perfect for his first time. He knew his roommate (from his soccer team) and his next door neighbors and he also had the opportunity to make new friends.

So on Thursday, I drove the hour or so up to Evanston to drop him off. Checked him in and made his bed before showing him the cafeteria and the camp store. He barely said goodbye to me before heading off with his friends. That was a good sign he was going to be just fine. Each day we were allowed to attend their league games at night too so Tom and I planned to go on Friday and watch him play so I knew I'd see him then too. A good check in point to make sure he was okay (and he was). Uncle Bob (an NU alum even came out for that one). He didn't score any goals that day but he got close playing mostly an outside midfield position.

Saturday we decided to head to the beach instead of attending his games (giving him a little breathing space) and the girls really didn't want to go see him play. However, he started scoring heavily on Saturday (based on other parents texts who attended) and leading his team to a whole host of wins in the afternoon and evening matches.

Sunday morning before check out the playoffs started, he scored many goals before losing to the eventual champions. His coach said that he asked him what he normally played and he said outside midfield but the coach said he thought Austen was more of a striker and when he put him there he just started scoring. It's what I've said all along. Austen can play anywhere but when they put him in defense many of the teams he plays on or subs for lose something. He's definitely a center midfielder or a forward. He's got a shot, speed and moves that make him dangerous on offense. It'll be interesting to see where his new traveling club coach puts him this season.

Anyway, at the closing ceremonies, each coach picks an MVP for their team. Austen won that honor for his team (El Salvador) and his name was announced at closing ceremonies. Pretty cool. Pretty cool camp with a pretty cool location (right on the lakefront) for your first sleep away camp experience. Plus he walked away with many new friends. All in all a successful first sleep away camp experience.

A little foreshadowing of college - Austen's dorm bed

Austen and his roommate ready for their moms to leave

See ya moms!

NU soccer field right on the lakefront

Austen and his Coach - Evan

Austen with his MVP ball and NU Head Men's Soccer Coach Tim Lenehan

Austen playing one of his games
Austen's Team - El Salvador

I caught Uncle Bob (NU Alum) sitting in an IU chair!


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