Summer camp season is upon us, and our children have been excitedly preparing to spend a week at camp. Camp is more than a “big deal” around here — the kids have been counting down the days on a chalkboard, and their duffel bags are quickly filling up with everything from card games to Yes and Know books to flashlights and bug repellent patches.
The camp our kids attend assigns each cabin its own color, and the colors are also the campers’ team colors for the week for team sports and “color war” play. All the kids in each cabin must wear the same color shirts all week long. It’s easy for the camp and counselors to identify where the kids belong and which activity they’re supposed to be at simply by looking at their shirt colors.
The first year our kids went to camp, they were assigned to the blue cabin and team, and blue is a pretty easy color to pack for. I think many kids, especially boys, are likely to have a week’s worth of blue shirts to wear. When that week of camp was up, our oldest son came home with some blue shirts in his bag that weren’t his, and he also took some blue shirts to camp that we never saw again! (I was glad we did not send his best clothing, of course.)
The shirts that did return home, however, were also among the dirtiest clothing I’ve ever laundered.
Me: “What happened to this?”
Son: “We were playing kickball, but instead of bases, there were kiddie pools filled with slime that you had to slide into to be on base! It was awesome!”
We made a mental note to make sure that, in future years, we would only send older or “expendable” shirts in case they were ruined during slime kickball, lakeside tug-of-war, or any other crazy camp activities.
This year, our boys were assigned the color green. After surveying the green shirt options in their closets and drawers, we decided that a shopping trip was in order to acquire a few more green shirts. (We needed a week’s worth of green shirts for two boys, and we just didn’t have that many green shirts on hand!)
We picked up several green T-shirts at our local Goodwill store during their recent $1.23 Day sale, where all clothing items are $1.23 for one day each month.
So many different shades of green! Some of our Goodwill finds were actually pretty nice. I’m sure that Disney Animal Kingdom shirt was more than $1.23 when it was originally purchased in the park! The golfing Minion tee, the shirt with the horizontal stripes, and some solid greens were among our other bargain $1.23 Goodwill finds. Score!
Our college-age daughter is returning to camp as a counselor this year too. Our boys are excited that they’ll all be at camp together at the same time as their big sister, as she will be the counselor of the green girls’ cabin. Just a few days ago, we learned that as a counselor, our daughter is also required to wear the color of her cabin: Green.
How many adults have a week’s worth of green T-shirts on hand? She went through her clothes and found a few, but she definitely needed some more before the end of the month.
I was flipping through the new Menards ad last night and saw this:
Jokingly, I said to her (and really, I was kidding… although she knows how bargain-minded I am!) “Menards has T-shirts free after rebate. You could go get four green shirts and you’d have enough.”
She immediately replied, “That’s great! Then I don’t have to worry about anything getting ruined at camp.”
She and I headed to Menards this afternoon to go shopping, and her new assortment of green Menards T-shirts is set to be laundered, labeled, and packed for camp.
Who would have thought: A new, free, “designer” summer camp wardrobe from Menards!
(Too bad Menards doesn’t have free tees in kids’ sizes…)